FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Troop 269 Boy Scout Logan Jancsurak of Aurora completed a service project this summer to assist children in need in Portage County and help him earn his Eagle Scout award. The troop is sponsored by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
Jancsurak discovered many youngsters in Portage County start the school year without the necessary supplies to be successful, and he wanted to help.
After researching the need and meeting with officials from Volunteers of America in Aurora, Portage County Job & Family Services and Family & Community Services of Portage County, he set out to start a drive to collect school supplies.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts fanned out across Aurora, asking residents to donate to the program Jancsurak called "Scouting for Education."
On Aug. 3, Boy Scouts asked patrons of area retailers Big Lots, Five Below and Walmart to purchase supplies from a list that included pens, No. 2 pencils, pocket folders, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, crayons, glue sticks, white glue and backpacks.
He wanted to fill a school bus with supplies, and former local schools' transportation director Greg Pollock and Superintendent Russ Bennett found bus drivers willing to donate their time so he could have a bus parked at the Marketplace at Four Corners all day.
By the end of the day, people in the community stepped up and filled the bus.
After unloading the bus at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Janczurak and a few dedicated volunteers spent the next week sorting and organizing the donations so they would be available to the youngsters in time for the start of the new school year.
Additionally, Five Below made a cash donation to the project, as part of its community giveback program that allowed Janczurak to purchase items that were in high demand.
VOA proprietor Sue Altman said the donations provided all families who sought assistance from the VOA with backpacks and the necessary supplies the students needed to start classes.
Anne Marie Noble, director of emergency outreach services for Family & Community Services, is thankful for the donation, saying her organization originally stopped accepting requests for school supply assistance, but Scouting for Education allowed the agency to assist many more families than originally was planned.
Janczurak is a Life Scout in Troop 269. The Eagle Scout program teaches boys leadership and organizational skills while helping others. Janczurak is in seventh grade at Harmon School.