By Anna Skinner
Jared Stigter of Boy Scout Troop 215 is working on his Eagle Scout project a little bit earlier than most. At age 15, the Carmel High School freshman working to aid a refugee family that has plans to move from Burma to Indianapolis. He is collecting furniture, towels and other necessities needed for their new home.
“I chose this project because I thought it would be extra beneficial to this family who has gone through horrible situations and I thought they could use the help,” he said. “I’m taking donations of items that are needed to set up an apartment.”
Stigter is working with the organization Exodus Refugee Immigration for those wishing to make monetary donations instead.
“I’m broadcasting my project throughout Carmel High School and my church (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.) I have a website and there are forms to sign up and volunteer time and items,” he said.
The family consists of a father, mother, a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old son. So far, Stigter has received a mattress, high chair, kitchen table and chairs and an entertainment center.
“Anything is great and appreciated,” he said. “I’ve met a refugee family before, and they’re very similar to us, and they came to the U.S. with nothing, so I thought it would be great to help those similar to them that have been through violent situations.”
Stigter joined Cub Scouts when he was 8, and he moved up to Boy Scouts at age 11. He said the main reason behind his acceleration with the project is his schooling.
“I’ve made it a priority because high school will soon take over most of my time, so it needs to be done,” Stigter said. “Boy Scouts has taught me some hard work and survival skills. They’ve been very good to me, they’ve taught me service and leadership. They have really polished me out.”
To donate furniture, visit http://jaredstigter.wix.com/exoduseagleproject. To donate money or gift cards, visit https://exodusrefugee.org/getinvolved_onlinedonations.html.