Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina Awards $93,000 to Sister-led Ministries

September 8, 2011

CHARLESTON, SC – September 8, 2011 – The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded eight Collaboration for Ministry Initiative grants totaling $93,000 to programs associated with women religious (Catholic nuns) across South Carolina.

The grants were established to support women religious in their efforts to help the poor in South Carolina.  Sisters have established schools, hospitals and social service ministries that have served hundreds of thousands people in the state over the past 200 years.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina exhibits an interest in supporting congregations of women religious in their efforts with the poor and underserved members of society. The Collaboration for Ministry Initiative is designed to assist the religious communities in South Carolina and the challenges they face.

The following organizations received 2011 Collaboration for Ministry Initiative grants:

Felician Sisters of St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center in Kingstree received $15,000 for the final phase of their multi-faceted ministry center.  ($15,000, Williamsburg County)

The Franciscan Center in St. Helena Island was awarded $15,000 to expand Center of Hope into Beaufort County. They will focus on partnering with two groups: economically disadvantaged families to help improve their living conditions and shelters and other organizations to improve the temporary living conditions of 1,200 migrant agricultural workers and their families who come to harvest the tomato crop by providing food, towels, toiletries and clothing. ($15,000, Beaufort County)

Our Lady of Mercy Neighborhood House in Johns Island received $15,000 to enhance the current food service and food pantry programs, add a nutritional education program, expand the provision of emergency assistance services and develop additional partnerships and collaborations with area churches, non profits and civic organizations. ($15,000, Charleston County)

Our Lady of the Hills Respite Care Program in Columbia received $5,000 to enhance their program of providing short-term relief from caregiving responsibilities to persons caring at home for functionally dependent adults, opportunities for participants to engage in a program of socialization and activities in a safe and supportive setting to maximize their quality of life. ($5,000, Lexington and Richland Counties)

Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center in Gloverville was awarded $15,000 to help educate individuals through GED services and prepare them and their families for gainful employment. ($15,000, Aiken County)

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Greenville received $15,000 to support the expansion of the Elder Buddy program to include the senior or elder family members that are involved in or responsible for raising students at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. The Elder Buddy program allows students, seniors and the community as a whole to participate in multi-generational activities.  ($15,000, Greenville County)

St. Cyprian Outreach Center in Georgetown received $3,000 to provide educational and recreational opportunities for families needing support through English as a Second Language classes, women’s sewing classes, community workshops/gatherings and a one-week summer camp for children to enhance the growth and self-worth of participants. ($3,000, Georgetown County)

St. Martin de Porres Catholic School in Columbia received $10,000 to support the Reading Through the Arts and Technology II program.  The program will actively engage students in a global awareness curriculum which will include literature, art, music, technology, cuisine, movement and geography. ($10,000, Richland County)

About Collaboration for Ministry Initiative

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.

In light of their circumstances, six 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.

About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.