Lake Forest High School student helps rebuild lives
Henry Yi of Lake Forest is working on his Eagle Scout project, which is to built 10 bed frames for LOVE Inc. in Zion, a clearinghouse for household goods for needy people in Lake County, on Wednesday, July 25 2012, in Evanston. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Harry Yi
WORKING ON: Completing his Eagle Scout service project this summer. He’s a member of Troop 48, which is sponsored by the Lake Forest American Legion.
HOMETOWN: Lake Forest
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:07AM
LAKE FOREST -- It’s been a long, hot summer, but Harry Yi of Lake Forest has been making the most of his vacation by helping others.
Set to be a senior at Lake Forest High School, Yi, 17, has met weekly to lead a team of friends, older Boy Scouts and adults as they construct and assemble twin bed frames from wood that will be used by individuals in Lake County who are in desperate need of a bed.
Once put together, sanded and stained, Yi will donate the 10 frames and an additional $1,000 he raised for his Eagle Scout service project to Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC.) in Zion. Love INC is a ministry that helps disadvantaged individuals in Lake County to rebuild their lives.
“Right now, we’re drilling the mortise holes for the frame supports,” Yi said. Using a neighbor’s wood shop equipment, Yi said this stage of the process has been a little slow going.
“We only have one drill press right now, so it’s taking a while,” the Troop 48 member explained.
Despite the heat, Yi and his crew are plugging along and he hopes to be finished with the project by the time school starts up again in mid-August.
Yi began work on the service project last September when he originally contacted Love INC.
‘Took a priority’
“They had a whole list of things they needed to be done, but bed frames took a priority,” he said. “Their bed funding is at zero right now.”
The organization supplied building plans, which Yi took to his woods teachers at Lake Forest High School. Together, they worked out an improved design “to make the beds more structurally sound,” he said.
The original design called for wood to butt up against wood and be held together with screws.
“But all the weight would be resting on the screws, so we designed slots so everything would fit into a hole,” he said. Those are then screwed together, but the frame itself supports the bed’s weight and its occupant.
An upshot of the new design is that the frames will be easier to put together.
“It’s literally ‘board A goes into slot A, so it makes it easier for inexperienced volunteers to put them together,” he said.
The frames are made entirely of two-by-fours and two-by-sixes.
“I bought roughly 100 boards of wood,” he said. “We cut all the pieces to size.”
In all, there are 140 pieces of wood Yi and his crew are assembling into headboards, footboards and side rails. Each frame will be held together with 40 screws.
“We’re assembling everything so that each bed has only three pieces that need to be put together,” he said.
A Scout member since first grade, Yi said he first considered going for Eagle, Scouting’s highest honor, when he was in eighth grade.
“I was looking through stuff my grandfather had — he was a Scout, too, but he never made Eagle,” Yi recalled. “At that point, that’s when I decided I’d try.”