Local News

Lumberton Eagle Scout to address Congress

Posted February 27, 2017 6:04 p.m. EST

— A 14-year-old Eagle Scout from Lumberton will address Congress next month about volunteer work he performed following Hurricane Matthew.

Each year, the Boys Scouts of America send eight young men to Washington, D.C., to deliver a "State of Scouting" address to Congress. Ronald King is among the eight this year – chosen from of 2.5 million scouts nationwide – because, despite the hardships he and his family faced after the storm last fall, he continued to look ways for ways to help others.

"It's kind of hard to believe that a boy like me will come out of a little town like Lumberton to go to Washington," King said Monday, adding that it will be his first plane flight and his first visit to the nation's capital.

An eighth-grader at Lumberton Junior High School and a leader in Troop 301, which is sponsored by First Presbyterian Church, he sent a text message last fall to Assistant Scoutmaster David Branch asking how he could help victims of Hurricane Matthew.

"The text message said, 'Mr. Branch, I have no power, no electricity, no television. No way of knowing how the scouts can help. Do you know what we can do to shine for the glory of God?"

Branch told King to meet him at the Bill Sapp Recreation Center in Lumberton, which had been turned into a Red Cross shelter, and King showed up with about two dozen fellow scouts.

"We basically did whatever was needed to be done – put out tables for people that lost everything to come and get clothes and toys and essential stuff," King said. "We did that, and we went and sorted toiletries (and) clothes, and then we served food."

He and his fellow scouts helped serve more than 2,000 meals a day and put in more than 1,000 hours combined of volunteer service.

King said he plans to tell members of Congress about the impact of the hurricane on his hometown and how he pitched in to help.

"I'm going to tell them that Lumberton got hit pretty hard by the hurricane, and I'm basically going to tell them why I'm up here and what I did to get up here," he said. "It really wasn't anything. It was just my need as a scout to help people."