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Eagle Scout project becomes Thanksgiving tradition
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
What began as Nick Lamb's Eagle Scout project three years ago became a troop's tradition to help families in need have a Thanksgiving meal.
"It started as my Eagle project," said Lamb. "I didn't want to build a bench or anything, I really wanted to help the community, so I thought what better than to help the Thanksgiving food drive?"
So Lamb came up with a plan. On one weekend, he hands out empty reusable bags with a note asking people to donate the listed canned or non-perishable goods. These goods are often staples of Thanksgiving meals, such as canned sweet potatoes and stuffing mix. The note explains that those goods will be given to Some Other Place to be used for their annual free Thanksgiving Store. The next weekend, he picks up the now-filled bags.
Although Lamb earned his Eagle Scout badge from his project three years ago, he does not want the project to end.
"I just feel that everyone needs to have at least a good meal during the holidays," said Lamb, "and I know Some Other Place helps them a lot, and I just wanted to make sure that they had a good meal."
Lamb's project has become a tradition that his troop wants to carry on, even when Lamb goes off to college next year.
"Without doing this," said fellow troop member, Giovanni Medina, "so many families wouldn't get food and we want to help feed as many people during Thanksgiving. Make them have a good holiday."
The Boy Scout troop collected about 500 bags filled with Thanksgiving items like Cranberry sauce and pie crusts. The Director of Some Other Place, Paula O'Neal, says this contribution makes a huge difference.
"It has truly been a God-send," said O'Neal. "When Nick Lamb came to me three years ago and said, 'I want to do an Eagle Scout Project for Some Other Place, and I want to help feed the hungry.'"
O'Neal says the food collected goes to Some Other Place's free Thanksgiving Store. About 800 people applied to participate in the free store, and about 650 were accepted. Those 650 people will come to Some Other Place on Tuesday to "shop" for their Thanksgiving meal.
"They've been sent a letter, an invitation to come, and a volunteer will take their letter. They'll be given a card that has how many are in their household, and a volunteer will walk them through, just like they were at a grocery store," explained O'Neal.
Participants will be able to pick out whatever they'd like to have for their Thanksgiving dinner. The amount that they are allowed to take depends on the number of people in their household. All of the items are given to them for free.
"We go through the applications and pick out the most needy of those who have applied that we think we can serve," said O'Neal.
Nick Lamb and his troop helped make it possible for those 650 people to be given a Thanksgiving meal.
"It feels really good," said Lamb, "and I'm glad I was able to help the community."