CHARLESTON—Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach was named one of 25 programs selected for Trident United Way’s 2019-2020 community investment grant cycle. The outreach will receive $40,000 for direct services and $80,000 for free dental services each year. These grants are vital to the integrity and impact of the organization as a whole and what it provides to James, Johns and Wadmalaw islands every day.
The $80,000 grant will directly support the free, comprehensive dental clinic in the Wellness Center — the only one within a fifteen-mile radius — to low-income, uninsured individuals in the community. These services address both acute and emergency conditions, as well as the on-going preventative care needed to avoid painful symptoms and extensive treatment. In fiscal year 2018:
- 12,175 dental procedures were completed
- 4,215 patient visits recorded in the dental clinic
- 539 emergency dental procedures were completed
- $1,370,233 valued services were provided
Our Lady of Mercy outreach will use the $40,000 to support its direct services programs that include a clothing closet, a Wellness Food Pantry designated by Lowcountry Food Bank, and financial assistance. These direct services provide food, nutrition education and necessities to families in need.
In fiscal year 2018 alone:
- 1421 people accessed the clothing closet for necessary items and clothing
- 910 individualswere able to get food necessities to feed their families from the food pantry
- $43,732.90 of financial assistance given to 389 clients to pay rent, keep their lights on and other utilities.
These grants will support the outreach’s mission to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth for people in need in our community through education, wellness and outreach services. Building on the synergy among the services it provides, Our Lady of Mercy Outreach seeks to address the undercurrents of poverty and foster the capacity of area residents to improve the quality of their lives and the life of the community.
“We are grateful to be chosen as a recipient of this year’s community investment grants, and we look forward to the continued partnership over the next three years. This investment will enable our organization to help thousands in our community overcome the systemic barriers of poverty. Our reach is broad, but our intentions align with Trident United Way’s primary focus for this grant cycle: education, financial stability and health,” said Ericka Plater, executive director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach.
“Trident United Way has focused its investments on education, financial stability and health efforts for a number of years,” said Amanda Lawrence, Trident’s vice president of community impact . “The program and basic needs investments in this grant cycle more closely align to our collective impact approach. Priority was given to applications focused on our stated network priorities in kindergarten readiness, workforce development and health. This will ensure our investments have a greater impact across the community. Given the expanding pool of applicants and finite resources, we have every confidence in the community benefits that will be derived from these investments.”