I’m Owen Chaffin, a member of the Sunnyhill Youth Group. I am also a member of Scouts BSA South Park Troop 510. I am working on my Eagle Scout service project which will benefit the Pittsburgh Prison Book Project, a project of the Thomas Merton Center. They are a great local organization that sends books and reading material to incarcerated people all over Pennsylvania. This is important work because prison libraries are woefully underfunded and access to them is often restricted due to staffing and pandemic related reasons. The PPBP accepts requests from people and fills these requests for free the best they can.
I am holding a new and used book drive during the month of May to help PPBP load up their shelves with quality books that span a wide variety of genres. I am focusing on collecting books that are more non-fiction in nature such as puzzle books, dictionaries, hobby books like DIY repair, drawing and art, how to start a new business and history books as well as topics of interest for the LGTBQ community, persons of color and other religious books beyond Judeo Christian topics. We ask that the books be in good used condition and of current relevance.
I would like to ask my Sunnyhill family for their support in my project. I will be at the Bethel Park Farmers’ Market, located in the South Park Ice Skating rink every Tuesday in May to receive used book donations. I’ll also have drop off boxes at the Bethel Park and South Park Libraries as well as the Sunnyhill foyer. I have also set up a convenient Amazon Wish List which has some very specific new book titles that are always in demand.
I am also collecting “Pennies for Postage” to help fund the delivery of the books because my project doesn’t end with books just sitting on a shelf, I want to make sure they reach the people who want and need them in our prison systems.
This is not a “typical” Eagle Scout Service Project but it is one that means a lot to me and reflects my values as a Scout and as a UU member. I hope you will see value in my project and contribute what you can. I appreciate any help, even if you are only able to help spread the word about my collection drive. Thank you!