When Nick Mefford needed an Eagle Scout project, he decided to look at the bigger picture.
Mefford chose to start supplying the Boscobel Primary School outside Ocho Rios, Jamaica, with school supplies.
Four hundred pounds of school supplies to be exact.
Since he started his project two years ago, Mefford has been able to make two deliveries to the school in person.
“We gathered about 200 pounds in the first year,” he said. “We could only take 25 with us to the kids and sent the rest over by mail.
“The first time when we took it to the kids, they were extremely excited. They were fighting for the supplies.”
Twenty-five pounds is the limit Mefford could take to get cleared through Customs.
After easily making his first goal of 200 pounds of supplies, Mefford decided to go for another 200 pounds. He’s currently 50 pounds shy of that goal and the end of his project.
He’ll be collecting donations Sunday at the Boy Scout Pancake Feed at the Gretna American Legion. The feed runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items can be placed in the donation box.
Mefford said he’ll send along anything that can help schoolchildren.
“Children’s books, coloring books, backpacks filled with textbooks people don’t use anymore,” he said. “We take all kinds of stuff that has to do with school or things that kids in the elementary school age would use.”
But perhaps the biggest gift Mefford delivered wasn’t for the children. It was for Principal Perleta Trail.
For nearly a year she had been asking for a computer printer and copier. People would donate one to her, but not give her the supplies needed to run it.
Mefford brought her a new printer along with the supplies she needed.
“It was amazing,” he said. “Being able to give that to her with all the supplies we could buy with all the donations, she was ecstatic.”
While his Eagle Scout project is nearly completed, and his time in Boy Scouts is quickly running out, Mefford said he wants to keep his pipeline of donations open to the kids in Jamaica.
“I’m looking at the idea of continuing this after the Eagle Scout project just because I like doing it a lot,” he said. “Hopefully, we can visit the school in the next couple years just so see how they’re doing.”