Looking to give back to those either on the front lines or impacted by the pandemic while also following social distancing orders? We’ve rounded up organizations that allow you to support others while safely at home.
Written By: Liz Torpey
Amor Healing Kitchen
Every week this local nonprofit delivers fresh, nutritious meals, plus bouquets of flowers, to Lowcountry residents undergoing severe health challenges. (Before COVID-19, teen volunteers prepared the food with kitchen mentors, though currently only two chefs are cooking in accordance with social distancing guidelines.) On Saturday, May 9, you can try some of their organic, veg-forward dishes yourself with their Seed to Soul four-course fundraising dinner available for pick-up. Buy tickets online, follow Amor on Instagram and Facebook for updates, and check out their new YouTube channel for recipes.
Coastal Community Foundation
Managing 700-plus charitable funds and $289 million in combined assets across nine counties in the state, this community convener has created the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, raising money to provide grants to nonprofit organizations offering assistance to those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and providing resources to seniors, children, and those who are health-compromised. Make a tax-deductible donation to their latest efforts here.
While the Coastal Conservation League’s agricultural program typically sells a large portion of its local produce to restaurants, during this time GFC has pivoted to selling boxes of produce to the public from the warehouse, as well as helping stock grocery stores that struggle to keep their shelves full. The produce originally comes from Lowcountry farmers, and GrowFood helps them keep their land by connecting them with the marketing-side of the business usually only accessible to large industrial farms. Thanks to a partnership with Lowcountry Food Bank, you can click here to virtually donate a box of local groceries to community members in need.
Feeding Our Heroes-SC
In order to give back to essential workers, three Mount Pleasant women formed this Facebook group to help both the Charleston food-and-beverage and medical communities. Funds raised via their Venmo accounts provide daily meals from local restaurants for hospital staff. Check out the good works posted at facebook.com/FeedingOurHeroesSC/ and donate through venmo to users @feedingourheros-SC, @whitney-klomparens, @suzannah-pigg, or @lasgarrett.
Lowcountry Food Bank
Serving 10 coastal counties in the state, this nonprofit has begun “Fueled by Fresh,” which distributes boxes containing a week’s worth of non-perishables and fresh produce to food insecure families. In addition to COVID-19 relief, the food bank runs numerous other programs—which help everyone from children at school and homebound seniors—in its mission to end hunger in the Lowcountry. Donate to the virus fund, and other programs assisting those facing food insecurity, here.
The hospital and medical center was the first in the state to conduct its own COVID-19 testing, and in response to the pandemic has also offered an online information center, free virtual screening services, remote screening sites, and more. Donations to their emergency response fund will help support programs; obtain surgical masks, gowns, and other medical supplies; and assist in the search of new treatments and enhanced testing capabilities.
My Sister’s House
The New York Times reported that cases of domestic abuse have risen worldwide in response to stay-at-home orders, so organizations like My Sister’s House are stepping up to help break the cycle of violence by amping up their support services and clinical programs, such as giving survivors access to therapy through phone and video. While the living shelters are temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus, victims and survivors are still able to obtain support, resources, education, and safety planning in these critical times. Donate to the cause and find tips as well as the number for their crisis line here.
Our Lady of Mercy Outreach
Regardless of faith or creed, this nonprofit has been helping members of the Sea Island community since 1989 as an independent organization, and for more than 100 years through the eastside Neighborhood House. Serving downtown and John’s, James, and Wadmalaw island residents through the pandemic, the organization is providing emergency food and financial assistance, as well as pick-up bagged lunches at the downtown soup kitchen. Help by donating shelf-stable food to either location (1684 Brownswood Road and 77 & 79 America Street) between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday or by making a financial contribution directly or through their Amazon wishlist.
Pay It Forward Charleston
The Butcher and Bee team has collaborated with Feed the Need Charleston to support unemployed members of the food and beverage community by giving them bags of groceries procured from local farmers. In working with local purveyors, purchasing discounted items to help fill each bag, the team has distributed more than 3,050 bags of groceries. Donate online, each $10 donation equals a bag of groceries for one restaurant worker.
Trident United Way
Committed to fighting for quality of life for all–through improving educational outcomes for students, financial stability for people to have a higher standard of living, and the health of those in the community—Trident United Way has begun a Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund to support relief efforts, including helping those that are undergoing financial struggles, supporting nonprofits facing an increased demand for their services, and creating emergency networks of organizations. So far, more than $230,000 has been distributed to organizations like HALOS, Lowcountry Food Bank, One80 Place, East Cooper Community Outreach, Palmetto Community Care, and more.