By SALLY SEXTON
Cole Enos is a people person.
As a Peaster High School freshman and member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of American, Enos recently got to use his social skills to benefit the club and community through his chapter service project, Build-A-Bag, which backed the Weatherford Center of Hope.
“[Center of Hope] came out and talked to us last year about what they did and what they needed, and I listened, but got busy and just put it in the back of my mind for a little while,” Enos said. “This year, we had to do volunteer service hours and I worked with Center of Hope, making fliers and envelopes to send out to people that had donated in the past.”
After reading one of the fliers, Enos realized the need for the center, as well as his need to help, inspiring the idea of his project.
Enos was one of several FCCLA, formerly Future Homemakers of America, members to participate in the Students Taking Action with Recognition competition. He placed fifth at the regional level to advance to the state competition, held in Dallas in April.
“The Build-A-Bag project was originally supposed to be bags full of supplies that people could purchase at registers and donate, but we kind of started late, so we ended up doing a food and toiletries drive in early February,” Enos said.
Enos, along with two other FCCLA members and an exchange student, set up shop outside of the Weatherford Walmart, handing out a pre-typed grocery and toiletry list, as well as Center of Hope fliers.
The result? More than 90 toiletry items, including toothbrushes, razors, soap and shampoo, 140 canned and non-perishable foods and $205 in monetary donations were collected.
Afterward, Enos presented Center of Hope staff with the items and stocked them on the shelves himself.
“They were really glad to get those things and it just really made me feel good,” he said. “The toiletry shelf was so low that people could only pick out one item. After stocking it, one lady told me it was the fullest she had ever seen the shelf since she started working at Center of Hope.”
With the success of the drive, Enos hopes to make the event a regular thing, and plans on hosting another drive the week after Spring Break.
“We helped, but ultimately, he took the reins and made the phone calls and was really persistent in some areas,” FCCLA advisor and family and consumer sciences teacher Kathy Sears said. “Sometimes, if you’re a teenager, some adults don’t really take you seriously, but he did a great job and I was really proud of him.”