by Lisa Tome
Stephen McKinney's Eagle Scout project isn't the typical community project.
McKinney is working to help those who are fighting for their lives, one can at a time.
McKinney, 16, son of Stephen and Wanda McKinney, and a Rising Sun High sophomore and all As honor student, is completing his Eagle Scout requirements by collecting food for the needy.
But this isn't your typical food drive.
McKinney, a Boy Scout in Troop 131, is stuffing a donated KMB school bus with items which will go to those receiving cancer treatments at Union Hospital. McKinney's Scout Master Robert Farr works at the hospital and made the teen aware of the need. The hospital has a food pantry to serve cancer patients because they often don't have income while battling the disease. "Cancer patients face hardships with medical expenses and we want them to have treatment. I will give them the food," said McKinney. Mark Mears is serving as the project coach. McKinney is expected to earn his Eagle within a few months of wrapping up stuff a bus. He isn't the first member of his family to work for the Eagle. His older brother, Phillip McHenry, who is currently serving in the Air Force, was also an Eagle Scout in the same troop. McKinney's grandfather, also Stephen, earned the Life Scout rank as part of Troop 131.
"I've made a lot of friends through scouting. You learn a lot of stuff and you help people and meet people," he said.
He has been attaching flyers to bags and distributing them. He also has placed drop boxes at several locations.
Pre-fill the bus drop locations for non-perishable items are: CCPS Credit Union in Elkton and North East, North East Police Department, Cecil Sheriff's Office, Rising Sun Town Hall, Tendercare Learning Center off Razor Strap Road, North East, All About You Hair Salon in Perryville, at the bus on December 20 at Walmart North East from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.