Frank Wheaton is a Life Scout since 2009 with Boy Scout Troop 995, which meets at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Springfield. Every Life Scout, besides earning merit badges, can choose to organize and lead a service project as part of the rank advancement requirement for Eagle Scout.
As of Saturday, June 8, Frank began that process as he pulled up to St. Bernadette Catholic Church to begin his "Small Appliance Collection Drive" to benefit ECHO (Ecumenical Community Helping Others) in Springfield.
He chose this particular project, wrote his mother Joan Wheaton in an email to the Connection, "because he has volunteered at ECHO in the past and realized how valuable the organization is to the community." Four days of collection drives in Springfield were held in conjunction with mass times at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, and at St. Raymond of Penafort on Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7.
Frank advertised the collection drives through announcements in the churches one week prior to the collection dates. About a week after the collection drives, Frank had Scouts gather at his house where the appliances were inspected, cleaned, tested and then delivered to the ECHO building.
The items collected included small microwaves, toasters, blenders, irons, rice cookers, pots and pans, flatware, serving utensils, sewing machines and much more.
The items the Boy Scouts collected are given out to ECHO clients on an as-needed basis, depending on supply. The clients are mostly from the Springfield and Burke area. From the ECHO website, ECHO-Inc.org, Frank used the description "ECHO, an all volunteer charity, gives food and financial help to people with short-term emergencies, and provides clothes and household items to people with low incomes."