When Thomas Sanchez turned 14, he knew it was time to select his eagle project. He originally looked for what would be the easiest project and could be completed quickly. He thought about making more benches in the Jensen Park. He met with another eagle candidate, Diego Alcala, who he wanted to work with for his project. They measured and counted how many would be needed. It seemed like everything was working out very easily and was coming together quickly.
Then the boys met Carlos Tipiani, who travels consistently to Peru on his own dime to do charity work. When Thomas and Diego heard some of the stories of the great need in Peru, they decided to change their project. They found out that children do not beg for candy in Peru but will ask, instead, for a notebook and pencil to study with. They decided their project needed to be to collect school supplies for the children in Peru. Even though the project was going to be significantly more work than the bench project, they were so excited to be part of something like this. They started by making a Facebook page and began sharing their project to the residents of Syracuse. People came forward, many of them were coming to us through private messages because they wanted to remain anonymous. It was very inspiring.
Many people gave them everything they had at home; there were others who even ordered from Amazon to give school supplies. Some gave cash so supplies could be purchased at lower prices in Peru. The boys and their families were in shock at how generous people were. They began to realize that, even though on the news, you see the stories of people doing bad things or of bullies in school, there are still good people in the world, and this project brought out the best in our community. Thank you to each of you who donated and made a difference in this gesture of human kindness.