Sentinel Scarecrow Army deployed in Smithfield

Sentinel Scarecrow Army deployed in Smithfield

National Honor Society students from Smithfield High School stand near a few members of the Sentinel Scarecrow Army on display at the Smithfield Senior Center. From left: Officer Ryan Perry, Caitlyn Cacador, Cameron Kasbarian, Abby Trainor, Krysta Afonso and Town Manager Randy Rossi. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – In an effort to bring unity to the community and raise funds for various nonprofits, the National Honor Society has deployed 93 scarecrows around town making up the Sentinel Scarecrow Army.

Smithfield High School’s NHS and local volunteers created scarecrows to sit outside 19 locations in Smithfield. Each grouping of scarecrows represents a charity, with informational sheets describing what they represent and encouraging viewers to donate.

Attached to the sheet is an individual QR code, which can be scanned with a smartphone, and directs viewers to a nonprofit website where people can donate.

At the Smithfield Senior Center, at 1 William J. Hawkins Jr. Trail, students designed scarecrows in the likeness of medical professionals. The attached QR code takes viewers to the Doctors Without Borders donation site.

It’s a thank you to doctors and health professionals who have helped during unprecedented times, said NHS President Cameron Kasbarian.

Kasbarian, a senior at SHS, said the group wanted to do something unique for this year’s canned food drive, discussing ideas through October before deciding on scarecrows.

As a canned food drive, collection bins are set up at various locations throughout Smithfield, including Town Hall, Smithfield High School, the Smithfield Police Department and the school administration building.

“2020 has been a trying year. We’re trying to donate and collect anything to help those who do not have enough,” Kasbarian said.

Collections will run through this Sunday, Nov. 22.

NHS student and SHS senior Abby Trainor said she hopes the project will help unify the community in divided times.

“Even our school is divided and we don’t see our whole class every day. We want to help our community come together,” she said.

Trainor said each of the 43 members of NHS helped create a scarecrow with whatever resources were available, including raking leaves from her yard. She said the creativity and individuality of each person is reflected in the scarecrows.

“You can see what it is to be a SHS student to see how different each scarecrow is,” Trainor said.

She said many of the charities have personal importance to students. For Trainor, the scarecrows at Deerfield Park representing the Make-A-Wish foundation are dear to her, as her younger sister recently overcame cancer.

The scarecrows will remain up until Nov. 30. At that point, the Sentinel Scarecrow Army, or whatever is left of it after two weeks in New England weather, will return to the high school to stand together “for as long as possible,” said Krysta Afonso, NHS member and SHS senior.

“They’ll be standing in unity together as a chapter, a school, and a community,” Afonso said.

Locations and charities include:

• Smithfield Police Department, Wounded Warriors Project (collection site);

• Putnam Pike Fire Station and the Firehouse Subs, Public Safety Foundation;

• Log Road Fire Station, the First Responders Children’s Foundation;

• Farnum Pike Fire Station, National Fallen Firefighter Association;

• Smithfield Town Hall, Habitat for Humanity (collection location);

• School administration building, Girls Who Code (collection site);

• Smithfield Municipal Ice Rink, the American Cancer Society;

• Deerfield Park, Make-a-Wish Foundation;

• Smithfield Senior Center, Doctors Without Borders;

• Smithfield High School, American Heart Association (collection site);

• Gallagher Middle School, American Red Cross;

• William Winsor Elementary School, Project Fit America;

• Old County Road Elementary School, the Ronald McDonald House (collection site);

• Stillwater Walking Trail, the Trevor Project;

• Wolf Hill Hiking Trail, Crossroads RI;

• The Anderson-Winfield Funeral Home, Smithfield Food Bank;

• Smithfield YMCA.