Wil Carpenter, 16, of Lake Wylie had no intention of running a book drive for his Eagle Award Scout project. He actually was planning to build new chairs for the reading area at Kinard Elementary School.
“I was planning to build Adirondack chairs for the reading area of the library when my Troop  asked me to do something else in addition,” Wil said. “At one point, the librarian there asked me to take a large stack of unused books to Goodwill for her. I thought I might be able to find a better place for the books and thus re-honing the books became my project.”
Wil collected about 4,000 books during has book drive, which ended Friday. These books will be placed in libraries in seven of the lowest income counties in the state through Original Six Foundation, launched by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
“I did not expect that we would get this many books,” Wil said. “I thought we might get 1,000, at best. There are not a lot of books in some of these lower income area libraries, so this will be a huge help. I’m stunned at the generosity shown by the community.”
Thanks to the success of his book drive, Wil, by invited of the foundation’s executive director, will be traveling to Columbia on Thursday, Sept. 26, to celebrate his and other efforts to hold book drives. He also will meet the governor.
“I am really excited,” Wil said. “My grandmother is a retired librarian, so I’ve felt really close to this project, but I never thought this project would lead me to one of the foundation’s events.”
Wil, son of Renee and Eric Carpenter of Lake Wylie, is a junior at the Governor’s School for Science in Hartsville, previously attending Crowders Creek Elementary and Oakridge Middle schools.
For more information about the Original Six Foundation, visit originalsixfoundation.org.
Wendy Dimitri of Lake Wylie is a freelancer writer. Email neighbors column ideas to news@lakewyliepilot.