Led by Taylor Young, approximately 60 family, friends veterans and volunteers came together to help formally homeless veterans at the Madison Street Veterans Association at The MANA House this spring.
Volunteers and the Boy Scouts of Troop 6 of the Camelback District in the Grand Canyon Council based in Arcadia area did a number of projects at the transitional housing center at 755 E. Willett Road.
“One of the rooms had no divider wall so we built one to add more privacy,” Taylor said. “We also re-painted the red curb along the outside of the MANA House, building shelving units in some of the closets and painted the walls upstairs.”
As a part of his Eagle Scout project, Taylor, a 15-year-old sophomore at Saguaro High School, planned and organized the project. Fewer than 2 percent of all Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts.
“I decided on this project because I wanted to give back to the veterans in need,” Taylor said.
“Troop 6 helped us do some of the projects we wanted to get done at the MANA House; we didn’t have the supplies and manpower to do it all,” said Terry Araman, executive director for the Madison Street Veterans Association and Vietnam Veteran.
Araman, who was homeless after returning from service, formed the Madison Street Veterans Association in 2006. The MANA House was created in 2009 as a shelter for the homeless and displaced veterans. It now houses 51 veterans.
The White House recognized Araman in 2011 as a community leader in President Obama’s Champions of Change program. The program honors members nationwide for their volunteer work to improve the lives of others.
“The leaders and Boys Scouts of Troop 6 are extremely proud of Taylor Young for his hard work and dedication towards completing his Eagle Scout project benefiting homeless veterans,” said John Moody, assistant scoutmaster and Troop 6 advancements chairman.
Peter Young, Taylor’s father, said this project was possible because of local support and donations.
“Taylor contacted three Home Depots for donations and supplies. The first donated a $50 gift certificate, the second donated $100 gift certificate and the third Home Depot was so moved by the cause they donated whatever we needed for the project valuing about $500 to $1,000,” he said.
Other vendors donating goods included Safeway, Albertsons, Domino’s Pizza and Bosa Donuts.
“Troop 6 is proud of its history of giving back to our community, and in this case, we are extremely proud to provide assistance to our nation’s veterans who have done so much for all of us,” Moody said. “We salute our nation’s veterans for their service, and we salute Taylor Young for his leadership on this project.”
Taylor received his Eagle Scout ranking during an awards ceremony in May at the Arizona State Veterans Home.