DeKALB – With a community project under way, Jacob Marx could knock out not one, but two of his goals.
One is to improve a community kitchen’s children’s area and the other is to earn his Eagle Scout rank.
The 17-year-old Life Scout in DeKalb Troop 33 is on his way to earning the highest rank in Scouting. To reach that rank, Scouts must complete a service project to help the community, and Marx centered his project on improving the children’s area at the Feed’em Soup Community Project.
Marx’s family has been involved with Feed’em Soup since its inception in September 2010, and remembers being there for the first meal served at First Lutheran Church of DeKalb.
His family is active in volunteering with the group, which provides free meals the second, fourth and sometimes fifth Wednesday of the month at its new location at 122 S. First St.
With a different location, the organization has more space for its children’s area, which Derek Gibbs, marketing and brand director for Feed’em Soup, said started out with just a few crayons and coloring books before Marx thought of the project in February.
“It’s a much-needed project,” Gibbs said. “The kids room is pretty much an empty room.”
Since he started collecting items, Marx has helped add tables, chairs and other supplies for art and science projects. He did the project in honor of Alexis “Lexi” Weber, who was 21 when she was killed in a car crash in February 2011. Marx said he knew Weber only in passing, but knew she was a volunteer with Feed’em Soup. The children’s area is now called “Lexi’s Kids Corner.”
“I knew I wanted to do something for Feed’em Soup, so I decided to create an area in honor of Lexi because I knew she wanted to be a teacher,” Marx said.
Gibbs said Feed’em Soup hosts an average of 20 children when meals are served, and ages range widely from toddlers to teenagers.
“We don’t have a budget to invest in nice activities for kids,” Gibbs said.
As his project continues, Marx is seeking donations of all types of supplies, including tables, bookshelves, cleaning supplies, beanbag chairs, handheld children’s computers, toys, games and craft and science supplies.
With a stock of supplies, Marx hopes Lexi’s Kids Corner is a more engaging, educational area for children where coordinators can organize projects for all ages.
He hopes the improved children’s area will be a permanent fixture for Feed’em Soup. He hopes to have the bulk of the project completed by the end of this month.
Once the project is finished, Scouting leaders will evaluate the service project, and Marx will have to answer questions about the project. The leaders then will decide whether he’s ready to be an Eagle Scout.
Gibbs said volunteers typically are in the office Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and donations can be dropped off there.
By NICOLE WESKERNA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Created: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT