The donation room was overflowing at Faith United Methodist Church, making it the perfect project for Sam Santavicca, who volunteers at the church's soup kitchen, to tackle to earn his Eagle Scout badge.
"When I was volunteering at the soup kitchen, the pastor said to me if I needed a project idea to talk to him," said Santavicca, who earned his Eagle Scout on May 7. "I talked with the pastor and he said the donation room was overflowing. So we came up with the idea to build storage shelves," said Sam Santavicca, who received his Eagle Scout award on May 7.
Santavicca, a junior at GlenOak High School and a member of BSA Troop 12 in North Canton, showed proposals to the pastor for approval.
"The entire cost of the project was $400," said Santavicca, the son of Jeff and Susan. He also has a brother Nick. "There was this guy in Akron, who had plywood cut to size. The plywood was recycled engineered boxes. I had to buy the plywood and screws. And I bought 18 gallon plastic bins from Sterlite."
Typically, scouts earning this award need to fundraise for the project. Santavicca lucked out in that his troop sets a $1,000 aside for each project through the Eagle Scout fund. If the $1,000 is not used, then the balance is donated back to the troop. However, Santavicca did not need his troop’s funds.
"My grandmother has a friend (Paul Stoffel) who races horses," said Santavicca, who is a three-year academic letter winner and also participates in cross country, swimming and track. "He won and donated the winnings to the project."
Santavicca said he came up with designs and then his dad helped him build the 20 cabinets. Once the cabinets were built, Santavicca and his dad transported the bins to the church in the family’s minivan. Santavicca's troop members and his cross country friends helped install the bins.
Santavicca, who wants to be an architect, talked about how this project helped him with his future career.
"I used Google sketch up rooms and boxes," said Santavicca, who is a member of the National Honor Society and Ohio Model UN and is the entertainment editor of the school newspaper – The Eagle. "I felt like an architect putting in room sizes. I did the STEM program at Oakwood Middle School and GlenOak.
"This project taught me about preparation and preparedness. I also learned about time management. This project took one whole year to plan and do. But actual work time was two months. "
Santavicca, also a lifeguard in the summer, said he has gone back to the soup kitchen three or four times since the shelves were installed in September. He said the room where supplies are kept seems to be more organized and efficient.
A member of the Boys Scouts since second grade, he initially joined the scouts to learn to shoot a bow and arrow. But Santavicca talked about what the scouts has taught him.
"I have made a lot of friends in scouts," said Santavicca. "I had a lot of cool opportunities that I could not have had anywhere else. I took week long trips to New Mexico and Minnesota. The high adventure camps taught me to be prepared and manage myself and scouts in the wilderness."
Santavicca said his family has traveled primarily up and down the East Coast on vacations. He enjoyed his time in the Upper Midwest and, during or after college, he would like to go out and explore the West Coast.