Foundation Awards $89,900 to Catholic Sister-Affiliated Programs

September 17, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – September – The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded nine Collaboration for Ministry (CMI) grants totaling $89,900 to programs associated with women religious (Sisters) in South Carolina.

The Foundation recognizes the needs and challenges facing congregations of women religious in South Carolina. These CMI grants were established to support congregations of women religious in their efforts with the poor and underserved in South Carolina.

Historically, Sister-affiliated ministries have a strong and successful record in reducing poverty in South Carolina. Sisters have established schools, hospitals and social service ministries that have served hundreds of thousands of people in the state over the past 200 years. Today, due to aging of Sisters and the decline in new recruits, there is an accelerating loss of Sisters’ ministries in South Carolina. Additionally, the few active Sisters remaining are scattered throughout the state and they, along with their ministries, are frequently alone in their efforts to address poverty.

Thus, five years ago the Foundation began an initiative which seeks to understand and assist these ministries in South Carolina. Working to strengthen and sustain these ministries, the Collaboration for Ministry Initiative conducts a variety of activities including convening meetings, providing technical assistance, facilitating transitions of leadership of Sister-affiliated ministries, providing grants and evaluating these efforts.

“These programs, organized by women religious, work daily to address poverty in South Carolina, and are invaluable to our community,” said Tom Keith, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. “It is our hope that the funding from the Foundation will strengthen and ensure sustainability of these programs in order for them to continue to serve those in need.”

  2009 Collaboration for Ministry Grants

Felician Sisters of St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center (Williamsburg), $15,000- Funding to increase services to the underserved of St. Ann Outreach Center in Kingstree and St. Philip Outreach Center in Lake City. Funding is also for expanded enrichment and educational opportunities for at-risk children in the Williamsburg school district.

Franciscan Center (Allendale), $15,000- Funding for a partnership project for poverty alleviation in rural Allendale County through the collaboration effort of public, private and nonprofit sectors through the development of an agricultural business for the community.

Jasper County Neighbors United (Jasper), $10,000- Funding for a Parent University addressing the educational and relationship needs of low-income single mothers and their children. Programs include an after school program, a summer lunch program and a mentoring program for the mothers.

Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, Inc. (Charleston), $15,000- The Family Literacy Program provides educational opportunities for adults and their children who seek to improve their language, math and general literacy skills as well parenting and socialization skills.

Our Lady of Mercy Neighborhood House (Charleston), $5,000- Funding to develop resources and leadership to sustain the ministry of  The Neighborhood House into a viable future to serve the needs of people living in the poverty in Charleston.

Sea of Peace House of Prayer (South Carolina), $3,000- Funding to facilitate transition in leadership for a center that provides outreach services to the surrounding community.

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School (Greenville), $11,900- This program brings together elderly individuals in the community and school children to provide tutoring for the children and companionship for the elderly in the form of Elder Buddies.

St. Cyprian Outreach Center (Georgetown), $7,500- Funding for a Hispanic Community Client Advocate to provide Hispanic community members with the means to communicate successfully with service providers.

St. Martin de Porres Catholic School (Richland), $7,500- Funding for an interactive program to enrich reading, language arts, religion and science skills for students in grades Pre-K-6.