Fifteen-year-old Nolan Ragon protects a critical means of transportation for homeless adults by raising over $4,000 for Eagle Scout project
The Thurman Brisben homeless shelter, the largest full-service, emergency homeless shelter in the Fredericksburg area, keeps many bicycles on hand so residents can get to work and necessary appointments. The Center also makes children’s bicycles available for the 90 or so boys and girls who come through the shelter every year. Due to a lack of space, the bicycles were stored outside in every kind of weather, which negatively impacted their functioning and longevity.
But not anymore. To solve this problem, Nolan Ragon, a 15-year-old Scout from Boy Scout Troop #845 in North Stafford, planned, financed, and constructed a 20’ x 12’ shed for their storage.
Nolan first assessed the Center’s need for a suitable Eagle project with Joe Hargrove, the Brisben Center’s Volunteer Coordinator. After deciding on a bicycle shed, Nolan recruited 30 volunteers, including his father, to help with the planning and building. Through yard sales and online sales of donated items, he raised over $4,000. He also negotiated with the store manager of the Lowe’s on Rt. 610 in Stafford on the sale of building supplies at store cost. It took 495 man-hours to complete the project. Nolan and his volunteers are quite proud of how it turned out.
“It is very, very solid and will last many years,” remarked Joe Hargrove with satisfaction, “and the bicycles will last longer, too. Nolan has done an incredible job.”
Staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Center provides a safe and secure temporary residence for up to 80 women, children, and men at a time. In addition to food and shelter, the Center provides intensive case management and other services that enable residents to resolve their crises and move back into housing. Thanks to Nolan’s work in preserving their bike fleet and lessening maintenance requirements, the Center’s resources will go a little bit farther in delivering its mission.