The fifth annual Aaron Eilerts Day of Service and Giving is Sunday on what would have been his 19th birthday. Eilerts was the Boy Scout from Eagle Grove who was killed, along with three others, when a tornado hit the Scout camp in Harrison County in June of 2008.
Scott Jeske is principal at Robert Blue Middle School in Eagle Grove, where Eilerts attended. Jeske says acts of volunteering are a way to remember the young man. “We want our kids to understand how serving others, how helping others benefits others but it is probably the thing you can do to really make yourself feel good,” Jeske says.
A host of events and activities are planned, including one that was started by the late Scout. “We’re going to continue with Aaron’s project of sewing pillowcases which we will give to the hospitals,” Jeske says.
“We’re going to be sending some articles to Haiti to help the victims down there. We have things going on in the community, we’re going to do a food drive.” Volunteers will also be helping out at a food pantry, building shelves and doing other chores. Another project involves sending letters of encouragement to American soldiers serving overseas. Jeske says the events have changed through the years.
“Governor Culver, when he was governor, proclaimed the 24th to be the Day of Giving and Service to be named after Aaron,” Jeske says. “We want to continue that and feel it’s a very important part of our community. We want our kids to grow up with that feeling of giving.”
Events Sunday will begin with an assembly where speakers will talk about Aaron and the significance of the day before the groups will divide up to take on the various assignments.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City