Well all the planning and preparation finally came to a pinnacle. Carter and 18 volunteers traveled to the Sojourner Center and read to the women and their children. Using books, that we collected over the past two months, shared topics about kindness and appropriately handling emotions. The messages were well received and the volunteers got to see a slice of society they probably don't get exposed to very often if at all.
When we were finished with the reading and the activities associated to them we had donuts. At this point a large group of the youth and one leader left to head home. The rest of the leaders and I stayed back with the scouts (Carter, Jackson, Ethan, and Evan) to string lights in the courtyard . Julie Peterson one of the other directors there was moved to tears by the showing of kindness toward the residence. She said, "In the eight years I've worked here I've never seen anything like this."
Some of the children on sight lit up as they say the pretty lights and I think it's great that his project coincided with the kick off of #LighttheWorld that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has initiated this year.
On the way out of the shelter I noticed two young mean visiting with one of the residents. I walked over to confirm and indeed these young men were Missionaries for the LDS church. They were having a lesson under a street lamp on the cold sidewalk. Elizabeth (as a director) quickly made known to them that they could meet inside a classroom that is inside the first gate but not inside the second. For three weeks they had been having their lessons with this woman on on the curb. When you think about it it was really just like the way the Savior would have conducted his ministry. I'll be curious to see how things go with the discussions and her progression through them. Definitely the meek of the earth.
On the way home Carter went on and on about how he felt the spirit while engaged in the reading. How he felt impressed that what he was doing was making a difference in the lives of these children. I of course agree that what he did for his project was a wonderful thing and how proud he and his mother are of him.
We have some paperwork to complete but for the most part Carter is done with all the requirements he needs to receive his Eagle Scout Award. Our goal was to complete it prior to his 16th birthday next month so he would also qualify for the Denali Award, the highest award possible in Varsity Scouts. He had most of the requirements for Denali completed but he had to have a rank advancement as one of the requirements while a Varsity and in connection with the other requirements. Since he became life before he was 14, Eagle was the only rank advancement left to complete. So it was great incentive to get going on his project since he already has all the merit badges completed and then some.
I AM proud of Carter and how hard he's worked to get to this point. Nothing has ever come easy for Carter so this is a tremendous accomplishment.