Thanks to the effort of one local Eagle Scout candidate, more than 100 seniors in the Santa Clarita Valley are now prepared for their next emergency.
The seniors residing at Canterbury Village, an affordable-living complex for seniors, enjoyed cookies and drinks, and socialized with each other on Monday as Eagle Scout candidate Nicolas Stefanelli personally gifted individual emergency backpacks that he prepared for every unit and person in the senior community.
By partnering with Kathleen Keating, the resident service coordinator of Canterbury Village, Stefanelli said he was able to craft a project that he thought would benefit the residents.
From panchos to emergency blankets to personal hygiene items, it has anything you’d need if you found yourself in a situation with no access to water or power, Stefanelli said.
“These are designed as a grab-and-go bag,” he added, “so in the event of an emergency, if you have nothing else, you can pick up the bag and be set for one to three days, and possibly up to a week.”
Stefanelli insisted that seniors thank the community rather than himself, because 100 percent of the items, and even the backpacks, were donated.
“The bags totaled more than $4,000 worth of items, which is obviously a sum that I can’t afford,” Keating said. “So I, as well as Canterbury village, are so, so grateful to the community for their support because it wouldn’t have happened without them, so huge, huge thanks to them.”
The scout said he’s always been passionate about emergency preparedness and helping seniors like his grandparents, who live on the north side of Chicago.
“I knew I wanted to do something for seniors who live in an assisted facility,” the scout said. “I couldn’t do anything for (my grandparents’) facility but I definitely wanted to help the seniors in my community.”
Lucila Orozco, a resident of Canterbury Village, was ecstatic to receive a new flashlight in her bag.
“Everything I could ever need is in here,” she said on the way back to her room, as she eagerly scanned the multitude of emergency items in the bag. “It will be very useful when I leave the house.”