Foundation awards $97,500 to SC outreaches

COLUMBIA—The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded 11 Collaboration for Ministry grants totaling $97,500 to programs associated with women religious across South Carolina.

The foundation recognizes the needs and challenges facing congregations in the state, according to a press release. The grants were established to support women religious in their efforts to help the poor in South Carolina. Sisters have established schools, hospitals and social service ministries that have served hundreds of thousands of people in the state over the past 200 years.

Today, due to aging and the decline in new recruits, their ministries are diminishing.

The few active sisters remaining are scattered throughout the state and they, along with their programs, are frequently alone in their efforts to address poverty.

These endeavors were the inspiration six years ago when the foundation began an initiative that seeks to understand and assist these efforts in South Carolina.

Working to strengthen and sustain the work, the Collaboration for Ministry Initiative conducts a variety of activities including convening meetings, providing technical assistance, facilitating transitions of leadership of sister-affiliated ministries, providing grants and evaluating these efforts.

“Through these programs, sisters humbly work day in and day out to better the communities they serve,” said Tom Keith, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.

“It is our hope that the funding from the foundation will strengthen and ensure sustainability of these programs in order for them to continue to serve those in need,” he said.

The 2010 Collaboration for Ministry Grants went to the following organizations:

Clean Start in Anderson received $5,000 to help provide basic services for the homeless of the area, such as showers, laundry, free clothing, telephone access, an address, free haircuts and a myriad of social service connections.

The Felician Sisters of St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center in Kingstree received $15,000 for their clothing closet, food pantry and dining room for the underserved. Funding will also support home repairs, enrichment and educational programs. They were also awarded $3,000 for their Staying Healthy program. Funding will provide low-income or no income persons with eye care, dental care and prescription assistance.

The Franciscan Center in Allendale was awarded $15,000 for the Center of Hope, a partnership project of public, private and nonprofit sectors that support community market gardens, revitalization of the Allendale Farmers’ Market and development of the Allendale Youth Community Center.

Our Lady of Mercy Neighborhood House in Charleston was given $2,000 for their long-range planning project as a social service outreach helping the poor in urban Charleston.

Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia received $10,000 for Helping Families Cope. The project will provide short term relief from care-giving responsibilities to persons caring at home for functionally dependent adults, opportunities for participants to engage in a program of socialization and activities in a safe and supportive setting to maximize their quality of life, information and referrals to caregivers, and respite to participants.

Sea of Peace House of Prayer on Edisto Island was allotted $5,000 for its ecumenical spiritual director/directors program.

Springbank Christian Center Dominican Retreat House in Springbank was awarded $5,000 for Recovering Spirit (Women and Men in Recovery: Healing of Mind, Body, Spirit). The program is designed to address the needs of women and men who are seeking support to overcome their addictions.

St. Anthony of Padua School in Greenville was given $15,000 for Beyond the Building. The money will help expand the Elder Buddy program to include additional grade levels at St. Anthony School to form pen pals with shut-ins from the local community and beyond.

St. Cyprian Outreach Center in Georgetown was awarded $12,500 for its Education and Recreation: Life Long Learning program. The purpose of this project is to provide educational and recreational opportunities for families needing support. Funding will help: English as a second language classes, women’s sewing classes, community workshops and gatherings promoting good health, employment, financial management, self-help skills, recreation and a weeklong summer camp for children.

St. Martin de Porres School in Columbia was awarded $10,000 for Reading Through The Arts & Technology. The interactive learning program includes literature, art, music, technology, cuisine, movement and geography.

The Sister of Charity Foundation grant applicants must meet the following basic requirements:

  • The programs and services to be provided must be consistent with the foundation’s mission and values.
  • The applying organization must be tax-exempt, nonprofit entity.
  • The organization receiving the grant must be geographically located in South Carolina with preference given to Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals’ service areas.
  • Organizations must close out active grants prior to being eligible to reapply.

The foundation offers three types of grants:

  • Caritas Funds allocated to award worthy endeavors of nonprofit and faith-based organizations reaching out to meet the immediate needs of the poor.
  • The Responsive Grants are designed to address the root causes of poverty.
  • Collaboration for Ministry grants  can be awarded for planning, implementation and direct service.

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