Boy Scout dies before completing Eagle project; troop finishes in his memory

Little Free Library filled with books

BUTLER, Pa. — A Boy Scout from Butler, Pennsylvania, planned to build a little free library as his Eagle Scout project, but died before it could be completed. His memory will live on thanks to his fellow Scouts.

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Aiden Lutz, 15, died after he was hit by a car while riding his electric bike last fall. His death, according to his scoutmaster, hit the troop hard, and they wanted to remember him.

“Aiden was a big part of the troop. He was extremely well liked, had a lot of friends in the troop. His passing hit us pretty hard, and this is the best way we could think of to do a dedication back to him. The project for the scouts has been a good way I think in coping with things,” Jeff Orsborn told WPXI.

The troop built the Little Free Library, painting it yellow — which was Aiden’s favorite color — and filling it with some of his favorite books before installing it outside the school where his mother works.

“His mother being a Northwest Elementary teacher and be able to see this each day will make her smile, knowing Aiden has had an impact moving forward on the lives of others,” school superintendent Brian White told WPXI.

The scouts are also planning on building another Little Free Library that will be installed outside of the elementary school where Aiden attended.

The Little Free Library initiative is a network of book exchange boxes installed in communities where people can leave a book and take a book at no charge. It is a global push that hopes to have a Little Free Library “in every community and a book for every reader.” The nonprofit believes “all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege.”

If you want to find a Little Free Library near you, download the app from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

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