Giving Back as an Eagle Scout
Leadership can come in many different forms. This is something that Zachary Garza, age 15, knows well. As a Life Scout (Kingsville, Texas, Troop 147), he is a model for community service. Arms Wide is fortunate to be the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project, taking place now through mid-May, 2023. In this Spotlight, Zachary shares his motivation for giving back and how the community can help him support children in foster care.
Giving Back to Arms Wide
The Garzas have been part of the Arms Wide family for years, so when Zachary began thinking about his Eagle Scout project, he wanted to give back to Arms Wide. Children in foster care often move from house to house with their belongings in trash bags, and Zachary wanted to do something to give children the dignity they deserve. At first, he wanted to raise money for suitcases for children in foster care. But as he thought more about it, he came up with a way to make an even bigger impact.
Building an Angel Room
Zachary decided to outfit the Angel Room at Arms Wide’s South Texas office with the infrastructure it needs to help even more children long-term. The Angel Room is a resource for children in foster care and their families. Families can visit the Angel Room to pick out new clothing, toiletries, toys, duffle bags and other essentials.
Zachary’s goal is to raise $1,500 through a GoFundMe to add shelving, storage containers and supplies for the Angel Room. “I went last Saturday to take measurements,” Zachary said, “and some Scout friends are helping me build the project. It’s a team effort with the scouting community.” In addition to the Angel Room shelving and storage, he wants to fill the room with some items that our kids need most: socks, underwear, backpacks, suitcases and tennis shoes. “I want to make sure kids in foster care know they have resources available,” Zachary said.
Zachary’s efforts come at just the right time for our South Texas office. “Zachary’s Eagle Scout project is creating a resource room to organize donated items, which in turn benefits families we serve in South Texas in the Foster, Adoption, Post Adoption, Post Permanency programs with Arms Wide,” said Indira Garcia and Delia Lopez from our South Texas Post Adoption team. Moreover, his project not only provides resources, but also raises awareness of what children in foster care need.
Leadership as a Mindset
Leadership is a key value for Life Scouts. For Zachary, this project is not just about being a leader or a role model; it’s about helping people in need. “Leadership is not a position, but a mindset,” Zachary shared. “Many people take the title but not the role of becoming one.” He also shared that being a leader can fluctuate based on what the circumstances are. “In this case, it’s helping people, giving back and providing things they need,” Zachary said.
At Arms Wide, we are so proud of Zachary and all his accomplishments. He invites the community to learn more about his Eagle Scout project and join him in supporting children in foster care. All children deserve to feel valued and supported. That’s why we’re so grateful for young leaders like Zachary who lead by giving back.