Eagle Scout project provides comfort to Liberty County foster children

Reed Kotalik sits among some of the items donated or crafted through this Eagle Scout service project. The items were donated to the Rainbow Room in Liberty.

Scouts from Troop 777 from Sam Houston Area Council made a special delivery to Liberty County on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

After leading nearly 50 volunteers to perform almost 600 collective hours of service, Eagle Scout candidate Reed Kotalik delivered “Bolt Bags” filled with essentials and blankets for over 100 foster children to the Rainbow Room for distribution to some of the county’s most vulnerable residents. 

Over the past month, Kotalik has guided his volunteers from his troop, charter partner and community to sew and tie handmade blankets. He developed an Amazon Wish List and fellow Troop members gathered supplies at his request. He organized assembly days so the “Bolt Bags” could be packaged and labeled by age for easier distribution by case workers to the children.

Reed Kotalik and Brandon Wallace from Troop 777, along with members of the Liberty County Child Welfare Board, display the items that Kotalik and Scouts from Troop 777 gathered.

With his Eagle project, Reed wanted to provide comfort to children who were vulnerable and hurting. His vision for the project was something rooted in his own past and inspired by some of his own personal challenges. Kotalik has Cerebral Palsy and Cortical Vision Impairment. After years of treatment for physical pain due to his medical issues, he found comfort in his own blankets. Kotalik was passionate that he wanted to make blankets and provide similar relief for other children. 

Carrying out this final phase of his Eagle project on Aug. 3 was significant to Kotalik. Each year, he does 21 kind acts on Aug. 3 to honor Grant Milton, who suffered injuries in a playoff football game in 2016.

Kotalik kicked off the service day in 2017. It has since become an annual tradition for him, his family and friends. Kotalik’s delivery on Tuesday was #21 for the day. Last year, Reed delivered more than 650 pounds of school supplies to benefit over 100 Cleveland students as one of his 21 acts. 

Cyndie Abshire, president of the Liberty County Child Welfare Board, said, “We were blown away by the generosity of Reed’s project and the level of service along with his commitment. It was most appreciated and inspiring.”

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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