Nicholas Truso's volunteerism on behalf of women and infants at the Women's Life Care Center of Maplewood, MN began about six years ago, when he was a candidate for Eagle Scout. Nick's efforts help give infants born of crisis pregnancies the healthy starts they need for healthy futures.
Women in crisis pregnancies in the Twin Cities urban areas, especially those who are new immigrants, need basic childcare items to make their situations manageable. These items include car seats, strollers, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, baby formula and more. The women in crisis pregnancies often are disconnected from the community. Through an innovative project that he devised at the Women's Life Care Center, Nick collects donations of such items and assembles them into packages for women experiencing crisis pregnancies. Thus, the Women's Life Care Center fills a social gap for these women and allows them to give their babies a healthy start.
Nick devised a program in which he puts up Christmas trees at churches and decorates them with ornaments for people to take home. Each ornament lists an item needed by women in crisis pregnancies and the people who take ornaments donate the items listed on their ornaments. Nick's initiative has served the purpose of providing for the needs of women and infants and of connecting people at area Catholic churches with those in need.
This program could have been a one-time effort, to satisfy his Eagle project requirements, yet Nick continued the initiative, even after entering college. Indeed, Nick has expanded the program by getting more volunteers involved. The coordination of this effort and its successful execution are monumental tasks that result in the accumulation of all the goods and some of the money that the Life Care Center needs to serve its clientele for the entire year. To date, the initiative has resulted in the distribution of over 12,000 items. Indeed, Nick's initiative has been so successful that the Center has been able to double the number of women it serves. Hundreds of young women and their babies have benefited directly from Nick's efforts.
In addition, Nick has been seriously involved with the volunteer initiatives of the Vadnais Heights Rotary Club. In 2004, Nick coordinated a group of 30 people from his high school to raise funds to pay for orphans in India to receive cataract surgeries. Also that year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, he oversaw a school-wide relief effort to gather supplies to aid victims in Jamaica. The following spring, Nick coordinated the collection of over 5,000 books to establish a library in Africa. As a college student, Nick continues his work with the Rotary Club by mentoring and inspiring other young people at the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp. At St. John's University, Nick is a student senator and the sole student member of the university's board of regents.