PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area Boy Scout has raised more than $6,000 to create nearly 200 care packages for local foster children in need.
Aidan McClendon, 13, said he was angered by a story his mother told him about the plight of foster children, so angered, in fact, that he decided to do something about it.
“My mom heard a story on the news about how foster kids were getting rid of what little they already had because of bed bug infestations,” he said. “So I thought if maybe we could fix that problem, it maybe would be one of the better things to do.”
Full of determination and despair, Aidan decided to turn his community project to become an Eagle Scout into helping foster children in need.
Soon after, Aidan started a GoFundMe page, with a goal of raising $4,000 to purchase large duffel bags for the children.
At the end of the fundraising period, Aidan had earned more than $6,000, including fundraising at a local farm stand.
The money was used to purchase 176 duffel bags, soap holders, toothbrushes, combs, travel kits, new pillows, new pillowcases, blankets and toothbrush holders.
The bags were filled with the items and donated to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, who then distributed them out to foster children.
Arizona Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay said men and women of all ages can learn a thing or two from Aidan.
“We at DCS cannot do this alone,” he said. “We need the entire community to come together (and) help our children. We need young men like Aidan to lead the way.
After this project, while Aidan does not have any future career plans yet, he said he wants to do something to help others — which can be possible with his newly-earned Eagle Scout status.
KTAR News’ Brian Rackham contributed to this report.