MOUNT PLEASANT — East Cooper Community Outreach presented its first Stone Soup Award Sept. 21 to Msgr. James Carter, pastor of Christ Our King Church. The award recognizes community leadership, compassion, vision, integrity and honesty.
Msgr. Carter led an outreach to the East Cooper community in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. That effort brought area churches together to create ECCO for continued service to people in need. The organization provides food, clothing and emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities. In 1991, services expanded to include a dental clinic, and in 2000 a prescription assistance program was added. Last year, ECCO partnered with MUSC to offer a free medical clinic.
“Carter had the vision to reach out and embrace the poor and needy of East Cooper,” said Jack Little, executive director of ECCO.
The presentation of the award was the highlight of ECCO’s Stone Soup Festival, which celebrated the strength of the East Cooper community’s cooperative spirit.
ECCO board president Bill Condy and Beach Company president and CEO John Darby presented the Stone Soup Award to Msgr. Carter. The award was sponsored by Watermark.
“Jesus commands us to help the poor,” Msgr. Carter said. “We wanted to be obedient and minister in a worthy manner, giving dignity to all.”
The Stone Soup Festival and presentation of the Stone Soup Award are expected to be annual events.