Boy Scout brings gifts for children at Rowan hospital

Kevin Garcia, right, with the help of members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 91 in Concord, brings gift bags for children to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury on Saturday. Also pictured from left are Ethan Briggs, Kyle Garcia (in background), charter organization representative David Cruse, Tom Garcia (in background), Jay Cruse and scoutmaster Tommy Propst.
Kevin Garcia, right, with the help of members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 91 in Concord, brings gift bags for children to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury on Saturday. Also pictured from left are Ethan Briggs, Kyle Garcia (in background), charter organization representative David Cruse, Tom Garcia (in background), Jay Cruse and scoutmaster Tommy Propst.

SALISBURY — At Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, 60 children will be getting a surprise to help take their mind off of what got them there.

For his Eagle Scout project, Kevin Garcia, 17, decided to make 60 gift bags for children at a nearby hospital. He and and 11 other members of Troop 91 from Concord filled each bag with a teddy bear, a coloring book, crayons and a card game.


Garcia delivered the brightly colored bags to the Rowan hospital on Saturday with his father, Tom Garcia; his brother, Eagle Scout Kyle Garcia; fellow troop members Jay Cruse and Ethan Briggs; scoutmaster Tommy Propst; and the troop’s charter organization representative, David Cruse.

Garcia’s family lives close to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast in Concord, but he wanted the gifts to go somewhere that needed them more.

“When I heard about this medical center (in Salisbury), I heard it didn’t get as many deliveries, so I knew they would appreciate it,” he said.

Heather Parrish, certified nursing assistant, said large donations of gifts for kids don’t happen often at Rowan Medical Center.

“Some churches donate here and there,” Parrish said. “The kids do enjoy things like coloring books and teddy bears, especially when they have IV sticks. It’s comforting to them. It keeps their mind off things.”

There were no pediatric patients that Garcia could visit personally Saturday afternoon. Garcia said he had been told that might happen, but he’s still glad he got to see how much the gifts meant to hospital staff.

“It’s just overwhelming,” Parrish said. “It’s very nice for somebody to do this for the hospital. It lets us know the community does care.”

The troop lined up the bags on and around a nurses’ station and then posed for photos with the staff members there.

“Our children will appreciate these gifts very much,” said nurse Ashley Blaisdell. “It can sometimes be boring in the hospital for children, and this will bring them lots of joy.”

For another part of his Eagle Scout project, Garcia collected school supplies for Weddington Hills Elementary School in Concord.

He is starting his senior year at Concord High School.

“Achieving Eagle is just a big deal,” he said. “Everybody recognizes it as important.”

Propst said Kevin joined the troop as a Tiger Scout when he was seven years old, so he has been a Scout for 10 years.

In total, there are 16 Boy Scouts in Troop 91. They meet at St. James Lutheran Church in Concord.

Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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