Boy Scout holds fundraiser for teens in foster care for his Eagle Scout project

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Liam McClintock, a senior at CAM Academy in Battle Ground and a Boy Scout for Troop 475 in Brush Prairie, has started an Eagle Scout project to gather items for adolescents in the foster care system.

McClintock said he thought about hosting a backpack drive for years, but the idea to serve teenagers in foster care came later on. 

“Foster kids seemed like an excellent choice especially because the people in the community and people I know who have experience with foster children are not the kind of people who just take one or two kids, they take eight or nine,” said McClintock. “I find that really admirable because I’ve always felt that the foster care program always has its issues and the kids need a little more attention in my opinion. That was where I finally found the cause I was looking for.”

He said that while younger children can be distracted from the issues they face with toys or trinkets, it’s harder with teenagers because it takes time to push them out of their comfort zone so they can express what they need. As a result, he feels the teenagers could use some more love and attention.

McClintock’s mother, Ann, is proud of her son’s achievement so far. 

“(He was) always a very serious kid, a very gifted student,” said Ann. “He has a big heart for the things that the rest of us miss. The people that need to be loved the most that maybe everybody overlooks, or the ones who need the most care, he’s always been that kid who gave them that.”

Ann said McClintock is a bright student, who “relates more to adults than kids.” 

“When he was little, if there was an elderly person, his heart would always gravitate toward those people,” she said. “He would just sit with them and keep them company.”

Ann said she’s “bursting at the buttons” and proud of McClintock, noting the project has not been simple. McClintock has been planning it for years, she said.

Since many donation services, like Toys for Tots, exist for younger children, McClintock felt teenage and adolescent foster kids were underserved and needed more attention, which served as the inspiration for the idea. She noted how younger kids are easier to distract with Lego sets and similar items, but teenagers have more complex needs. McClintock has experience working with adolescent foster children and was able to gauge their needs firsthand.

According to Ann, the pair have previously hosted a luggage drive for adolescent foster kids at her business, Five-Star Tattoo, in Battle Ground. 

“It came to our attention through an employee that these kids oftentimes have their personal belongings transported back and forth in trash bags and that just gutted him,” she said. “That was really hard for him to know and to hear, so I said, ‘well what age group do you want to serve?’ and it was a no-brainer for him. He wanted to serve teenagers. He figured it was a group that didn’t get a lot of attention.”

Ann said the project has been successful. They have shared their Amazon wishlist on Facebook and other social media sites. Last Monday, Ann said her son woke up to see 13 Amazon packages on their front porch which were donated toward his effort. They then received more packages throughout the week. For the project, the mother and son duo have collaborated directly with Boys and Girls Aid in Portland.

Besides the backpack drive, McClintock has volunteered at the North County Community Food Bank and the Hockinson Pancake Breakfast.

The wishlist for items can be found online at amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2M5LJK5197T J?ref_=wl_share.



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