COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley’s Original Six Foundation announced Thursday that it collected more than 20,000 books to be distributed among seven rural South Carolina counties. But she saved her highest praise for 16-year-old Wil Carpenter, a York County Boy Scout who donated 4,400 children’s books.
Haley made the announcement of the book collection at Christ Central Ministries in Columbia, flanked by corporate supporters – including NBSC, AT&T and WNS – and the Original Six Foundation’s board members. Haley said NBSC employees donated 1,500 books.
Carpenter said he gathered the books as part of his Eagle Scout project. He put an ad in the newspaper and handed out fliers at the Clover School District, asking for donations.
“Everyone was just very generous,” Wil said.
The books will be donated to local libraries in counties served by the foundation: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon, Marion, Marlboro and Union.
In Union County, an early childhood nonprofit organization plans to give away backpacks filled with books to preschool students, encouraging them to take read with their families.
“Every week they will bring it back to their preschool class and we will rotate the books among the children,” said Beth Thompson, executive director of Union County First Steps. “Each week they will take home a different set of books.”