TAMPA, FL - A Tampa teenager is choosing to spend his free time helping others during the pandemic.
Jayden Swick-Custer is an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 50, Two Rivers District and is raising money to create face shields to donate to the Salvation Army.
"Knowing that they kind of provide these programs and having seen people in my life who have pretty much had their lives turned around because of these programs has kind of been a big inspiration for me," Jayden said.
His passion for helping others is evident on his scout vest, but when the pandemic hit, he like many other people wondered what they could do to help.
"When I was first kind of coming up with the idea I was thinking 'well is there even anything that I can do to sort of help the pandemic,'" Jayden said.
After a brainstorming session, his mom introduced him to MRG Labs.
Michael Gunn is the founder. He started the company in March to mass-produce face shields for anyone in need.
"I knew the printing would take off. What I didn't know was that it could happen so readily in the community involvement," Michael said.
In a few short months talks turned into action.
"This was kind of an opportunity to teach some STEM education but as well help him in his endeavors to rally his troops to get them to volunteer to learn how to do this, but also to help the Salvation Army," Michael said.
As an Eagle Scout himself, Michael knew the work and dedication it takes to complete the task Jayden has taken on. For Jayden, this was his way to contribute during a time of need.
"As cliche as it sounds you do have the power to do something," Jayden said. "It doesn't have to be some huge scale worldwide project. It could just be something in your local community or even one organization."
Jayden would like to raise $800-$1,000. Once the money is raised he and his group of scouts will begin the production process of the face shields in Michael's lab. Micheal will teach them how to use the machines and said he is only charging them for the materials.
"To see things like this transpiring it really gives you promise that there will be a great future," Michael said.
For more information about MRG Labs and how to help Jayden, click here.