Life scout's Eagle Project focuses on showing East Texas kids they're cared for

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A Life Scout in Tyler is busy at work organizing and executing his Eagle Scout Service Project, which he is dedicating to children in the East Texas area.

Garrett Byrd, 17, has been in Boy Scouts of America since he was young. He's also got two older cousins, both of which achieved Eagle Scout status.

"That's been my goal since I was 5-years-old," Byrd said. "To be an Eagle Scout, and that's what I'm trying to accomplish."

Byrd is trying to raise money and supplies to make "blessing bags" to hand out to kids during a special camp this summer. Some of the items he hopes to include in the gallon-sized bags are small toys, snacks, pen and notepads, and kid-friendly books.

"The bags aren't going to change anyone's life," Byrd says. "But we really want to show kids, ya know, they're special, and that people are thinking about them."

Byrd got the idea from his time serving on mission trips with his church. He took inspiration from one particular trip, where his mission group handed out lunches to kids around the Dallas area who may not have had anything to eat that day. 

"When I got back, I said, how can I do this in my community?" Byrd said.

For Byrd's Eagle Project, he will work with the Summer Playground Program, which is a 9-week camp held by the Glass Recreation Center in Tyler. He'll be handing out 400 of the "blessing bags" to the kids involved in that program, which runs close to $3600 in cost. He has received several donations from his community, but he still needs help completing his project.

If you'd like to help Byrd in his mission, you can drop off donations at the Lanes Chapel Methodist Church, located at 8720 Old Jacksonville Hwy in Tyler.

A specific list of what's still needed can be found on Byrd's Blessing Bag Donation Sign up list. 

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