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Nonprofits: St. Christopher’s Children makes state Angels list
By Charles Swenson
St. Christopher’s Children was named to this year’s list of the top 10 charitable Angels by the S.C. Secretary of State. The nonprofit is based at Pawleys Island and serves children throughout Georgetown County with emergency clothing and other services.
The state’s charitable Angels are based on nominations from the public and a review of financial reports by the Secretary of State’s office. Bob Pelletier, founder of St. Christopher’s Children, and other board members got the award in Columbia on Wednesday.
See “Angel,” Page 3
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The idea for the nonprofit came on a cold winter morning in 2007 when Pelletier saw a child walking along Waverly Road without a coat. He and a friend, the late Mae Kaple, started St. Christopher’s Children to help kids who had fallen through the cracks of other aid networks.
Children with needs are identified by school nurses, guidance counselors and other nonprofits. St. Christopher’s volunteers buy the clothes and deliver it to the schools. “We don’t ever see the children. We just hear the need and respond to the need,” said Diana Evans, the current president.
“There’s no waiting list,” said Susan Carolina, a school nurse who works with the nonprofit.
St. Christopher’s Children also provides medical, dental and vision care. Despite that, “a lot of people really don’t know about St. Christopher’s,” Carolina said.
It provided $110,000 worth of aid last year, Evans said. About $75,000 was for clothing. Orthodontic care is a growing service area because it isn’t covered by insurance or Medicaid, which consider braces a cosmetic procedure, Evans said.
For kids it can be a vital medical and self-esteem issue, she said. Dentists provide the service at cost with in-kind donations.
“It’s sad that more people don’t know about it,” Evans said of St. Christopher’s Children.
The nonprofit wants to raise awareness and funds within the country’s public schools. It asked the school board to allow it to create a fundraising competition between schools with the winners to get an ice cream or pizza party.
“I thought it would be a great idea for the schools to give back,” Carolina said. Even if it’s only $1 a student, something she said students are willing to spend on a chocolate bar in a common fundraising activity.
Evans hopes the Angel designation will help boost individual contributions as people plan their holiday and end-of-year donations. St. Christopher’s recently got two large donations from faith-based organizations, she said. It’s resale store in Litchfield Exchange opened a year ago and has moved beyond the break-even stage.
The needs continue to grow, Evans said. That’s also true on Waccamaw Neck, she added.