Troop 339 Life Scout Stewart MacNaughton recently came across a staggering statistic: a combined 2,000 homeless people live in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City.
This, coupled with his own observations, inspired him to focus his Eagle project on a Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church program that identifies homeless people in need.
“I have friends from Annapolis who lived in substandard housing,” said Stewart, whose troop is based at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church. “This isn’t the same, but I still want to make a difference for shelter for those in need.”
Stewart worked with Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church’s senior pastor, Sonia King, to identify the need for tents. He is now collecting and cleaning used tents for people living in homeless camps in Anne Arundel County and south Baltimore City. Stewart is also seeking funds to buy tarps to serve as ground cloths, replacement rain flies, paracords to replace tent poles, and zippers or grommets for otherwise useable tents.
“Stewart's Eagle Scout project will be a blessing to our homeless brothers and sisters in the community,” King said. “Many of them are sleeping outside in the elements, and a tent would be helpful to provide some protection from the rain, wind, sun and in the winter snow. We are always asked if we have any tents, and most times we have to say no. With this Eagle Scout program, we will be able to say yes again.”
As of August 1, he had collected 30 tents. To donate a tent, email email@example.com. Stewart is will pick up tents, even damaged tents, which can be salvaged for screen, fabric and poles.
Monetary donations can be made by visiting www.gofundme.com and searching for “Tent Drive for the Homeless, near Baltimore MD.”
“I am eager to continue my project and to help those in need,” Stewart wrote on his GoFundMe page. “I feel bad for our community neighbors needing emergency shelter. I want to help.”