Whether it’s the colorful rainbows, Harry Potter illustrations or “Quiche Me” puns, the grocery bags decorated by Los Altos Boy Scout Troop 33 for the nonprofit Hope’s Corner are bringing smiles to many faces.
Hope’s Corner, launched in 2011 and located at the corner of Hope and Mercy streets in downtown Mountain View, delivers a hot breakfast and lunch to those in need every Wednesday and Saturday. Since the onset of the pandemic, the volunteer-based organization can no longer provide sit-down meals and is distributing food in grocery bags instead.
That’s where the Scouts come in, sprucing up the food-filled bags with artwork.
The meals are cooked in the kitchen at Trinity United Methodist Church. The bags usually contain a quiche or egg, along with hot potatoes, for breakfast. Lunch is also included, consisting of a drink, fresh fruit, protein and snacks such as granola and apple sauce.
Scout leader Julie Crane of Los Altos got the troop involved with Hope’s Corner after reaching out to the city of Los Altos in search of volunteering opportunities. She was then connected with Hope’s Corner volunteer Mike Hacker.
According to Crane, volunteering at Hope’s Corner was part of the Scouts’ Merit Badge Rally.
The three-week rally offers classes by counselors in which Scouts can earn merit badges. She led a class for the Citizenship and Community merit badge, which requires Scouts to devote eight hours to a charitable organization in their community.
Crane said she reached out to the city of Los Altos because she was concerned that the Scouts would not have adequate volunteering opportunities due to the
In July, the Scouts started decorating brown paper bags, turning out approximately 100 bags.
To abide by COVID safety guidelines and maintain social distancing, Scouts picked up and dropped off bags in bins in front of Crane’s house, which were then picked up by Hacker and used to distribute meals.
“I think it’s important that during this time of COVID-19, we are able to find a way to support our community,” Crane said. “(The Scouts) did an amazing job. I could tell from the decorations that they were engaged and had tried their best.”
The bags have been well received by the community, Hacker reported. The bags brighten people’s days when they pick up a meal in a bag that has a rainbow or inspirational words painted on it, he added.
“Hope’s Corner has indicated that if we want to continue (volunteering), we can,” Crane said. “It’s something I’m going to offer the rest of the troop, because we don’t know how long COVID-19 will last. This is a great opportunity to earn the merit badge and support their community.”
For more information on Hope’s Corner, visit hopes-corner.org.
For more information on Troop 33, visit troop33.org.