A Jan. 24 editorial titled “Haven for retirees (who volunteer)” pointed out the importance of volunteers giving their time to local communities. The Charleston area holds the distinction for the highest concentration of “America’s Service Clubs” in the country. The Lowcountry boasts 16 Exchange Clubs, with the Upstate possessing five more.
Three traditional clubs formed in 2014 on James and Daniel islands and at Cane Bay. The St. Paul’s Parish Club founded a student Excel Club at the Lowcountry Leadership Academy last November. We number over 1,100 volunteers.
Exchange Clubs champion expressing love of country through community service at the local level. With strong, unified local communities will follow a strong state and vibrant national health.
Honoring youth excellence and the prevention of child abuse round out Exchange’s “Four Pillars of Service,” but clubs often have unique causes upon which members concentrate their attention.
The Summerville Club has a high school football team; the Exchange Club of Charleston has the Coastal Carolina Fair with over $800,000 in charitable giving annually. Beaufort’s focus is the Child Abuse Prevention Association in Port Royal, and that club aims to establish a new club in Bluffton this year.
The Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant clubs help make the IOP Connector Run for the Child happen. The Hanahan, North Charleston, and Folly Beach clubs are visible with Christmas parade, or July Fourth celebrations. Kiawah-Seabrook publishes the islands’ phonebook which promotes local businesses and generates in excess of $110,000 in annual charitable giving.
Efforts are ongoing to found a Citadel Exchange Club to advance the college’s mission.
Men and women who wish to carry out the encouragement given in the editorial should pursue happiness by joining Exchange. Your local communities will be happy that you did.
Frederick J. Whittle
Immediate Past President
S.C. District Exchange Clubs
S.C. District Exchange
Ashley Pointe Drive