Many of us think of United Way of the Lowcountry as a community investment nonprofit that helps fund programs for partner agencies such as CAPA, CODA, Hope Haven, and many others. However, they also act as an impact agency for people in need and their helpline is a resource. At times, the helpline is able to coordinate help for someone in need through services offered by partner agencies. At other times, direct assistance is provided.
On a typical week, between 25-35 calls come in to the helpline, while 10-15 people walk into the United Way office for help. The stories shared here exemplify some of the work United Way of the Lowcountry does.
Truly destitute people come into the United Way in desperate circumstances. One homeless man came in because his wife made $4 over the public assistance level and he couldn’t provide for their children, so he wanted to know if there was a “drop-off” location he could take his children to so they could be fed. He felt he had to sacrifice the parental bond to give his children a better life.
In another instance, a rape victim had no safe place to stay and the CODA (domestic abuse) shelter was full, so United Way (which had been contacted by Hope Haven, the rape crisis center) arranged for her to stay in a low-cost motel for a night and gave her funds for bus transportation to stay with friends and relatives away from the area.
These acts of compassion were possible because citizens in this area help fund the United Way and its member agencies. Without the resources supplied by United Way, where would that man have taken his children or what would that young lady have done? Compassion made the difference and it appears in many different forms.
Contact CompassionateStory@gmail.com if you hear of, see, or are involved in such acts of caring and sharing. We all need to share in the conversation about what makes Beaufort a compassionate city and publicizing such stories is one way to do it. Visit Facebook, Compassionate Beaufort Communities if you want to learn more about this and other programs that are being initiated.