Charlie Holtsford

Daily Point of Light # 3837 Oct 17, 2008

Charlie has served on a number of mission projects both local and overseas and has seen firsthand the impact of helping others. After researching ideas for his Boy Scout Eagle project he decided he wanted to do a project that would have a significant educational, emotional and physical impact on young underserved children in his own community.

Charlie had previously participated in many mission projects through the youth program of First United Methodist Church including projects at the Nellie Burge Community Center. He saw a need for the children to have a special indoor play area where they could use their imagination and improve their social skills. He thought this play area would give the children an alternative place to play on days when it was either too hot or too wet to play outside.

Charlie raised over $7,000 and organized more than 20 volunteers over several months to make the playroom a reality for the children of Nellie Burge. Volunteers painted the walls of the room, and then painted colorful and playful jungle animals on the walls, and installed padded floor tiles. New toys and furniture items were purchased and assembled for the room including a playhouse, kitchen items, puppets, books, dolls, building blocks and DVD’s. Charlie did this project to earn his Eagle Scout badge with the Boy Scouts. He probably could have done a much easier project but he decided to do something that would have a lasting impact on many and hopefully would improve the quality of life for the children and the teachers and make them feel special. Charlie organized a blessing and dedication of the room after it was completed with the Senior minister of First Methodist and his youth minister participating. All of the volunteers and donors were invited to attend this special event so they could see the results of their contributions of time and money.

Charlie serves on the youth leadership team at church that plans events and activities for the youth program. He also serves at his school as an Ambassador and mentor to elementary aged children. He makes time for all of these activities, and still manages to do well in school where he is an honor roll student and athlete. In balancing his time with sports, church, and studies he was able to make this project a reality which is the most amazing thing about this achievement. He gave up many Friday nights and Saturdays to work on this project and managed to recruit other youth and adults to help him. Because of this play area the children at Nellie Burge will have a new place to play and grow together. It has also given adults that witnessed this project a renewed sense of hope for the future of this generation.