When Charles Holliman was thinking about what he wanted to do for his Eagle Scout project, he considered the time he had spent volunteering at the Heights Interfaith Ministries Food Pantry.
“They’re only a couple blocks from my house so whenever I was doing any service for any reason, it was always done (there),” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with them, so when I heard that they were needing extra food donations because of the pandemic, I wanted to do one last big thing for the pantry that has done so much good in my community, so a food drive was the perfect opportunity to do this.”
A senior-to-be at Heights High School and member of Boy Scouts Troop 20 for the past six-and-a-half years, Holliman said his initial goal was to get 1,000 pounds of food donated.
He advertised the project in the neighborhoods of every scout in his troop and also gave each troop member a collection of 20 paper bags, which they left on their neighbors’ porches. After a week, troop members went back to their neighbors and collected the food that was left in the bags on their porches.
“Because of this, we were able to collect from such a large group of people all over the city,” Holliman said.
In all, Holliman collected 3,051 pounds of food and $1,635 in donations, all going to the food pantry. More than 50 people helped him advertise, collect, sort and transport the food.
“The food filled up three pickup trucks and an SUV,” Holliman said. “I’m so glad the project was able to happen when it did. With all of the bad news and such in the world right now I’m glad I was able to do a little good and help people.”
HIM’s Executive Director Terri Dougherty said that they have worked hard to stay open during the pandemic, providing a consistent source of nutritious staples for the many Houstonians that have been affected.
“We are truly grateful to the community and especially Charles Holliman for the great abundance of non-perishable products,” she said. “Before COVID-19, we relied heavily on the Houston Food Bank for those non-perishable products. Having the community step up with product donations for us is a gift.”