Local Boy Scout troop seeks help with repairs to vehicles

Members of Boy Scout Troop 835 fill sandbags in Pacific, with the troops converted school bus in the background. - Photo Courtesy J.R. Fancher
Members of Boy Scout Troop 835 fill sandbags in Pacific, with the troops converted school bus in the background.
— image credit: Photo Courtesy J.R. Fancher

For the past five years, Boy Scout Troop 835 has dedicated itself to helping communities in need.

Now the troop from Pacific, Algona and south Auburn needs a little help from its friends.

Scoutmaster Jim Brass says the troop's two vehicles – a van and school bus that has been converted to a mobile kitchen for disaster response – are in need of costly repairs.

The van, which has amassed 647,000 miles, is in a Puyallup shop getting a new axle to the tune of $1,500.

"And the bus needs a new bank of batteries," Brass added.

Both costing money the troop doesn't have.

Although an Auburn businessman – who wishes to remain anonymous – has stepped up to provide half of the $1,500 for the van's repairs, the troop still needs money to continue to respond and provide help in emergencies and disasters throughout Western Washington.

"Unlike most scout troops who save money to go on trips, everything we earn we put into disaster response," Brass said. "We're very unique in the whole nation doing this and have been recognized by the Boy Scouts for our disaster response."

When windstorms and flooding ravished the Washington coast in 2007, Troop 835 was there.

"The largest thing we responded to was in Westport when they had 150-mile-per-hour winds and no power," Brass said. "We set up in a gym and were serving meals. We also set up in Pacific when they had flooding."

The troop's mobile kitchen, converted from a 1987 school bus, stocks more than 1,000 meals.

"We have things like beans and rice and coffee. We never have enough coffee. The first thing people always ask for is coffee," Brass said.

The bus also stocks items such as flashlights, blankets and coats for emergencies.

"It's just where our heart is we take great delight in helping people," Brass said. "When the kids walk away from feeding a homeless person or helping feed someone at a disaster they feel like heroes."

Brass credited Pacific's Noffkes Towing for bringing the van to the Puyallup repair shop for free. He also appreciates Pacific Partnerships for sponsoring the troop.

In addition to disaster relief, Troop 835 runs a food bank in south Auburn.

Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Scout Troop 835, P.O. Box 77. Pacific WA 98047-0077.

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