HILTON HEAD—St. Francis Thrift Shop offered help and hope to groups that serve the disabled, senior citizens, the families of wounded service men and women, and many others at its annual grants reception held July 17.
It gave out $60,000 to 32 non-profits from the Hilton Head-Bluffton area, said Thom Hill, chairman of the thrift shop’s advisory council. Recipients must submit an application, and their programs must serve a specific need and reflect Catholic values, Hill said.
The shop, located off U.S. 278 on Hilton Head, has been in business 13 years and sells everything from furniture and clothing to jewelry and artwork, he said. Like other nonprofits such as Goodwill, they have even taken to selling books on the Amazon website.
In the past year, the shop also made about $27,000 worth of in-kind donations of items to needy people in the area, Hill said.
Clothes that don’t sell in the store go to organizations such as the Savannah Mission. It also donated furniture and clothing to people who lost their homes to fires or other disasters, and gave computers and other electronics to a school in Savannah.
A staff of 125 volunteers from St. Francis by the Sea and Holy Family churches on Hilton Head, St. Gregory the Great Church in Bluffton, and others from the community keep the shop running.
Along with the annual grants, Hill said profits also support St. Francis School.
The Lowcountry Pregnancy Center received $3,350 to help fund prenatal care for mothers facing crisis pregnancies, said executive director Dr. Vera Bailey.
Prenatal care is especially important because many of the women who come to the center don’t have health insurance or are under-insured.
“They’ve been very, very good to us and we’re very grateful for all the years they’ve been a source of support for us,” Bailey said.
The center helps about 1,000 women each year at its main office on the island, and sees another 800 through mobile units that visit areas around Beaufort and Jasper counties, she said.
Recently, economic concerns have forced the center to cut mobile unit visits back to two days a week from four, and the main office is open four days a week instead of five.
Other agencies the thrift shop assisted were:
Bluffton Self Help
Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA)
Children’s Relief Fund (CRF)
Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA)
Heroes on Horseback
Hilton Head Citizens for Life
Hilton Head Heroes
Hilton Head Island Deep Well
Hilton Head Island Safe Harbour
Hope Haven of the Lowcountry
Hunger & Homeless Coalition – Backpack Buddies – Hilton Head
Island House/Mental Health America
Island Recreation Association
Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry
Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Meals on Wheels
Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Achievement School
National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
Neighborhood Outreach Connection
Operation R & R
Pregnancy Center of the Lowcountry
Programs for Exceptional People (PEP)
Room at the Inn of the Lowcountry
Sandalwood Community Food Pantry
Special Olympics South Carolina Area 8
Treat the Troops
Volunteers in Medicine – HHI
Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Jasper/Bluffton
YANA Club of Hilton Head