While sitting in church one Sunday at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (UALC), I saw a video about Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries. They were talking about their English as a Second Language (ESL) program and looking for volunteers to help out on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I was also at the point in Scouting where I was looking for ideas for my Eagle Scout Project. When I saw the video I immediately wanted to go and check out the program to see what SON Ministries was all about. I started to volunteer every Tuesday and Thursday night helping the kids in the program with their homework and reading along with playing games, shooting hoops and just having fun keeping active with the kids. While I was there I started to realize that the people at SON Ministries were in need of some fun indoor/outdoor activities for the kids along with some type of cart to store and bring things up and down from where they stored everything. I thought that making some of these things that they needed would be highly appreciated, so I started to plan out my Eagle Scout project around these needs.
With the storage cart and games in mind I needed to find a way to raise money for these items I wanted to make for them. My thought was based on how much money I raised I would build a rolling cart for storage, a giant outdoor Jenga set and a 9 Square game for them. To raise money for the project I started to collect books that I would then take to Half Price Books store in exchange for money and use towards my supplies. In order to get the word out about collecting books I made fliers and handed them out in my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods around where I live. I also had my Mom post on Facebook and shared with my Scout troop and made an announcement at my FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meeting at school. I received a great response and started to gather the books and hand them in for cash. The more books I collected, the more things I could make and get for SON Ministries.
I was able to reach my fundraising goal and provide all three items; the rolling cart, the Giant Jenga and the 9 Square game. With a team of scouts we cut the wood, assembled it, added wheels and stained the cart. The 9 square game required me to cut the PVC piping, glue and build the frame work. I had enough money to purchase a wheeled trash bin to store all of the piping in when the game needs to be stored or transported. I was also able to purchase a Giant Jenga set with a storage bag that the children will be able to set up in different locations easily; inside or outside.
SON Ministries had their 10th Anniversary Summer Camp Celebration in June and I was able to bring my completed Eagle Scout project; help set up the outdoor games and enjoyed playing with everyone there. Everyone loved it! They all had so much fun playing with everything.
I want to thank everyone at SON Ministries for giving me the opportunity to have fun and also be able to complete my Eagle Scout Project. I will continue to volunteer for this great organization!
Note from Editor: At SON Ministries, one of our core missions is to come alongside the community as they serve their neighbors. Brennan’s story is a great example of someone bringing their own, unique skills to the table to support our programming in a different, fun way. Do you have a great idea? Come to us, we are dream catchers for our volunteers as well as the children we serve!