After watching some clips on YouTube earlier this year, one local Boy Scout came up with the idea to make hands-free stations out of everyday materials. For Gabriel Manus, nine, it was as simple as identifying a problem in the community and deciding to do something about it. Manus’ mother, Stephanie, helped her son create the hand sanitizer stations out of pipes as part of his Cub Scout project.
“When we were thinking of ideas for a service project, he asked several questions,” Stephanie said. “We tweaked a few ideas a bit and made a prototype before making a few more. We ended up donating three stations to Grow Outside Camp which is a place where kids of all abilities are able to learn the outdoors.”
Camp directors said that the sanitizer stations emphasized to kids how important it is to stay clean.
This isn’t the first time that Gabriel has done a selfless act. He has made helping people a habit. It bothers him when bad things happen to innocent people – like COVID-19 deaths, untimely illnesses and food hunger.
“It feels good to do something nice for someone. I like to see people smile because when they smile, they are happy,” he said. “If everybody did something nice for someone else, the world would be a much better place.”
Stephanie says she couldn’t be any prouder of her son. “A small act of kindness can have a powerful domino effect. I’ve always expressed that to Gabriel,” she said. “He’s never complained about his condition. Scouting has really helped he and his older brother get out of their shells and be more active in the community.”
She added, “My children are my world. Despite the challenges of special needs parenting, we never give up. Instead, we push through and always have each other’s back during the good days and bad days. It’s my job as their mother to teach them to be loving human beings no matter what life throws at them.”
Gabriel wants to continue making a difference in the community. When he joined the Boy Scouts of America three years ago, he promised his mother that he would see the program all the way through. With a heart of gold and a strong support system around him, nothing is stopping Gabriel from reaching all of his goals.