decided that Taylor would do a food drive during the holidays to help the needy in our community. Taylor met with Jim Thomas the director of the Community Action Services in Provo to find out what would be required of him for his project. That was
the first step.
In November Taylor got his quorum together during mutual to help him attach flyers (which had information on them) onto paper sacks that would be delivered to each home in two wards.
Our next step was to deliver the flyers. We chose the last Saturday in November to deliver the flyers. We had the boys come to our house early for a breakfast of french toast and ham with juice and fruit.
That was a big hit, thank goodness, because we were asking the boys to deliver the flyers on the snowiest of days.On the morning of December 8, 2007 Taylor, Tyler and Cheryl and boys, Trent and Jessica, Tracie and Austin, and HayLee and Justin all put their shoulders to the wheel and went to work. They made phone calls to remind people to set out their sacks, they loaded the truck, they helped with the cinnamon rolls for everyone, they worked together like a fine oiled machine. After all the food was picked up everyone headed to Provo to the Food Bank to unload the truck.
We decided to do the pick-up of the food on the same day the community was doing a food drive. December 8, 2007 was the day of the pick-up. A few weeks before the drive Dad had decided he wanted to go on a little get-a-way. He got tickets for Vegas which ended up being on the 8th of December. His credit card had already been charged so there was no changing of the date. When I pointed it out to Alan that Taylor's project was on that date he about died. What to do? The kids came to the rescue. All of Taylor's siblings that lived in Utah helped make the project go ahead. I really had a hard time not being there for Taylor, yet on the other hand it was a great opportunity for the kids to step up and work together to help Taylor. I was very proud of the way they all worked together to make it happen. So Dad and I took off on our little get-a-way for a few days and left everything to the kids.
When they arrived everyone was surprised to find the place was crowded with people. As soon as they backed the truck up to the dock it was unloaded in a matter of seconds. Everyone was prepared to work at the food bank , but because there were so many people already helping, there wasn't an empty spot to work.
Taylor still needed to work at the food bank to fulfill his eagle requirements, so he called the food bank and arranged for a time that we could work there. They told us that we could work on the 27th of December, which would be during Taylor's Christmas break. When it came time to work there was only Taylor, Kris, Alan and Jamison Hatch that could help out. We showed up at the food bank and Taylor was instructed on what we would need to do. Taylor checked us in and we went to work.
Taylor still had to work for four hours to complete his project, so after Taylor signed us in we got busy. We had to fill boxes of food for different sizes of families. There were several bins of canned goods of meats, vegetables and fruits. We had to fill each box with a certain required amount of meats, fruits and vegetables per size of family. We stacked the boxes on a pallet. After four hours of filling boxes we had filled several pallets with boxes. Afterwards we treated ourselves to dinner at Wingers. It was a great experience being there and knowing that we participated in a small way in helping the needy in our community.
A few months passed as Taylor worked on his paper work for his Eagle and it was extensive. A lot of work was required to get all of the paper work done. I had no idea all the work that was required. From counting the hours of every single thing that was done by every single person, to the documentation of everything. And then you had to get six letters from people that would recommend you to be an Eagle, that seemed to be just as hard. We turned his project in and had to wait to hear from the Stake Eagle Specialist. It came back and we had to fix some things before his project could be submitted. Man, I didn't think that we would ever get his project approved. Finally we got it back and the Stake set up a time for Taylor to have his Eagle Board of Review in October of 2008! Almost a year had passed since he had done his project. We couldn't make the first review date because Taylor had a football game, but in November he was able to have his Eagle Board of Review. He had to be fully dressed in uniform and his parents had to be there. At the Board of Review the parents had to leave the room and Taylor was all alone with the review board. I was nervous for him. Then they called us back to the room and told us that Taylor was now an Eagle Scout and congratulated us. Whew! We waited for his pins to come from Scout Headquarters and by January of 2009 they finally arrived. What a long journey to get his Eagle, but we still had to schedule his Eagle Court of Honor. Time passed quickly and before we knew it summer was almost over. The scout leaders, along with Alan, planned to have an Eagle Court of Honor for 3 boys in our ward. The Court of Honor was planned on September 1, 2009 at our Stake Center. The moms were asked to do a life sketch of the boys as well as having a table set up to show something that reflected the boys. The talk I could do, but what to do for the table? I chose to scrapbook Taylor's life in scouts and set out the pages on the table. The Court of Honor went very well. Dad had the privilege of doing the Eagle pledge with the boys. I thought it was quite an honor for Alan as well as for Taylor to have his Dad involved with his Eagle Court of Honor. When it was time for me to get up and talk about Taylor, I decided to say some funny things about him and maybe, just a little, embarrass him. I was glad that Taylor was laughing. Dad put together a short video of the boys. We had some really funny pictures of Taylor in the video. When it was time to do the pinning I struggled a bit to get Taylor's pin on. I teased him that I was going to poke him. After the boys received their Eagle pins they were each to get up and give a few remarks. There
were a lot of people from the ward in attendance and what family could attend, were there. Tyler and his family, Trent and his family, Tracie and Morgan (Austin was at school), Grandma and Grandpa McNeil, Sharon and Norm, and Taylor's best bud, Camilo, and good friend Rachel were there. It was a great evening and it was a wonderful feeling to have Taylor receive his Eagle award. "The Eagle Has Landed!--FINALLY!"