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Nonprofits: Foundation grants are prelude to volunteer drive
By Jason Lesley
After awarding $300,000 in grants to address the root causes of poverty and encourage positive youth development, the Bunnelle Foundation is hosting an event next month at its conference center to recruit volunteers for the agencies that do the work.
Executive director Geales Sands said the foundation will host a volunteer fair Sept. 11 in its headquarters meeting room on Highway 17 that will run simultaneously with a preview of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s classes planned at Litchfield through Coastal Carolina University.
“The two groups’ shared target population – seasoned adults with the time and flexibility to explore learning opportunities, as well as share their skills and talents with service organizations – make this a unique collaboration,” Sands said.
Carol Sacco, a board member and grant writer for the JOY School, which received $16,500 from the foundation, said the Bunnelle Foundation is filling a vital need in Georgetown County. “Grants have been cut back so drastically, to know we have an organization like the Bunnelle Foundation to address local needs is comforting,” she said.
The JOY School conducts a seven-week summer program for mentally handicapped children at Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church so they do not regress while school is out. The school limits the isolation of these children during the summer, Sacco said. There are four additional weekend programs during the winter.
“Mrs. Bunnelle had a special place in her heart for these children,” Sacco said. “They’ve been very generous to the special community.”
Sands said Mrs. Bunnelle wanted the foundation to provide opportunities and guidance for young people. “Programs in early learning, after-school care and swim classes at the Y all are aimed at encouraging positive youth development,” she said. “Our top priority is to carry out Mrs. Bunnelle’s wishes and invest in these organizations.”
The volunteer fair is being organized by Georgetown County VISTA as a “restart” of its Get Connected online system that helps non-profit agencies find and pair volunteers with opportunities based on their interests.
The event Sept. 11 will be free and open to the public with refreshments prepared by Carefree Catering. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bunnelle will host presentations by instructors scheduled to teach for the Litchfield Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program this fall.
The program is preparing to move into renovated space in the Litchfield Landing shopping center after moving from the former Waccamaw Higher Education Center in Willbrook last year.
Among the non-credit classes in the arts and humanities will be a series to help new residents acclimate to their new community. Sands and Nancy Bracken will participate in that series.
Also at Carefree Catering, the volunteer fair, organized by Jon Hoffmann and Jamie Jayroe, will feature more than 20 non-profits.
Among them will be the American Cancer Society, Cooking Matters, Friendship Place, Georgetown Community Care Network, Georgetown County Re-Entry Services, Georgetown Hospital System volunteer and patient partner services, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Healthy Learners, Helping Hands of Georgetown, Miss Ruby’s Kids, Neighbor to Neighbor, Saint Frances Animal Center, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Smith Medical Clinic, Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments’ Assisted Rides Programand the Winyah Rivers Foundation.
Grants were awarded to 28 organizations through the foundation’s “Grants for the Common Good” program. The competitive grant cycle was completed in July.
Awards made in the area of “Addressing the Root Causes of Poverty” were to:
• The Salvation Army, $15,000;
• Miss Ruby’s Kids, $15,000;
• Nurse Family Partnership, $15,000;
• Family Justice Center of Georgetown County, $15,000;
• Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, $10,000;
• Georgetown County United Way, $9,000;
• The Mitney Project, $9,000;
• Georgetown County Coalition, $6,000.
Awards made in the area of “Encouraging Positive Youth Development” were to:
• The JOY School, $16,500;
• Children’s Recovery Center, $16,500;
• Greater Bible Way Church of Georgetown, $15,000;
• South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, $15,000;
• Habitat for Humanity Georgetown County, $14,000;
• Sewee Association, $13,500;
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, $13,500;
• The Village Group, $13,000;
• Adaptive Gardens of the Lowcountry, $12,000;
• Georgetown County Board of Disabilities & Special Needs, $10,000;
• Little Smurf’s Child Development Center, $10,000;
• Teach My People, $10,000;
• Pawleys Island Child Development Center, $9,000;
• Georgetown Presbyterian Church/Hispanic Outreach, $7,500;
• The Cultural Council of Georgetown County, $7,500;
• Georgetown County Boys Mentor Group, $7,000;
• Freedom Readers, $6,000;
• Ex-Cel Enchanted Learning, $5,000;
• Optimism Preventive Services, Inc., $2,500;
• Pee Dee Community Project, $2,500.