Carpenter (right) was surprised by family, Tricounty Family Ministries staff and local notables last week | Image provided

Louise Carpenter has volunteered at Tricounty Family Ministries three days a week for 12 years, paying for a ride each day, even throughout the pandemic. For her 95th birthday, the James Island resident was surprised Aug. 4 by friends and family, along with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and a representative from U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s office.

Carpenter has been a mainstay for a dozen years for the North Charleston nonprofit, feeding and providing services to homeless members of the local community. Tricounty Family Ministries offers meals, clothing, job training, wellness checks, legal help, and housing assistance.

”It is better to give than receive and not everyone lives by that,” Summey said.. He continued, saying the 95-year-old has set a foundation for generations that follow. A flag will also fly in her honor over the U.S. Capitol.

In all, Carpenter has volunteered 3,744 hours, which adds up to 2,600 pieces of cake served and 117,000 silverware servicing. Tricounty Family Ministries executive director Kara Stewart said. “Louise plays an integral role in what we strive to do for our neighbors, she would be missed if she wasn’t here.”

What makes Tricounty Family Ministries so special?

“The people, and what we can do for the people,” Carpenter said in an interview. “It’s kind of a circle. We help them, they help us.”

If you’re interested in being a volunteer at Tricounty Family Ministries, visit