Coastal Community Foundation assists Colleton

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By VICKI BROWN

Relief funds were raised and awarded to several Colleton non-profits by Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) through their COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

About $816,000 has been awarded to nonprofits specifically serving the Southern Lowcountry region of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.

According to CCF officials, grant applications were accepted and awarded on a rolling basis, with volunteers serving on the grant committee to help determine the needs of each county and where funds would be most impactful.

In many cases, the funds enabled nonprofits to provide more resources to clients in need as demand rapidly increased. For example, the Lowcountry Food Bank experienced a 200 percent increase in need for food assistance. The Covid-19 fund grants totaling $135,000 over the past two years helped the nonprofit feed about 6,500 people across the region. Lowcountry Food Bank has been awarded a total of $60,000 this year to purchase food assistance boxes containing nutritious, shelf-stable food to supplement the fresh produce they are receiving and distributing.

“Coastal Community Foundation’s funding helped us distribute food directly in the communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic to our neighbors who needed it the most,” said Brenda Shaw, Chief Development Officer of Lowcountry Food Bank. “Since about 50 percent of the neighbors we have served during the Covid-19 pandemic have sought food assistance for the first time, our ability to meet the ever-growing demand for food during this challenging time has been made possible through the commitment of our partners like CCF, as well as our donors, volunteers, and staff.”

Other awardees from Colleton also benefitted from the funds.

Edisto Indian Free Clinic – which provides free and/or discounted medical care and medications to residents of Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Hampton Counties with no insurance – was awarded $6,760 to assist with conducting screenings of all potential patients.

Teach for America – which works to strengthen educational equity in Berkeley, Charleston, and Colleton Counties – was awarded $7,500 to support a virtual teaching platform as part of their newly launched summer training program.

Hopeful Horizons – which is the only children’s advocacy, domestic violence, and rape crisis center serving Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties – has been awarded $15,000 to replace their cancelled major annual fundraising event which supported needs such as payroll, rent/housing assistance, and technology for telehealth services.

HELP of Beaufort was awarded $10,000 for financial assistance and food purchases to continue serving Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper Counties with the Mobile Meals Program, which provides free meals to homebound clients with medical conditions. They were also awarded $7,500 to provide rent and utility assistance to approximately 25-40 individuals in Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties.

The Charity Foundation, received a $30,000 grant to pursue a project called the Movement to bring more COVID-19 testing to underserved, majority-Black communities during the pandemic that is disproportionately affecting Black South Carolinians. In coordination with medical partners, Charity Foundation is leading the effort to set up 10 testing sites across Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper counties.

Coastal Community Foundation has a long history of providing relief and recovery support to communities affected by natural disasters or other events with widespread ramifications, including every major hurricane. CCF is able to quickly direct funds to residents and communities most impacted. CCF does not collect any fees for these funds, so 100 percent of donations go directly to the needs on the ground.

“We have been deeply moved by the collective generosity and servitude demonstrated by our region’s donors, nonprofits and community partners over the past two years. Together with their support and wisdom, we acted quickly and creatively to deploy vital resources to the most vulnerable,” said CCF President and CEO Darrin Goss. “At the same time, we know the work of recovery is not done. The uneven effects of the pandemic have laid bare the systemic inequities in our region that can no longer be left to resolve themselves, and we will continue to leverage our partnerships and resources to address these needs and challenges head-on.”

Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create communities rich in equity, opportunity and well-being by uniting people and investing resources so that all community members have a pathway to achieve their goals across Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper counties. Through long-term charitable giving, individuals, families, businesses and organizations are the reason why communities thrive in the nine counties along South Carolina’s coast. To learn more, visit coastalcommunityfoundation.org or call (843) 379-3400.

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