Unsung Hero: Josh Bartlow

Tools

By Ashley Smith
By Josue

HURST -- A local boy scout is working toward his Eagle Scout rank through a project titled "Homeless and Hungry." 

"I'll be going to school everyday and when I come home, I won't be able to come inside except to use the restroom," explains Life Scout Josh Bartlow. "I'll be staying outside in the box at night."

Josh, 15, will spend the better part of this week sleeping outside in a cardboard box with only the clothes on his back and the supplies in his backpack. 

"There are people who are less fortunate than others. Not everybody lives in a house and has a good supply of food everyday," he says.  

Josh is also doing a food drive to help the Hurst Emergency Food Bank. He and his troop delivered bags around Hurst last weekend asking for donations of non-perishable foods. They will collect those bags Saturday morning.

Josh says the response to his project has already been positive.

"A lot of people like that I'm doing this. In the mail, someone sent over a letter because they read about the article we had in the paper and sent over $150 as a donation."

Josh's Scout Master Chris Webb says if Josh completes his project before his birthday in November, he will be the youngest Eagle Scout in the troop.

"I think Josh is going to gain a lot about service, serving his community, not being afraid of stepping up and taking charge," said Webb.

Josh's stepdad is an administrator at the food bank and says he hopes this project can make others aware of the need in this community.

"They need to learn that not everybody is as lucky as they are and even they could be homeless at any moment. Their house could burn down, anything could happen," said Ted Swanner.

Ted says he's very proud of Josh but he hopes he stays a happy camper.

"He'll have a book and a flashlight and that's about all he will have, and he's an electronic kid. So he's gonna be missing his video games and his dvds and his Netflix and all that stuff."

Josh will live without a home, clean clothes, complete meals, showering and other luxuries most of us take for granted. He says he only fears one thing..

"Something crawling in the box with me- like an animal."

Like a good scout, Josh is always prepared for whatever challenge he may face.

Other members of Josh's scout troop will camp out with him Friday night at the park in Hurst. They will then collect the donations for the food bank Saturday morning.  If you received a bag, the troop asks that you put that outside by 8:00 Saturday morning.

Marion Regional
Current: 41°
Clear
High: 43°
Low: 37°
Wind: 0 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 93 %

What's on WSILTV Full Schedule