Grand Falls-Windsor youth strives to ease hospital stay for others

Charity venture part of Scouting efforts


Published on May 19, 2017

Steven Drake, Grand Falls-Windsor hopes to help others who are dealing with a hospital stay while at the same time meeting requirements for a Scout honour.

©Contributed photo

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL-Fourteen-year-old Steven Drake has come up with a unique way to help people during a stressful time in their lives.

The Grand Falls-Windsor teen was hospitalized in August 2016 with double pneumonia and fluid build-up on his lungs. He spent four days in the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre’s Intensive Care Unit.

A Grade Nine student at Exploits Valley Intermediate, Steven has been involved in the Scouts movement for nine years.

His idea to help others came about when thinking of a community project he could do in working towards his Chief Scout Award – the highest award in scouting.

Steven decided to make comfort care packages for patients that come to the hospital who may not have bought personal hygiene and other necessities with them.

“When I was hospitalized, if my parents weren’t from here I wouldn’t have been able to get the simple necessities I’d need. So, then I thought that, with people coming (to the hospital) from out of town, I could give them care bags to help them out,” Steven said during a recent phone interview.

Staff at the hospital’s Emergency Department will give out Steven’s comfort care packages. His target is 50 packages.

He has written a letter about his project that he’s sending to local businesses asking for donations. His project is also outlined on the South and Central Health Foundation’s Facebook page.

“I’m looking to get all my donations by June 10th. That way I’ll be able to make the bags and donate them by around June 15th.”

In addition to the hygiene items, Steven is making a contact list with phone numbers for local hotels, restaurants, taxis, the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

“It’s great to be able to help people in need and to get them the things they need when they are in the hospital or when someone they love is in the hospital,” Steven said.

Steven is an astute teenager. His leadership skills in starting a project to help others no doubt have been honed through his involvement with Scouts.

This is his final year as a Scout. Next year he’ll move on to Ventures. He’s also a Beaver leader.

“Scouts is an amazing movement. You can learn so much about self-confidence and public speaking. You learn about the outdoors, about teamwork and about having fun with other people,” he said.

Steven encourages other teens to find a way to help others.

“Even if it’s just opening the door or helping them with their groceries, we can all cheer up someone else’s life just by making their day better,” he said.

Helping others is also a way to make yourself feel good, he said.

 

“When I help someone I feel humble inside. And these bags I’m putting together is me helping others in the best way that I know how.”

There will be a donation box for drop-offs at the South and Central Health Foundation office (located in the hospital’s lobby).

People can also donate by contacting Steven at 709-489-4202. Monetary donations can be made by e-transfer to randrdrake@gmail.com.

Steven’s parents Rod and Rhonda Drake are behind their son’s project.

“We’re very proud of him,” Rod said.

 

What Steven is hoping to collect for his personal care kits:

 

·      Toothbrush

·      Toothpaste

·      Mouth wash

·      Deodorant

·      Pen and paper

·      Brush/comb

·      Tim Horton’s/McDonald's card for a couple coffee