Mineola Boy Scout Christopher Gavin finished the final phase of his Eagle Scout project Monday, giving away 100 care packages to homeless veterans at a stand down event at the American Legion in Hempstead.
Gavin’s project was, like the stand down, geared towards .
“It’s important to keep veterans in mind beyond Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” he said.
The 5-hour stand down gives homeless veterans a chance to get a haircut, have a BBQ and get the clothing they needed. With the help of Gavin and some of his fellow members of Troop 45, they were also able to receive care packages, which included toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorants, shaving cream, razors, socks, toilet paper and soap.
The process of getting to this point was one that started back in April. Gavin had contacted Mineola Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander Manny Grilo in order to find a way he could help local veterans.
Giving out these donations at the stand down seemed the best way, because so many veterans from all over Long Island would show up to the event.
As a part of his senior project for high school, Gavin put on, hosted and performed in a benefit concert in April.
“It was a great way to showcase out school’s talent,” he said. “And the money from it went towards getting the supplies for this.”
Gavin also received donations from places on Long Island, including the New Hyde Park Runner’s Club, raising about $1,600 in total, all of which went towards buying supplies for the care packages. He also had the help of about 15-20 scouts from Troop 45 to help put together the packages, making 100 packages geared specifically for men and 50 for women.
All of that hard work culminated Monday with Gaving saying that he couldn’t be happier with the result as about 130 of the 150 care packages had been given away by noontime.
“Everyone’s been very grateful, friendly and approachable,” Gavin said about the veterans he has encountered so far.
Having from , Gavin will be attending Emerson in the fall to study journalism. The project, along with a write-up and a merit badge or two, will be the end of his Eagle Scout project. He expects to receive his new rank in September.
“I’m just happy to help somebody out,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about with being a Boy Scout – trying to help at least one person every day.”