Zach Fitzgerald didnâ€™t have to look far for the inspiration for his Eagle Scout project.
â€œA lot of students need clothes, so I decided to do what I could to help out,â€ Fitzgerald said.
A senior at Lincolnton High School, Fitzgerald led his classmates in Kathy Bosiakâ€™s science class in planning, organizing and opening a school store, where students can come to find clothes and other needed items for free.
â€œThe whole class participated,â€ Fitzgerald said.
Principal Tony Worley allocated a vacant mobile unit to Fitzgerald and his classmates for the school store. The students spent several weeks and â€œa lot of elbow greaseâ€ to get the unit ready for displaying the clothes, according to Fitzgerald and Bosiak.
The involvement didnâ€™t stop with Bosiakâ€™s class. Â Students from the special-needs class have washed, dried and folded all of the clothing items to make sure they are ready for their new owners.
Additionally, students from the Lincoln School of Technology are building shelving for the mobile unit that will be installed in the near future.
Currently, the unit is outfitted with tables with the clothing sorted into categories, such as menâ€™s and womenâ€™s jeans, shirts and outerwear. Â Thereâ€™s even a table for childrenâ€™s clothes.
â€œWe saw that we were getting some little kidsâ€™ clothing in the donation bags, so we decided weâ€™d set up a table for those items so that students can pick something out for their little brothers or sisters,â€ Fitzgerald said.
On Friday, Principal Worley approved the store for opening and Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland was on hand to help with the ribbon cutting.
â€œI want to thank all of you students for doing what you can to make a difference for your community,â€ Gilleland said.
The store welcomes donations of clothing from the community. Donations can be dropped off at the main office to the attention of Fitzgerald or Bosiak. Girlsâ€™ clothes are especially needed.
Fitzgerald is a member of Troop 73 at Boger City United Methodist Church, where Jerry Talbot is the scoutmaster.
His Eagle Scout project was completed just three days shy of his 18th birthday, which is today.
â€œI will build a little more padding into my time schedule for my next major project,â€ Fitzgerald said.
After graduation, Fitzgerald tentatively plans to attend either Wingate University or N.C. State University. He plans to enter the business and engineering fields, majoring in one and minoring in the other, depending on which school he chooses.
â€œRight now, Iâ€™m leaning toward Wingate because they are a cross-country Division II school, and I could still run track there,â€ Fitzgerald said.
Want to donate items?
Lincolnton High School is located at N. Aspen Street and Paul H. Lawing Jr. Drive.
MARTHA K. SEAGLE, Staff writer