The work of a 17-year-old Boy Scout has gone a long way toward making a local homeless shelter feel more like home for residents.
Brandon Davis, a Mount Airy High School senior, built a playground bench at the Shepherd’s House shelter on Rockford Street for an Eagle Scout service project.
“It’s wonderful,” said Mary Boyles, executive director of the home. “There was no place for parents to sit at the playground. Now there is a place for parents to sit and interact with each other while their kids get to know each other.”
Davis planned the project and rounded up his fellow Scouts to make it happen last weekend. His team sank the posts for the bench on Friday and finished the rest on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“It went very smoothly,” he said. “It was rewarding to see it come together.”
When Boyles saw the finished product upon arriving at work on Monday, “it just brought me to tears,” she said. “I never had a vision it would turn out so beautiful.”
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America.
Requirements, which often take years to fulfill, include earning at least 21 merit badges, demonstration of strong character, and an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.
Only a small percentage of Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process.
Franci Davis said her son got started later than many Scouts and with his 18th birthday approaching had to work extra hard to complete the requirements.
“His father, Warren Davis, and I are very proud of the man he’s becoming. It makes me feel good to see him doing good for others,” she said, adding that her son has always demonstrated a generous spirit.
“It started with his brother,” who is almost two years younger, she said. “He’s always helped him. (Brandon) would get down on all fours so (his little brother) could climb up on his back to reach the drinking fountain.”
Brandon Davis often helps his grandmother, nieces and nephews and has been involved with other volunteer and service projects with church and local organizations.
“There are many that look up to him and know that they can go to him whenever they need help,” Franci Davis said.
Family also motivated Brandon Davis to work with the Shepherd’s House for his Eagle Scout project.
“A while back my sister had to stay there,” he said. “I wanted to be able to give back to the people who helped her.”
Although he still has paperwork to complete before officially earning the rank he said, “I’m excited to be finally getting to that point.”
Davis will attend Brigham Young University in Idaho after completing a two-year mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints.
“I just think it’s amazing what young people do,” Boyles said.
“There were so many people out here to support him. Seeing these young men come together to do something for the homeless shelter just touches my heart.”
Clients at the Shepherd’s House have been enjoying the bench, which is covered to provide protection from the elements.
“We’ve got some families who have been out there, and even some single ladies going out and just kind of reflecting and enjoying a place of solace,” Boyles said, adding that it’s not just the structure that makes a difference.
“It shows clients there are people in this world that care about them and what they’re going through,” she said. “Making it feel like home gives them more hope for a better life.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.