A shining light helps low-income, uninsured

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Caroline Lutz is a brilliant, caring lawyer, who has combined these gifts with collaboration and grant writing skills to bring new life to the Good Neighbor Medical Clinic. And what has she done for the Medical Clinic? She wrote the successful applications for four grants that the Good Neighbor Medical Clinic was awarded in 2012:

• $5,000 from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Touch Tomorrow Beaufort Endowment Fund for technical equipment and quality improvement

• $30,000 from Wal-Mart State Giving Program to expand service to people with low incomes and no insurance

• $5,000 from Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina to expand service and for general operating funds

• $5,000 from the Beaufort Fund also to expand services and for general operating funds.

• $45,000 makes a huge difference to a non-profit organization like the Good Neighbor Medical Clinic, which had been struggling after missing some granting opportunities in 2011. The grant money will enable the clinic to provide many more services to many more uninsured, low-income clients.

The Good Neighbor Medical Clinic is located in the Professional Village on Lady’s Island and provides free medical care for low-income uninsured residents of Beaufort County without regard to age, race, sex, ethnicity or religion.

Caroline Lutz, a retired corporate lawyer who serves on the board of directors of the Good Neighbor Medical Clinic and wrote the applications for these grants, was diagnosed with a rare cancer known as SDHB-paraganglioma in 2006. She started working with Beaufort area nonprofits at that time, since she was more physically limited and wanted rewarding work that would be flexible enough to work around her cancer treatment schedule.  Her first experience was with Our Lady’s Pantry — a food pantry run by St. Peter’s Catholic Church at the time and now managed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston. When Caroline began to work for the pantry, the Beaufort real estate market crashed and the numbers seeking food assistance rose dramatically, so she became a very busy and successful grant writer. By the time the pantry was transferred from St. Peter’s to Catholic Charities in 2011 — it was the largest food pantry in all of the counties of the Lowcountry and distributed more than two times the food distributed by the next largest food pantry.

Caroline’s work for nonprofit organizations led to her receiving the 2012 Caritas Award for Catholic Woman of the Year from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, which includes most of South Carolina. This distinguished award is given annually to one recipient.