In planning his Eagle Scout project Nathan Zerko wanted to help his fellow citizens with a need they may have. Zerko visited with Capt. Michael Cox of the local Salvation Army in Pinehurst during the planning stage. The two discussed specific client needs Cox is faced with. When Zerko stated that his project would be done in the late winter, early spring, Cox had the ideal project for the young scout.

“In the winter we always have a need of winter clothing, coats, and blankets. When I told Nathan that, he knew what he wanted to do. He decided to conduct a coat and blanket drive,” said Cox.

The concept of an Eagle Scout project is for the Scout to first decide on a project, then to plan how the project will be carried out. He should also involve other Scouts, friends, and family members in the project to learn to delegate jobs and supervise the overall carrying out of the project.

After Zerko decided on the drive, he designed flyers to pass out in two neighborhoods in Pinehurst. He enlisted fellow scouts to help distribute the flyers.

Zerko designed and placed several collection boxes throughout the community for people to place donations in.

“Families in my community will benefit from this project,” said Zerko. “This project not only helps people in my community, but it also will involve the whole community in aiding others. When people help others, it creates a sense of goodwill that can create unity and responsibility in a community. This project was to help those in need,” said Zerko. “I just can’t imagine anyone going through the coldest months of the year without any warm clothes or food.”

“The response was more that we ever imagined,” said Cox. “While we had expected to receive around 200 items, there was more than that in the first load Nathan brought in. After the second load, we estimate that there have been nearly 800 items brought for the Army to distribute, “said Cox. “The first load went out very fast, within a week to a week and a half. There are still some items left for those that may still have a need. They can contact us at our office, 409-883-4232 if they need winter clothing or some other type of help that we provide.”

Zerko and the Salvation Army personnel were pleasantly surprised with the quality of items placed in the collection boxes. Many of the items were new, with Wal-Mart close out tags still on them.

Once a Scout has completed the Eagle Scout project, he then builds a scrapbook of the project detailing what was done from the concept of the project to the completion of the project. Zerko has fulfilled all the commitments he made for his project. All that is left for him to do is to build his scrapbook, and do the other necessary paperwork to submit to the national Boy Scout office. Once it has been approved, there will be a special court of honor to award the Scout his Eagle Badge.

“Nathan Zerko planned and carried out a project that was of great value to his fellow man. It was a very worthwhile project and Nathan has truly been a blessing to us,” said Cox.
Zerko is a member of Troop 223, chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Orange. He would like to thank everyone for their donations to this worthwhile project.