When it was time for me to start working on my Eagle Scout service project my family and I began tossing around different ideas. My dad suggested a toy drive for underprivileged children and that got me searching on the internet for ideas. I came across Pack for a Purpose and was inspired by their philosophy. After doing some research on the different countries and talking with my family we decided that the Bahamas would be the recipient of my Eagle service project. I teamed up with Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau, they support two schools in the Nassau area: L.N. Coakley Secondary School and Gambier Primary School. My focus was to raise much needed school supplies, educational games, sports activities, art supplies, and musical instruments.
I requested help from my family and scout troop, we built six donation boxes and placed them around our town at local business. I used the Pack for a Purpose supply list from the schools and started an Amazon wish list and had my mom post the link to her Facebook page. This allowed friends and family from near and far the opportunity to donate items and have them shipped directly to my house. I was so shocked at all the packages that started pouring in. It was like Christmas every day! My mom had to apologize to our mailman because we were getting packages everyday for two weeks straight. I also used my mom’s Venmo and PayPal account for others to donate cash. With the cash donated I was able to go shopping for additional items that were still needed.
I set a deadline for the donations and rallied my scout troop once again for their help. We collected all the donation boxes from the local businesses, the items that were delivered to my home, the items I purchased and met at my church to start organizing and packing the supplies for my upcoming trip. My mom was able to use her points to book our flight so I knew that we would be allowed to check two bags each, that would be a total of eight bags. My goal was to pack each bag with the maximum weight of 50lbs. to avoid any additional charges. We organized the supplies by size, and I brought a scale to ensure we didn’t go over. Each scout weighed themselves first and then began packing their duffle bag. Once they were ready, they would weight themselves with their bag, we would subtract from their starting weight and determine the actual weight of the bag. If they had capacity, they would continue to add more supplies. Once we were done, we had seven bags with over 300lbs total of donated supplies.
Once we arrived in Nassau, I did not know how customs would go. We had eight bags total for them to check, but it went smoothly. When the guard asked my mom why we had so many bags she told him that I had done a school supply drive for my Eagle project and the bags were filled with supplies for the children of Nassau. We had a van outside ready to take us to our hotel. My family was not able to stay at the Sandals resort, it’s an adult only hotel. Through my email communication with Pack for a Purpose and the Sandals Foundation representative we were able to arrange for them to meet us at our hotel to pick up the supplies. The Sandals General Manager and Foundation representative arrived at our hotel, and they were so surprised to see how much I was able to collect within two months.
This experience was amazing, and Pack for a Purpose is a wonderful program. Using the information on their website made it easier for me to acquire items that were needed for the children in the Bahamas. I’m grateful to everyone that supported me and my Eagle service project and for making it such a great success! My project opened my eyes to how blessed we are, and I am honored that I was able to help others in need. I would highly recommend using Pack for a Purpose on your next vacation travels!