Since he was 6 years old, Tim Madsen has wanted to be an Eagle Scout. Now, at age 16, he is weeks away from making his dream a reality.
In order to make Eagle Scout, Madsen, who is senior patrol leader for Troop 138, is required to complete a community service project, and he has decided to organize a project that will support veterans who have fallen on hard times.
Madsen has organized a collection drive for a variety of items for veterans staying at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol.
The Bishop Hendricken High School sophomore said he knew he wanted to do a project that would benefit veterans and looked at helping other organizations such as Wounded Warriors. The collection drive idea was the one approved by his Scout Master, Troop 183 Committee and the Narragansett City Council.
“They risked their lives to help serve our country, and some of the ways they are provided for [when they return] are not at the standard they should be,” said Madsen, adding that this project is an attempt to give these soldiers what they deserve.
Madsen explained that residents of the Rhode Island Veterans Home range in age from 30 to 100, and many are suffering from illness, whether it is a mental or physical one. He also said the home will take in veterans who are homeless.
“It is basically a nursing home, but they take in homeless veterans,” said Madsen.
His project will provide many basic needs for these individuals, as well as some items that many take for granted. A listing of needed supplies is available at each drop-off bin. The list includes toiletries, art supplies, games, batteries, books, clothes, accessories and even electronics. Since the Home has both male and female residents, items for both genders are welcome.
“Basically, [I am collecting] the kinds of things we use every day,” said Madsen.
Currently, there are four collection bins in the area. The three Warwick bins are at Central Library, St. Kevin Church and Hendricken High School. A final bin is located at Our Lady of Good Council in West Warwick.
Madsen said he plans to have more bins throughout the city once he receives permission from various locations.
St. Rose and Clement Church and St. Timothy Church have agreed to let Madsen place bins at their locations. Madsen said they should be in place sometime this weekend.
Madsen plans to conduct the drive until early June, although he does not have a set end date yet.
Should he achieve his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout, Madsen says he is not done with the Boy Scouts organization just yet.
“I enjoyed every aspect of being a scout,” said Madsen, adding that he believes the experience helped to foster leadership skills.
When he becomes an Eagle Scout, Madsen will be allowed to help the younger scouts as they progress through the program until he reaches age 18 and “ages out.” However, Madsen could see himself returning to the Boy Scouts to be a Scout Master.