Local high schooler Christian Stevens recently canvassed his Piney Orchard neighborhood in search of shoes.
His loot: 800 pairs, and hopefully an Eagle Scout honor.
Stevens, a member of Boy Scout Troop 769 in Odenton, recently completed a service project collecting the shoes on behalf of soles4souls, a charity that donates shoes to those in need.
The 16-year-old requested shoes from hundreds of Odenton residents and they came through big.
"It was a lot of work," he said. "But it was worth it. I feel like you can really see how this will help," he said. "Those shoes are going to go somewhere and help 800 people."
In the United States, Soles4Souls is currently focused on needy children in Appalachia, on Native American reservations and in inner city hospitals, as well as abused women and the victims of natural disasters. It also donates to camps for abused and disadvantaged children.
Stevens collected the shoes from residents in September and worked with his parents and fellow scouts to haul them to a warehouse in Frederick. After a review period and interview, he hopes to accept the rank of Eagle, the Boy Scouts' top honor.
For Stevens, it's the culmination of more than six years of scouting. And it wasn't easy to get the project done, as he had to squeeze it in between his studies—he's in the Internationale Baccalaureate program at Meade High—and his job at the Dairy Queen in Odenton.
"I don't like to be bored," he said. "There's so much you could be doing on any given day, whether it's work or school. I just like to be busy."
Stevens said he's starting to turn his sights to college, with Ohio University, Maryland and Anne Arundel Community College on his short list.
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