Justin Mart stands proudly with his 125 backpacks for Blanket Tampa Bay.

By Anjali Caligiuri

Some local residents are in a better position thanks to a Valrico teen.

Justin Mart, a dedicated and determined Boy Scout in Troop 665 in Lithia, recently completed his Eagle Scout project of collecting donations and items to fill more than 100 backpacks for Blanket Tampa Bay in March.

With the project completed, Justin is one step closer to achieving the prestigious title of Eagle Scout; it has taken him many badges, hard work and constant support from his parents, like his mother, Kim Mart, to reach his goal, but Justin is closer than ever to achieving it.

“We are so proud of Justin for sticking with Scouts and working hard towards achieving Eagle rank,” said Kim.

Justin has had to complete many requirements, such as earning a minimum of 21 merit badges and holding leadership positions within the troop. But none have carried the importance that the Eagle Scout project has for Justin.

Justin contributed numerous hours collecting essential items for backpacks for the homeless through an organization called Blanket Tampa Bay. While his goal was to fill 100 backpacks, Justin exceeded all expectations and collected enough items to fill 125 backpacks with personal care items and kindness to brighten the day of someone less fortunate.

“This accomplishment is a very important goal for me. It will represent years of hard work, learning and growth,” said Justin.

This project required an abundance of time, determination and effort, which Justin offered freely. Throughout all of Boy Scouts, Justin has challenged himself to realize new strengths, friends and accomplishments. Through years in the program, Justin has developed a sense of responsibility for himself and his peers of lower rank as well as a drive to accomplish his goals. Justin constantly strives to reach farther beyond what he thinks he can do to discover what he is truly capable of.

“I had to push myself beyond what I thought my limits were. For example, when we hiked 50 on the Appalachian Trail over five days,” said Justin.

To contact or donate to Blanket Tampa Bay, reach out to Founder/CEO Beth Ross at
Beth@blanketampabay.org or call 300-9277.

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