By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
An important aspect of the Christmas season is helping those less fortunate.
One local young man, 17-year-old Ian Davidson, exemplified this by building an outdoor container for Oxford-Orion FISH, allowing food donations to be accepted after hours and securely protected from inclement weather.
The wooden container, which measures, five-by-three-by-two-feet, took him approximately one month to complete. Davidson began the project the day after Halloween and, with some assistance from his father, Mark, and mother, Shelley, finished it on November 29 and dropped it off at Oxford-Orion FISH on December 1.
For Davidson, who lives in Oxford and is a senior at Lutheran High Northwest in Rochester Hills, this also served as his Eagle Scout Service Project, the culmination of a journey that began when he was in first grade.
These service projects, which must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America (B.S.A.), are required for Scouts to reach the Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement attainable in scouting.
Since the Eagle Scout rank was incepted in 1911, only four percent of Scouts see it through to reach this status, according to scouting.org.
“I started to lookout for places that could use a project, and I e-mailed them (FISH),” Davidson, who is a member of Troop 356, said of how this came to be. “At first, they let me choose between making a sign for them or the box, and I chose the box.”
While the container itself took about one month to complete, the Service Project process was lengthier, requiring Davidson to receive approval for his idea from his B.S.A. Local Council and generate funding for the project, which, in turn, was used to purchase the materials.
“You have to come up with the idea and then get it approved by the council,” he shared. Once you get it approved, you have to obtain funding. What I did for funding was, with the help of my mom, my dad, and his friends, we collected cans and returned them. We got like $320 in cans, and my mom went on Facebook Marketplace and people were willing to give up their cans, so, we went and picked those up.
“For materials, I sent letters out for donations and any help places could give me. Dillman & Upton is where I got most of my stuff from, wood, nails, screws, everything. I sent one out to Home Depot and got some tools from there, too.”
Family-owned and operated since 1910, Dillman & Upton, located at 607 Woodward Avenue in Rochester, is a lumberyard and home renovation center.
Roughly halfway through his last year of high school, Davidson is not sure where he will attend college in 2021-22, but knows he wants to study in the business and finance field.
If you are interested in seeing his much appreciated and needed donation box in action, FISH, who resumed accepting food donations in late-November after the Atlanta, Georgia headquartered Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed their coronavirus (COVID-19)-related guidelines, is located at 1060 South Lapeer Road in Oxford.
Since its founding in 1973, FISH, a nonprofit, has been providing our neighbors in need with free, emergency food. Further information about the organization is available on their website, oxfordorionfish.org, and they can be reached via telephone at 248-628-3933.
By Teddy Rydquist