31 July . 2023
Sweetwater Scout collects record number of books for Libraries of Love
When it came time for Sweetwater resident Jack Woelfel to select his Eagle Scout Service Project, one of the final steps in achieving the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America, he decided to do something related to his love of reading.
In his research, he came across Libraries of Love, a Pflugerville-based nonprofit that partners with Africans to create libraries at individual schools, primarily in Kenya and Uganda.
“I wanted a project that would make a positive difference. As a big reader, this was right up my alley,” said Jack.
One of his first steps was to meet with Sweetwater’s Lifestyle Director, Taylor Kelley, who invited him to use the Sweetwater Club as a collection point for the book drive. She promoted awareness of the project by including it in the HOA’s communications to residents.
The book drive took place over the first three weeks of July. The response was overwhelming, with Sweetwater residents dropping off more than 4,800 new and gently used books.
Libraries of Love confirmed it was the largest donation they have ever received. Jack’s Sweetwater project alone accounts for 40 percent of their typical annual goal of collecting 12,000 books.
The books are awaiting the organization’s annual spring shipment to Africa. In the meantime, Jack hopes to earn his Eagle Scout rank this fall.
The seventh and highest rank attainable in Scouting, the Eagle rank is earned by only about five percent of all Scouts. “Becoming an Eagle Scout is an exceptionally difficult challenge,” according to Scoutsmarts.com.
Jack, 16, has been a Scout since the age of 11, and he sees earning Eagle Scout as a lifetime accomplishment.
“Eagle Scout is an achievement that sticks with you for life, giving you leadership skills and opportunities to be of service,” he says. “Everyone who earns it recommends it very highly.”
The Woelfel family moved to Sweetwater in 2021, and Jack has thrived in the community’s highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools. In fall, he’ll be a junior at Lake Travis High. After graduating, he plans to study pre-med and then enter medical school.
Congratulations, Jack, and thank you for bringing the Sweetwater community together for your very worthy project!
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