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Published September 1st, 2021
Eagle Project adds reading nook at Hope Solutions' Garden Park Apartments
Jack Elder (standing), Henry Goodman (laying down), Braden Purcell, Alex Chang, Cole Hickey (sitting), Nolan Henwood Photo provided

Braden Purcell from BSA Troop 246 completed his Eagle Scout Service Project this summer, and inspired hope and the love of reading. The beneficiary of Purcell's project was Hope Solutions, formerly known as Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, a nonprofit in Contra Costa County whose mission is to heal the effects of poverty and homelessness by providing permanent housing solutions and vital support services to highly vulnerable families and individuals.
Purcell brainstormed different project ideas with the staff at Hope Solutions and decided to create a new, permanent reading nook for the children living at Garden Park Apartments, where Hope Solutions provides permanent housing for 27 previously homeless families.
Purcell completed his project on Aug. 6, supported by five of his fellow Scouts: Jack Elder, Henry Goodman, Alex Chang, Cole Hickey, and Nolan Henwood. During their three-hour project at Garden Park Apartments they unloaded new shelves, chairs, rugs, pillows, and hundreds of books into the Community Room classroom. Purcell also led his team of Scouts to build a bookcase, sort books by age group, label books and organize them on the brand-new shelves. Providing chairs, rugs, and pillows, they created a cozy place for the children at Garden Park Apartments to comfortably enjoy reading without distractions. The Sydney Paige Foundation donated hundreds of books toward Purcell's Eagle Scout Service Project.
As part of an Eagle Scout Service Project, a Scout should demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of their community. It is a life lesson in communication and leadership. Purcell says that he "learned a lot about how to lead a project and communicate with partners and peers. It was great to work with Hope Solutions and the Sydney Paige Foundation. They and my fellow Scouts helped me to keep this project running smoothly, which ultimately led to the project getting finished on time so the students at Garden Park could have their new library just in time for the school year."
Purcell chose to build a reading nook at Garden Park Apartments because reading is an activity that he has always loved to do and wanted to create a space that would encourage other readers. Purcell hopes that with the new books and comfy reading corner more kids will become fans of reading.

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