The Big Brothers Big Sisters program run by Carolina Youth Development Center served more than 200 needy children last year, but more than 100 lingered on its waiting list.
LoveGave Hope kicks off today a 58-hour effort to raise $100,000 for four Lowcounty orphan relief groups. They will be outside of the Walmart in West Ashley and in Goose Creek from 9 a.m. today until 7 p.m. Saturday collecting money and supplies such as clothes, bedding, baby products and household goods.To donate or learn more, go to lovegave.com and follow them on Twitter at @love_gave
The nonprofit would like to pair more mentors with children, but the program has suffered cuts and needs more money to cover its costs, such as background checks, training and support.
Nearly 20 churches are coming together starting today in an effort to collect $100,000 in 58 hours that would go to that program and others sponsored by four Lowcountry orphan relief groups, including Carolina Youth Development Center in North Charleston.
“That program touches so many lives in the community,” said Amy Ware, CYDC associate director of development. “We cannot afford to lose that program, and we won’t.”
The three other groups that will benefit from the fundraising by LoveGave are Winwood Farms, Eagle Harbor Ranch and LowCountry Orphan Relief. LoveGave organizers are covering the expenses involved in hosting the fundraiser, so all donations will go directly to the four organizations.
This is the third year LoveGave has sponsored a project before Christmas, and it has grown every year. It raised more than $58,000 last year to give needy students breakfast, lunch and dinner during their winter break; about $19,000 was collected the previous year to buy bikes for students.
“We can accomplish more together than we could on our own,” said Mike Fessler, one of LoveGave’s leaders and outreach pastor at River Church. “With each event, we’re gaining momentum, and more churches are coming on board.”
When organizers learned about the needs of local orphan relief efforts, they felt called to try to raise money for them, he said. They will be collecting money and basic everyday supplies, such as underwear, clothes and toiletries, but they also received wish lists from each group.
For 58 hours starting at 9 a.m., they will be stationed outside of the Walmart in Goose Creek and in West Ashley to solicit donations and raise awareness.
“You just have to come out and experience what goes on,” Fessler said. “It’s not like any normal event.”
Ware said it’s hard to put into words what the possibility of this donation will mean to the organization.
“It would be a wonderful boost to get us going into the new year,” she said.
Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter.