ALBANY, Ga. -- While a local Eagle Scout candidate was working on his project this holiday season, he decided to do something that might give comfort to family members of those that have reached the end-of-life stage.
Andrew Bode, Sherwood Christian Academy junior and member of Boy Scout Troop 3, is currently coordinating a toy and book drive to benefit visitors of the Willson Hospice House.
The effort's goal is to collect new or gently used toys or books to be used by family members of the facility's patients.
"He met with (Hospice Director) Patty Woodall and thought it would be good to do something for hospice," said the 16-year old's mother, Jenni Bode.
After meeting with Woodall, the decision to move forward with the project was an easy one.
"She showed me the rooms that needed toys, and I thought it would be a good idea," Andrew Bode said.
The project was officially approved in October, and collections began the first week of this month. To help promote the drive, members of Troop 3 have been walking door-to-door distributing hundreds of flyers advertising the effort.
As of Friday afternoon, about 90 toys had been collected for the cause. So, based on the response, it seems like the holidays were a good time to ask families to clean out their toy closets.
"It's amazing," the Eagle Scout-hopeful said. "I had no idea people would donate this much. Thank you to all who have donated."
At least one hospice representative has expressed gratitude for the effort as well. Dr. Lane Price, the facility's medical director, gave the scout a heartfelt "thank you" as she passed by him in the hallway of Willson Hospice Friday afternoon.
When Andrew Bode was asked if he felt the drive would maintain momentum, he said: "I hope so."
Adult as well as children's books may be donated. Receptacles are located at Avalon United Methodist Church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Sherwood Christian and the hospice house.
Donations will be accepted through Dec. 30. For more information, or to arrange a donation pick-up, call (229) 436-1529.