Unexpected Gift

Tucker’s Scout Troop Benefits Big from Corporate Benevolence

McLeod Family Scout donation.

Ten thousand dollars is an awful lot of money. So, imagine the surprise of Tucker’s local Boy Scout troop when they found out they were getting a check for that amount, seemingly out of nowhere.

That’s exactly what happened earlier this year. But the story of how the money ended up in Tucker and not, say, Marietta, is an interesting one.

As parents of two sons, ages nine and ten, Kyle and Katie McLeod have been active and invested with the Scouts. While he’s not working at UPS, Kyle participates in activities with his sons’ dens, including every scout’s favorite: the campout.

This type of extracurricular activity is exactly what UPS wants from its employees. The worldwide delivery giant recently pledged its employees would perform “20 million hours of global volunteerism and community service by the end of 2020.” And they put their money where their mouth is.

UPS has a program called “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” where they encourage their staff to log volunteer hours. Each hour of service is recorded and put into a pot for a big drawing in February. In the end, somebody receives big bucks for their service group.

By the time February rolled around, Kyle McLeod wasn’t thinking much about his service hours; after all, the company’s Global Volunteer Month happened the previous October. So, when Kyle’s day was interrupted and he was thrown in front of a couple dozen colleagues at a meeting, he wasn’t sure why.

“They pulled me into a district staff meeting, and then recognized me with this big $10,000 check,” McLeod recalls. “I was completely shocked and at a loss for words.”

Out of thousands of employees, the UPS Foundation had selected him as the winner. From the outside, the decision on where to donate the money would seem easy. The McLeod family had been so active in Tucker’s Scout Troop 129 that it was a no-brainer they would make the donation to that troop. But it was a little more complicated than that. The McLeods recently had packed up and moved to Marietta, where their boys joined a new scout troop. Kyle and Katie were left with a decision: donate to their new troop or give to the old one. In the end, Tucker won out.

“I could have chosen to put the money into the troop that we’re going to in East Cobb,” McLeod says, “but just because of what Tucker means to us…it’s a family. They do so much with the community and its one of the only troops that is community-driven.”

The check was presented to Troop 129 at this year’s Blue and Gold Banquet. A hundred scouts and their families were on hand to thank UPS and the McLeods.

“The gift was a total surprise,” said den leader Javier De Jesus. “The pack are very grateful to [the McLeod family] for selecting the pack. As I understand it, they could have assigned the gift to any charitable organization. And they chose to support the Scouts.”

However Troop 129 spends the $10,000 donation, it’s a good lesson for those scouts and their parents about how volunteerism can really pay off. And those youngsters, most of whom attend Tucker Cluster schools, are sure grateful for the support.

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