Clothing and Outdoor Gear Drive for Haywood Street Church

Provide warmer gear and items to people in need


Background Information

Henry Lytle designed this project. He is a 16-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, an avid kayaker and outdoorsman.  Henry earned his Eagle Scout this summer and for his project he built bat houses to support the population of bats in the Nantahala National Forest. Henry is now focusing on a project that positively impacts the community directly in Asheville. There are a limited number of homeless shelters in the Asheville area and about 550 people are currently struggling with this. Every year 22 million dollars annually in taxes go to supporting people struggling with houselessness in his county.

“Although I cannot provide beds as a permanent place for residence I am still working to help support people experiencing homelessness. I am doing clothing and outdoor gear drive for a local Homeless shelter downtown.” – Henry Lytle

Henry wanted to facilitate a project that many people in the community can help in by dropping off items. Henry is striving to help provide warmer gear and more items to people that do not receive as much support as they need. He hopes to help combat this issue and keep people warm and safe that would otherwise be struggling.

Implementation of Project

Henry’s project began with advertisements for volunteer scouts at scout meetings. He began texting and advertising to friends and his parents’ friends via social media and text in order to raise awareness about the project. He wanted to ensure that people in the community knew about the project.

Henry ended up getting 6 scouts to help organize the gear clothing and outdoor gear into specific bags. These scouts ranged from ages 13-16 and they all helped make this project happen. Henry worked hard to stay organized and plan ahead for his events. He set a date for March 20 and planned to obtain donuts and drinks for those coming to drop off items. He worked with his scout troop and a local church called Saint Paul’s Methodist church.

Henry was very detailed in his original plan in Idaho, which set his up for success at home.

“There were about 40 people that helped donate and support this drive. I think that my advertising and continuous focus on the project helped everyone in the community hear about the project. Planning ahead and advertising a week in advance also gave everyone a long notice. I think the planning was not the hard part.” – Henry Lytle

Results of Project

Henry was able to procure 28 bags of clothing, 4 sleeping bags, 10 pairs of shoes, 2 backpacks, and additional cash donations, all of which were donated to the Haywood Street Congregation, which supports the homeless community in Asheville. Henry spent 10 hours of his own time planning the service project and executing it. With the 6 scouts help, the project earned an additional 12 hours from them. Although the number of hours may not seem tremendous, the assistance and usefulness of the project cannot be overlooked. Henry was written up in the Haywood Street Congregation magazine for his efforts to support the homeless community in Asheville, NC.

“I feel that I have made a difference in the community. For projects like this one, where you can see the impact directly, it is truly impactful and special. I hope that all of this gear is used for good and that my drive helps make a difference.” – Henry Lytle

Henry is very pleased with the results of the project and hopes to continue his community service throughout high school in the Asheville Community.

What’s Next

Henry plans to continue leadership and community service in the rest of his high school career. He is hoping to execute two more major service projects, bringing him up to four total for his high school career (one per year). He hopes to work again with the Haywood Street congregation and attempt to spread the word on issues of homelessness in the Asheville area.

Henry is considering doing this project again next year for Haywood Street, but also wants to use this project as a springboard to accomplish other community service goals for Asheville.

“I love to work on projects that I can see the result of. It makes me feel accomplished and fulfilled.” – Henry Lytle

Henry plans to continue fishing, kayaking, and enjoying the outdoors, with a goal of doing other projects in that field. Henry plans to attend college and pursue a broadcast journalism career and is undecided on college. He is grateful that this project was able to help the community and hopes that it raised awareness on the issue of homelessness in the community.