Indian Woods seventh grader Aleks Hoffmann collects food, hygiene items for Avenue of Life

Leawood resident Aleks Hoffmann, a Life Scout with Boy Scouts of America and seventh grader at Indian Woods Middle, is collecting food, hygiene items and household goods for Avenue of Life during the COVID-19 shutdown. Photo courtesy Dana Hoffmann.

Indian Woods seventh grader Aleks Hoffmann is collecting food, hygiene items and household goods for Avenue of Life during the COVID-19 shutdown.

So far, he’s collected dozens of items through donations from neighbors, his church, and Shawnee Mission schools to help the Kansas City, Kansas organization serve families who could use a boost.

“Right now, I have no problem with being at home all the time, other than I don’t get to hang out with friends a lot,” he said. “But these people that need stuff are in their houses, and they don’t have items that they need, like toilet paper or food or toothpaste..”

As a past volunteer for Avenue of Life with his church, Jacob’s Well, Hoffmann connected with the organization to discuss working on an Eagle Scout project. But after that project was tabled, due to stay-at-home orders, staff sent him a list of needed items, which he’s been collecting since March 27.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am. He’s done a good job of articulating it, as a 13-year-old, to a lot of different groups,” said Dana Hoffmann, his mother.

The collector bin at the end of the driveway at his Leawood home gets a steady trickle of items throughout the week. Most donations come from Indian Woods, his former school Brookwood Elementary, and Jacob’s Well. But neighbors are pitching in as well.

“I feel pretty good about the support that I’m getting,” he said. “It makes me feel more connected to my communities.”

His inventory includes nearly 100 items, especially canned goods and packs of family meals.

“It’s small, but people are starting to drop off more and more,” said Dana Hoffmann.

Hoffmann plans to keep collecting items until the state and Johnson County lift stay-at-home orders. You can check out Avenue of Life’s list of needed items here.