Boy Scout sends backpacks full of school supplies to Guatemala

By September 9, 2008

USA (MNN) — Part of the Boy Scout oath is to "help other people at all times," and 11-year-old Brady Jackson, a Scout member from Ohio, did just that. After noticing the amount of school supplies that his classmates wasted at Oak Creek Elementary School, Brady asked his fellow students to donate their barely-used supplies instead of throwing them away.

Brady had hopes of earning a Scout badge by gathering the supplies, but he received a much bigger reward instead. Working with Orphan Outreach, Brady was able to send nine backpacks filled with 10-pounds of school supplies — pencils, markers, and glue sticks to name a few — to Guatemala. Brady received the Peace Rose of Guatemala, representing another 24 hours of peace in the country.

"Even if I don't receive an award from my Boy Scout troop," he said, "helping the little kids was reward enough."

Brady's mom, Angie, was proud to witness her son's compassion. With roots in Guatemala, this school teacher and her husband had planned to travel there so that her kids could see how healthy and fortunate they are. "I want my children to see all the ways of life," she said, "including life that they could never imagine."

"I was really unsure how I was going to get nine, 10-pound backpacks to Guatemala without spending a fortune," Angie continued. "I did some research online and came across the Orphan Outreach website. Amy Norton was very helpful and I would encourage other individuals to work through Orphan Outreach to help individuals around the world in need."

Amy Norton, director of programs for Orphan Outreach, and Gloria Caceres, Guatemala program coordinator, helped Brady and his family distribute the packs filled with school supplies to a Baptist preschool in the dump of Guatemala City.

"Some kids were shy but excited, with lots of smiles to get the backpacks full of stuff," Brady said. "My little brother and I couldn't believe all the trash trucks and trash all over the place, [or] the people inside the trucks digging for stuff. We were given a tour of the school, and some of the classrooms were a little stinky."

If Brady could speak Spanish like his mother and grandmother, he would tell the children he met that other kids in the world wanted them to have the ability to learn.

"With the school supplies and backpacks, hopefully the rest of their school year will be great," he said.

Brady also received a certificate for contributing to the peace in Guatemala, which he had awarded to his school because the students were the ones who donated the supplies.

 

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