Broken spine, torn pages help fuel teen’s charity

Broken spine, torn pages help fuel teen’s charity

The Tampa Tribune | December 31, 2011 | By Ray Reyes

BRANDON, Fla. — He fixes spines, mends tears and restores missing pieces.Ben Carpenter started this work when he was 12 and has refurbished a library’s worth of books during the past four years.He has donated the restored books, about 4,200 in all, to assisted living facilities, schools, homeless shelters and other organizations through his nonprofit company, Ben’s Mends. Carpenter, now 16, said his sense of civil service is inspired by two things: his parents and a congenital condition, spinal muscular atrophy, which causes muscle degeneration and weakness.The medical care that has helped him lead a productive life drives him to give to others, he said. Carpenter is a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Shriners Hospitals and other groups but wanted a charity to call his own.

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