DI Community Fund Presents $161,845 to 11 Non-Profits in First Quarter
The Daniel Island Community Fund, the island’s 501(c) 4 organization that is funded by a transfer fee on all resale transactions within the community, has announced the recipients of grant funding for the first quarter of 2016. Grants totaling $161,845 were distributed to assist with funding for programs administered by 11 different Charleston area not-for-profit organizations that address education, healthcare, housing, hunger and poverty in our communities.
Since inception in 2000, the DICF has established a unique model for giving back that has distributed a total of more than two million dollars to support both community improvement initiatives on Daniel Island and charitable initiatives supporting its neighboring (and often under-served) communities.
“Our Fund differs from most other transfer-fee based community funds across the country in that it uses the majority of its funding for charitable projects,” said Jane Baker, Vice President of Community Services for the Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association and administrator of the Daniel Island Community Fund. “It helps our overall community be good stewards of the place we call home, and good neighbors to those around us in need.”
The non-profit organizations receiving grant support from the DICF in the first quarter of 2016 are:
World Class Scholars/Palmetto Project
The DICF provided a $12,500 grant to World Class Scholars, a real time, online technology program that partners schools and students in South Carolina with other schools and students around the world, with the goal of helping students learn the skills they need to work and be competitive in the interconnected global marketplace of the 21st century. Students learn to use technology, establish personal relationships, learn together about the world around them and possibly win scholarship money and other valuable prizes. The money provided by the DICF is being matched by Nucor Steel South Carolina and will be used to establish the project in Berkeley County Schools beginning with the Cainhoy School.
“This project directly responds to our Fund’s goal of trying to fund a broad, holistic scholastic offering to the Title 1 students of Cainhoy School. We’re very appreciative of our growing partnerships with industry and business leaders like Nucor, which are proving to be extremely impactful in helping us leverage our contributions for initiatives like these,” said Baker.
East Cooper Community Outreach – Health Services
A $12,000 grant was awarded to East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) for health programming and services for low-income residents living in the East Cooper and Cainhoy areas. ECCO has been steadily increasing the services they offer residents of the Lowcountry, and in November of last year they opened a satellite facility in the Cainhoy/Huger area with assistance from the DICF. The organization’s Health Services Program is designed to increase access to healthcare for the low-income, uninsured population and to increase the likelihood for individuals to achieve self-sufficiency and long-term employment. Services include the delivery of emergency medications, long-term prescription assistance, labs, vision care, diagnostics, health and wellness classes, counseling, preventive and restorative dental care, and primary medical care with nurse practitioners.
East Cooper Community Outreach – Individual Development Account Program
A $10,000 grant to ECCO will go towards a program to assist individuals who are facing economic difficulties by providing them with the tools needed to combat the underlying causes of poverty and guide them towards self-sufficiency. The Individual Development Account (IDA) is a nationwide program developed to help reduce poverty through financial stability. It is based on teaching eligible low-income individuals how to save money for the future by offering a financial reward as an incentive. For every dollar saved by program participants, they receive $3 in matching funding plus the opportunity to earn up to $3,000 after completing a financial education workshop and successfully saving personal money. The program includes a 12-week Money Smart Workshop that teaches the basics of borrowing credit, how to track spending, new ways to save and how to improve credit scores. The combined personal savings and matched money is intended for starting or growing a small business, purchasing a home, or for post-secondary education or training.
“We’ve worked with ECCO in the past and they have proven to successfully provide a wide variety of services that have helped to improve the quality of life for our low-income neighbors. We’re pleased to be able to continue to support their efforts, specifically towards education and healthcare for our neighbors in Cainhoy and Huger,” Baker said.
A $6,100 grant was awarded to the Humanities Foundation to cover the costs of a two-week day camp for at least 25 children residing at the Humanities Foundation’s Seven Farms apartment complex on Daniel Island. Recreational and learning activities will be emphasized, and there will be a field trip each week.
Daniel Island School – Technology Grant
A $24,864 grant to the Daniel Island School PTA in the first quarter is the Fund’s second technology grant for the school. It will allow for the purchase of 30 additional Chromebooks, two cart stations and 30 charging cords. Funding for this second technology request will bring the school closer to its goal of a 1:1 student/Chromebook ratio. The efficient and effective technology integration has already changed the classroom dynamic at the school, encouraging student-centered, project-based learning.
Located off Clements Ferry Road, Mission Collective is a startup with a concept of providing office and meeting space for businesses, nonprofits and religious organizations. The space includes open offices, meeting rooms and a deck to hold meetings and events. It is designed to serve as coworking space for entrepreneurs and charitable and non-profit leaders. A $10,000 grant from the DICF will fund office space for 12 nonprofit organizations for one year.
Lowcountry Food Bank
A $5,000 grant to the Lowcountry Food Bank will go towards three “Fresh for All” distributions on the Cainhoy Peninsula, providing 450 families with 18,000 pounds of fresh produce supplemented with select drygoods products. Produce will comprise at least 80% of the food distributed. LCFB will also offer nutrition demonstrations and/or recipes at each distribution.
“Feeding America estimates that nearly 25,860 individuals (including nearly 10,000 children) in Berkeley Country struggle with hunger on a daily basis,” says Baker. “Many families do not have access to or cannot afford to purchase nutritious food. We’ve supported the Food Bank in the past and have found their programs to be successful in addressing hunger in our community in a meaningful way.”
The DICF will address housing needs in the community by providing a $30,000 grant to Operation Home to provide critical repairs to five homes in the Huger/Cainhoy area.
“Disrepair of aging homes on the Cainhoy peninsula remains a problem for many residents. In 2015, four homes received roof replacements with the aid of Operation Home. The organization has also partnered with ECCO and the Baldwin-Carson Community Outreach Center to serve residents in this community, and we are happy to continue to help them achieve their goals and help our neighbors,” Baker said.
St. Vincent DePaul Society
St. Vincent de Paul Society received a $7,500 grant to repair homes in the Huger area, many of which were rendered unsound after the historic flooding last fall. The all-volunteer organization evaluates and manages requests for assistance, and many volunteers handle smaller jobs themselves. Otherwise, volunteers hire and manage licensed craftsmen.
Charleston Promise Neighborhood
A grant for $4,981 will fund a portion of the costs associated with sending 20 underprivileged kids to Camp Blackbaud on May 17-18 at the Blackbaud campus on Daniel Island. Children will learn coding and other technical skills during the two-day camp. The funds will cover the cost of transportation, labor, lunch, snacks, books and other miscellaneous supplies during the event.
Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund/Berkeley County Library
The Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund recognizes Lucy Boyle, daughter of longtime Daniel Island Library staff member Tim Boyle. Lucy died last year at the age of 13 and the Fund was developed to help other children enjoy the various STEM areas that were of great interest to her. Research indicates that although many students begin school with an interest and excitement in the STEM areas, many lose that interest as they get older. But STEM careers provide good jobs and keep workers competitive in the global market. A $10,000 from the DICF grant will help make STEM resources available for elementary and middle school aged children so that they can continue to develop their interest and skills and consider those areas for future careers.
“Now serving as branch manager, Tim’s tireless long-time service at the Daniel Island Library is a true asset to our community and he is held in high regard by many island residents,” said Baker. “Honoring his daughter while at the same time providing funding for STEM education in our schools is just one very small way we can repay his service to our community.”
Cainhoy School – Enrichment Programs
The DICF awarded a $20,000 grant to pay for summer enrichment programs at the Cainhoy School that will serve 150 students, keeping them busy and contributing to their education during the summer months. It also provided a $8,900 matching donation that will allow 50 Cainhoy Middle School students participate in a class field trip to Washington D.C. this spring.
“We are so fortunate to live in such a caring community of residents, and I am particularly appreciative of those who serve on the Fund’s Board and volunteer their time to help identify and vet the best use of our funding. It’s an honor to work with them towards making a positive impact on our immediate and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Baker.