GREEN BAY - Some area Eagle Scouts are lending a helping hand to the Freedom House Homeless Shelter in Green Bay.
One community service project to enhance the facility just wrapped up, while another one is just beginning.
"I wanted to do it for a shelter," said Eagle Scout John Deckert.
Led by the efforts Deckert, and with the help of many volunteers, the foundation of a new warehouse is taking shape at Freedom House.
"All my life we've worked with a lot of different shelters, my family," Deckert said.
Over the last two years, the 17-year-old has conceived, planned, organized, led and managed the project.
"When we've come and helped here with food, and different things, and just the atmosphere how all the people are so nice. I just wanted to give back to them of how they've touched my life," Deckert said.
Freedom House officials say with a waiting list of more than 100 families, space is at a premium at the shelter.
It has been a long time dream to have a storage building on site.
"The warehouse will be good for our donations," said Freedom House facilities coordinator, Chuck Mayfield. "We sort through them, or we put them in another truck to hold them, and then we sort them again. But with this warehouse, we can bring them in there, we can do our sorting in there, we can fix, if anything is broken, we can fix it."
While the warehouse project is just getting underway, a second project here at Freedom House just wrapped up. Another Eagle Scout initiated this playground remodel.
"I'm happy with it, it looks good," said Eagle Scout Austin Moore.
Moore spent hundreds of hours and several months planning, raising funds, and finding volunteers.
"I've donated in the past with my family, we've helped out a lot here," Moore said. "I just saw that the playground wasn't in the best shape. I just wanted to add on more to it so the kids could enjoy it a little more," said Moore.
It took two full days to complete the work.
"I didn't think I could do it, but I'm glad I could lead everybody to get it done," said Moore.
The new additions include a sandbox, decking and side fencing, a new beam and A frame for the swing set, plus an additional swing.
"And then we put on a rock climbing wall, a slide, and a new ladder," Moore said.
"It will help our daycare out big time. More activities for them to do. More toys to play with. You know just a lot of extra material that they can use for building and helping teach them things and just play time," said Mayfield.
These projects are great accomplishments for the two young men who initiated them.
"It will be something I can remember for a long time," said Deckert.
But not only did they prove to themselves they could do it, the teens clearly are making a difference in their community.
"We feel great. We feel so blessed that they have picked us to come to Freedom House and to just want to do something for the homeless families in Brown County. We're just so thankful for that," Mayfield said.
These community service projects led by the two teens will earn them the Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor given by the Boy Scouts of America.
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