Eagle Scout candidate Christopher Kahler donates 65 backpacks filled with essential items for Gateway clients. He said his focus was not on “fluff” but rather, he tried to think of items people may need as soon as they have fled a dangerous situation such as shampoo, towel, etc. There are 5 types of backpacks and all are labelled: kids – boys and girls, teen, women and “culturally specific” women (he said he wanted to be mindful about everyone not having the same type of hair for instance). There is a hand-written note on every backpack.
Christopher raised a total of $15,000 for Gateway and gave us a check for what he did not spend on the backpacks. This project took him several weeks to complete, from buying the items and then the assembly.
When asked what made him think of Gateway, he said he was struggling with ideas, so he spoke with his Mom, who mentioned Domestic Violence and he said, “it struck a chord.”
Christopher says, “After receiving my Life rank in Scouts (the rank prior to Eagle) I fell into a little bit of a funk where I had a hard time finding a project that I wanted to do and that felt right. I jumped from project to project not feeling any passion or connection. Then as my 18th birthday crept closer and closer my mom and I sat down and started brainstorming on possible projects that I could do. One of the ideas my mom came up with was helping a shelter by providing helpful and needed items. Upon hearing this idea something clicked inside me. After some research, I discovered Gateway and felt a passion and excitement to find out how I could help. I knew this was my project. From there, I worked hard with the help and support of family, friends, and scouts to raise money that would help me create the “Kare Kits”. It gives me so much joy to know that the kits will help those in need.”
It is truly heart-warming to see what this high school junior accomplished on Gateway’s behalf.