When COVID-19 shuttered the church to outsiders where Boy Scout Troop #22 of Clifton, NJ met, FSR (opens in new tab) stepped in to offer an alternative. The manufacturer of Pro AV equipment located in Woodland Park, NJ, has a long, rich history of giving back to the community and this time was no exception. When FSR employee, and assistant Scout Master, John Macaluso Jr. asked FSR president, Jan Sandri if the scouts could meet at FSR, Sandri not only agreed to providing a meeting room, she opened up a workshop in the factory where they could continue practicing their crafts.
Scouting is a long-term commitment for Macaluso, who believes it helps the kids become better citizens and more responsible adults. A scout since he was six years old, he’s seen the positive effect of good role-models first-hand and is passionate about paying it forward.
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“Scouting is about allowing kids to have experiences they might have otherwise missed,” said Macaluso. “We teach them safety and responsibility, giving them the skills they need to become leaders and contribute to the community. When the pandemic hit, our usual meeting place, a church, couldn’t allow outsiders in. We found ourselves in a desperate situation with no place to go, and these scouts depended on the community experience and leadership training that came with our weekly meetings.”
Troop #22 out of Clifton, NJ is comprised of nine boys ranging in age from 11-16. The weekly meetings were often the only opportunity they had to fraternize with others similar in age during the pandemic. The scouts adhered to safety protocols and continued to meet at FSR for about a year, when it was safe to return to their original location.
“Jan Sandri opened the doors and her heart to these kids. The Troop would have folded if it weren’t for her generosity,” added Macaluso.
FSR also supports the United Way of Passaic County’s “Backpacks 4 Kids” school program with an annual donation of much-needed school supplies as local children return to their classrooms. In addition, Sandri has organized relief efforts for local disasters, such as Super Storm Sandy, and is on the Board of Kindness Shared Happiness Squared, a Florida based non-profit created to distribute happiness to kids and animals.