Local teen feeds hundreds through hefty donation
By Keitha Nelson
A 17-year-old Boy Scout aiming to become an Eagle Scout took on an ambitious service project to reach that goal. He set out to raise money for a food donation to a local pantry using the popular crowdfunding site, GoFundMe. He never imagined his efforts would amount to being able to feed hundreds of families.
St. Vincent's feeds an estimated 4,000 people throughout the year, but as the holidays approach their food supply at times can't keep up with the demand. Mid-Monday their pantry shelves were bare. By Monday night a surprise donation came in thanks to the efforts of Drew Portell.
Raised in a middle class family, Portell has never experienced a hungry night. But the Bishop Snyder senior says caring for those most vulnerable in our community is a concern.
"For someone his age to step back and to realize that in his life he has been blessed to not have to experience that but that it's an everyday issue for many families in our community, It really gives you a lot of hope," said Tracie Loftis/St. Vincent's
Portell set up a GoFundMe account aiming to connect with frie
"I didn't know it was going to be so successful," said Portell.nds and family. But complete strangers chipped in and within four weeks he reached his goal of $1,000 and decided to take things a step further.
He set up a collection bin at his high school, Bishop Snyder and one month later was able to deliver enough food to feed hundreds of families.
"Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas I'm so happy I was able to help people that really needed it," said Portell.
Portell hopes to become an Eagle Scout within the next month or two. He's currently awaiting approval from the board of review.