An Eagle Scout Helps to End the African Book Famine

An Eagle Scout Helps to End the African Book Famine

Sixteen year-old Eagle Scout and book lover, Manvir Singh Bhagrath, shared his time, resources, and hard work with Books For Africa’s mission. In late August, Manvir called the BFA Atlanta warehouse to make sure employees would be there to receive his donations. Several hours later, the young man arrived to deliver a virtual vanload of books and school supplies.

When pressed for details, the modest young student gave us the following story:

Eagle Scout Manvir Bhagrath presented a generous $600 donation to Deborah McDonald, Assistant Director of Books For Africa, alongside Warehouse Managers Jeremy Bostwick (L) and Brad Mattson (R).“I have been doing boy scouts for about 5 to 6 years now and about a year ago I finally completed everything except an Eagle Project. To obtain the rank of Eagle Scout, one must complete a service project that benefits the community, nation, or world in some way. While brainstorming for weeks over what I could do my project on, I decided I wanted to do something related to education. I personally believe that the best thing you can give someone is an education. So one day as I was searching for way to send books and school supplies to underprivileged areas, I came across the Books For Africa website. Out of all the websites and organizations I had viewed Books For Africa really stood out to me. It seemed to me that it was the most organized and the organization's goals went with the goals I wanted to accomplish in my project.

“After contacting a Books For Africa representative for answers to some of my questions, I decided for sure that I was going to do my project with them. To start my project I sent out letters to kids at my school about my project and notified them of Books For Africa’s requirements. I also notified friends and family. After I had collected all the books, I decided that I wanted to be able to give Books For Africa a donation for the shipment fees and anything extra I managed to raise. So I set up a walk-a-thon at a local track and started advertising to people. I gave out over a hundred fliers around my neighborhood and local hotspots and I went on a couple radio shows to do public service announcements about my walk. The idea was to have people show up and donate a set amount and walk a 3K (about seven and a half laps) around the track. I also went around my town meeting with different businesses to get sponsorships for the shirts I was handing out at the walk, so everybody could wear them and walk together for a cause. After packaging all the books up and organizing the donations, I took a trip down to the Books For Africa Smyrna, GA warehouse. It was in all honesty much bigger than I expected and as I walked inside it and saw the  hundreds of packaged boxes and the many volunteers sorting books I knew that I had chosen the right organization, one that would help fulfill my wish to contribute in giving kids an education.”

We want to send a sincere “Thank You” to Manvir from everyone at Books For Africa for all of his hard work and dedication to promoting global literacy by helping us end the African book famine.