Ashlyn Orchard has always enjoyed bringing art to life. Now, she’s using her gift to helps families battling a health crisis as she works toward becoming one of the first female Eagle Scouts in her troop.

The 18-year-old installed a mural of canvases at Mommies In Need, an East Dallas-based nonprofit that provides childcare to families going through a health crisis. The art hangs in Annie’s Place, a new complimentary childcare center that will open in November at Parkland Hospital.

“I hope to be able to connect with people through my art and hopefully give something to them that is enjoyable,” Orchard said.

The teen was introduced to Mommies In Need through her own mother, Amy, who has volunteered at the organization. When she heard about the plan to open the childcare center, she asked if there was a need for art. She led a group of about a dozen fellow Scouts and volunteers in painting 11 canvases that depict scenes of neighborhoods and the outdoors.

“Ashlyn is a motivated, driven young lady who could have chosen any place to benefit with her time and talent, so it says everything that she chose to give to an organization that supports families battling a health crisis,” said Natalie Boyle, founder and CEO of Mommies In Need. “We are so grateful for her support and for gifting our staff and parents with a piece of art that comes from the heart and will surely bring many smiles to our children’s faces.”

Orchard, a high school student at Connection Academy, joined Troop 890 in Lake Highlands in 2019. The troop has awarded the rank of Eagle Scout to 542 boys since it started in 1961. Orchard, whose brothers are Eagle Scouts in East Dallas Troop 861, hopes to become one the first females to achieve the rank.

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About the Author:

Jaime Dunaway is an editor with Advocate Media.