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The Gadsden GAB is a monthly publication that's written by BG residents, for BG residents. Every two weeks, we'll feature an article from the GAB on the Bishop Gadsden website. To read more, you can read the entire February edition here.

BG to Award Grants to Four Local Charities

by Angela Estes

Consistent with the BG mission to “reach out with a generous spirit”, the BG community will provide four local charities with grant awards at the February Resident Update on February 16, 2022. The four recipient organizations are Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, Charleston Area Senior Citizens, Sea Island Hunger Awareness Foundation, and Tricounty Family Ministries.

The funds for the grants were raised by the 2021 Charitable Fund Campaign. Contributions in excess of those needed to support current residents who have outlived their financial resources go toward the Outreach grants. With the severe impact of COVID-19 upon the community’s most vulnerable, the 2021 Non-Profit Outreach Committee made the decision to focus on organizations that provide basic needs such as food, shelter, rental assistance, and medical care in the Tri-County area.

The four recipients applied for a grant this past February. After being vetted by the Selection Committee, apartment & cottage residents indicated their preferences for grant awards by ballot. The amount of each grant award will be announced at the February Resident Update meeting.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic in Charleston has been providing free medical care to uninsured, low-income adults since 2008. All of the volunteer physicians are licensed in South Carolina and maintain annual Continuing Medical Education. The in-house staff consists of currently practicing area physicians as well as retired medical university professors. The Clinic treats uninsured adults who live or work on Johns, James and Wadmalaw Islands and Folly Beach or work in the Downtown Charleston Hospitality Industry.

Charleston Area Senior Citizens provides free services to low-income seniors in Berkely, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The organization provides Meals on Wheels as well as an emergency food pantry and group meals at their center. 

Sea Island Hunger Awareness Foundation is an all-volunteer non-profit that addresses hunger on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands by coordinating fund-raising and food distribution with eleven partners. The organization’s Sea Island Blessing Basket is a food distribution program providing produce, meat and eggs from the Lowcountry Food Bank, local grocers, and farms. The organization’s Crockpot Cooking Classes for 100 students annually teach healthy meal preparation and cooking skills. Upon completion of the six-week course, students receive a crockpot, measuring cups and spoons, assorted spices and a crockpot recipe booklet. The organization’s Water Wellness Mission has installed new wells and filtration systems to over 200 homes whose wells had become contaminated.

Neighbors Together is an ecumenical ministry providing vital services including food, clothing, medical care, counseling, job training, shelter and emergency financial assistance for seniors, the disabled, the unemployed, the homeless, and the working poor in the tri-county area. The organization’s shelter and transitional housing program provides counseling and skills-building that include conflict management and relationship- building. 

The process for the 2022 grant awards has already begun. In early January, apartment & cottage residents were encouraged to nominate organizations that they wanted to be considered for grants from the 2022 Charitable Fund. After a vetting process conducted by the Non-profit Selection Committee, applications were emailed to the nominated 501(c)(3) organizations. Applications for funding are due on February 11. The 2022 Non-profit Selection Committee will review the applications and select the finalist organizations, inviting them to make a presentation to residents on March 8, 2022. Residents will have the opportunity to vote by ballot for the organizations they wish to fund. After the ballots are tallied, the Non-profit Selection Committee will make the final determination and announce the funded organizations in April. The actual amount recipients will receive will be announced in early 2023, when Bishop Gadsden calculates the amount of funds available for grants from the 2022 Charitable Fund Campaign. 

The Charitable Fund Grant Program has had a significant impact on our neighbors in the tri-county community, awarding close to $9.8 million in grant awards to charitable causes since 2000.