Eagle Scout project creates ID cards for seniors and kids
Chad Holland, 14, of La Grange, explains his program to create identification cards with emergency contact information to seniors June 25 at the Plymouth Place retirement center.| Photo courtesy of Valerie Holland
Updated: August 13, 2012 7:07AM
LA GRANGE — A better than expected response created a happy dilemma for Chad Holland of La Grange in delivering on his Eagle Scout project at the Plymouth Place retirement center in LaGrange Park.
“It went really well,” Holland said concerning his project to create medical emergency identification cards June 25 for retirees. “I had just under 100 people in two hours, which I think was pretty good.”
Unfortunately, the software and printer weren’t working properly to turn out ID cards with a senior’s name, medical situation and phone numbers for two emergency contacts.
“I found another way to pass out the cards so the elderly did not have to just sit and wait for the cards,” Holland said. “I ended up putting the cards in their mailboxes, or they also could sit and wait.”
As seniors lined up for the cards, Holland, 15, and two fellow scouts from Troop 12 at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs wrote down the information and handed the sheets to a member of the La Grange Police Department to enter the data in a computer and print out the cards.
“I got so many thank yous for doing the project,” Holland said. “I didn’t realize people would like it that much. It was something they actually wanted.”
Holland said he got the idea while baby-sitting for a younger child in the neighborhood whose mom prepared an index card with emergency contact information.
“At first I was going to do the project just for kids. But then I realized the group the project would benefit the most was the elderly,” he said. “If they fall and can’t talk, they’ll have a card with them, and the paramedics will know who to call.”
Eventually, Holland said he decided to open up the project to area children; he contacted neighbors and got on a few email lists to spread the word. Summer presented a challenge with many families away, or their children were in summer school.
“I learned how one project could help a community and all different age groups at one time,” he said.
Holland said he enjoys scouting activities and playing on a traveling lacrosse team and a team at Lyons Township High School, where he will be a sophomore in the fall. He also participates in peer leadership activities and plans to become involved with LTTV, the school’s public access cable TV program.
“Scouting helps build character,” he explained. “You learn how to solve any sort of problem and appreciate being outdoors. It’s just an overall amazing program and can turn almost anyone into a leader.”