A Midlothian teen is setting a goal of making sure that nobody in the city will be out in the cold this winter without protection from the elements.
Boy Scout Troop 512 member John Bumgarner is conducting a community-wide jacket drive on behalf of Manna House, a local community outreach organization, as part of his project to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the program. Bumgarner’s drive begins Tuesday, Oct. 1 and is also in conjunction with Midlothian’s Fall Fest, which will be held on Oct. 19.
“I am collecting winter coats in good condition of all sizes,” Bumgarner said.
Almost 50 young men in Troop 512 have attained the rank of Eagle Scout since the troop was established in 1990, according to the troop’s website. Bumgarner is striving to join this distinguished list.
According to its website, Manna House was created in 1992 as a result of a student-led Problem Solvers project from Midlothian High School to serve the needs of Midlothian residents. From that beginning, local churches backed the idea and the current Manna House was born.
Bumgarner, 17, a junior at MHS, said he has worked with many outreach groups during his Scouting career, including Keep Midlothian Beautiful, multiple Manna House food drives and other city events.
“In the beginning, I had multiple ideas on what I should do for my Eagle project, like mobile gardens for the local retirement community, building hiking trails for the church and even making a Frisbee golf course,” he said. “In the end, I felt a pull/calling to do this jacket drive to help the community through Manna House.”
Bumgarner said he will have a booth at Fall Fest to culminate his project, and in the weeks prior he will be setting up donation boxes at the MHS library, Frank Seale Middle School and La Rue Miller Elementary School leading up to Fall Fest.
In addition, donation boxes will be set up at First Baptist Church Midlothian, First United Methodist Church, and the Kroger and Brookshire’s supermarkets.