Having a uniform is an important part of the experience of a Boy Scout. It provides a place to display activity patches and badges of achievement and serves as an equalizer.
But not all would-be Boy Scouts can afford a uniform. That’s why Pilgrim Dry Cleaners is running its fifth annual Scouting for Uniforms campaign to provide uniforms for disadvantaged youth in the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts. Since it started in 2008, the campaign has collected more than 1,700 uniforms.
"This has been a wonderful program," said Pilgrim’s owner, Bonnie Engler. "Each year we get several hundred (uniforms) and find owners for them."
Sun Newspapers and KARE 11 are once again sponsoring the uniform drive.
The Northern Star Council serves young people in 21 Minnesota counties and four western Wisconsin counties. Research shows that more than 5,000 current members of the Boy Scouts in the metro area are from families that qualify for free or reduced school lunch.
This year the campaign is emphasizing the need for Cub Scout uniforms.
Pilgrim Cleaners will collect and clean the uniforms throughout the month of July with distribution beginning in August.
Collection points for donated uniforms include all 25 Pilgrim Dry Cleaning locations, as well as the Boy Scout council offices at 5300 Glenwood Ave. in Golden Valley and 393 Marshall Ave. in St. Paul.
To find the nearest Pilgrim location, go to pilgrimdrycleaners.com.