WACO, Texas: Aidan Irwin, a China Spring High School senior and aspiring Eagle Scout, organized and hosted a city-wide blood drive Saturday to benefit Carter BloodCare, who told him they were in desperate need of donations.
Eagle is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America and only roughly 4% of all scouts attain it, with famous recipients like President Gerald Ford and Neil Armstrong. One of the final hurdles a scout has to endure to achieve the rank is to fundraise for, organize, and carry out a service project that is beneficial to his community.
With COVID-19 increasing the need for blood in hospitals, it presented Aidan Irwin with a unique opportunity too good to pass up.
“I was like, I need to do this, I need to put this in action,” Irwin said. “I need to do this right now because people need blood. It’s not a want, it’s a need.”
The blood drive was held outside and in the Irwins’ family business, Stumpy’s Hatchet House in downtown Waco.
For Irwin’s parents, the toughest part was leaving it all to their son, since it is the scout who must lead the entire project.
“The Eagle Scout project is something they have to do themselves,” Aidan’s father, Scott Irwin, said. “The stressful part for us has been standing back and watching him work through the things he needed to work through to plan and organize.”
After 12 years in scouting, Aidan Irwin says the lessons he’s learned in the program have made him into the man who thinks of others first.
“It’s been a very big part and factor in who I am,” Irwin said. “I would say that without it, I probably would not be as self-disciplined and ambitious as I am today.”
The turnout Saturday showed him just how much the community cares about other people as well.
“It warms my heart, it really does, Waco is such a good town, everyone here has the biggest heart,” Irwin said. “It makes me feel like there’s some good in the world.”