Requirement five of the Boy Scout handbook says, “While a Life Scout, plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school or your community.” This means a scout must complete an Eagle Scout Project to advance to Rank Eagle, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
On Oct. 14, 2016, a good friend of mine, Kaden, passed away. I knew him since third grade when we both went to a birthday sleepover at a friend’s house and played with nerf guns. It was a sad time for me and my community. Two days before Kaden’s passing, Mr. Aaron Mansfield reached out to my mom looking for a Scout to build a toy cabinet for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. It was a God-planned event it seemed, so I felt the need to accept the project. As the months went by, I reached out to multiple people and stores asking for materials for the cabinet. While I was in the process, my parents and I had an idea. While we were at Texas Children’s meeting with Mr. Mansfield, he told us how B.I.G. Love fills the cabinet with toys for the children. Our idea was to hold a toy drive to fill the cabinet we created with toys for the children. I instantly ran the idea by Mr. Mansfield and he loved it. I then reached out to Walmart and we planned a date for the toy drive.
On Feb. 20, 2017 my Mom, Dad, sister, Mr. Bob Lahmeyer, three friends and I all built the cabinet. The total man hours for that day alone was 38. The next week, my Mom, Dad, sister, eight scouts and I sat in front of Walmart for 33 man hours and collected about $1,300 in toys and cash. Later that day, my family and I filled two shopping carts full of toys. I also reached out to my good friend Rebecca Lee and asked if she would paint my cabinet. She instantly agreed. Over the next few weeks, she would spend 30 hours on the cabinet doors, using her talent to paint an amazing zoo scene.
When we delivered the cabinet on April 10, 2017, seeing the look on everyone’s face as I dropped the curtain made the project worth it. I instantly knew all the emails I sent, the meetings with donation managers, every single hour spent by me or others, was worth it. In the end, I have dedicated it to Kaden in honor of his life and legacy, and I am glad God put this amazing opportunity in my life.