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Willett earns Eagle rank by building beds for North Alabama Foster Closet

MADISON – For his service project to earn the Eagle Scout rank, Johnathan Willett helped both children and foster parents transition easier into their new daily regimens.

Willett built six beds for the North Alabama Foster Closet. Youth living in foster homes will benefit by having a well-made bed for a good night’s rest.

The beds also will help foster parents “because if they need a bed for their kid, all they need to do is go to the foster closet and pick a bed free of charge. These beds should last for a very long time,” Willett said. In addition, many foster parents return beds to the closet when no longer needed.

First, Willett built a sample bed to have a ‘blueprint’ for other beds. He delivered five beds, along with the sample.

Closet officials told Willett that toddler beds, not twin size, were their greatest need. Willett built the beds for compact storage and easy assembly. Each bed had four parts — headboard, footboard, two side boards — held together by two corner pegs and eight support boards. Part of his patrol, the Mavericks, assisted the project at Willett’s home.

For his project, Lowe’s provided lumber. His father loaned tools. The process involved sanding; building headboards, footboards and sideboards; assembly; and staining. “We created a curved headboard with small wooden cross and added positive quotes, Lowe’s logo, my troop number, my name and Eagle Project on all support boards,” Willett said.

His project required about five months to complete. The project hours included 121 for Willett; 86 hours, his father; his family, 10; and fellow Scouts, 9. “It was hard to find help because of COVID, but I’m glad some Scouts came out,” Willett said.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout helped me become more confident talking in small groups and taking the lead on a project that will help me be prepared for getting a job,” Willett said. He also likes camping with friends and Scouting experiences.

Willett is in Troop 350 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. James Zesinger is Senior Patrol Leader, while Noah Little is assistant. Willett was anxious about interviews during his Eagle Board of Review, but his Scout leaders helped him to relax. “I did fine,” Willett said.

Willett is a sophomore at Bob Jones High School. He participates with Construction Club and Patriots Mountain Bike Team. “I like mountain biking. I enjoy woodworking and doing things with my hands,” he said.

He is undecided on a college but probably will attend college locally.

His parents are David Willett, employee with Army Corps of Engineers, and Gretchen Willett, a stay-at-home mom.

For more information about the foster closet, visit northalabamafostercloset.com.

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