Eagle Scout donates 400 Hope Kits and brings hope to hundreds of families
When 16-year-old Alex Turzillo, a junior at Tigard High School and a member of Scout Troup 419, was deciding what to do for his Eagle Scout project, he knew he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. He thought about providing a new bench for a park in Tigard or creating a fresh trail for hikers. In doing that, he would improve people’s lives.
But Alex wanted more.
He wanted to demonstrate leadership and service by making a difference in the lives of people who were in desperate need. He had heard about Medical Teams International and its international humanitarian work, so he spoke with a staff member who told him about Hope Kits [PDF], Care Kits or Learning Kits that provide not only simple things like soap, toothbrushes, washcloths, or notebooks, pencils, and stickers—but also hope. These kits are sent to people who have been through a disaster or who live in a garbage dump in Mexico or who live in an orphanage in Romania or Uzbekistan.
So Alex began the project. At first his goal was to collect items for 100 Hope Kits, but his Eagle Scout adviser pushed him to go even further—to assemble 400 Hope Kits. How would he accomplish that huge goal?
He started by asking friends and family members for money to buy the items for the kits. Then he contacted local businesses such as Costco, Cash and Carry, several Dollar Tree stores, Safeway, several Albertson’s stores, Winco, and Walgreen’s, who gave him money he could spend in the store to purchase washcloths, soap, and other items for the Hope Kits. Then he called several dental offices, many of which donated toothbrushes and dental supplies. He even contacted the Collis-Curves toothbrush company in Brownsville, Texas, which donated 1,100 toothbrushes for the project.
“As I collected the items, I was so involved in the mechanics of the project that I didn’t think too much about the people who would be receiving the kits. But when my patrol got together and formed an assembly line to assemble the kits, I realized how useful these things would be for people who have so little. When we counted the kits, I saw how much potential these have to bring hope to people,” Alex said.
“Later I visited the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit and saw the enormity of the need. The statistics were overwhelming. I hadn’t thought about how many people were affected by AIDS or war or the tsunami or the Gulf Coast hurricanes. These people could use what I collected. That made me feel good.”
Learn how your group or family can create Hope Kits [PDF] too.
Alex is only one person, but he has made a difference!
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