Friday, December 3, 2010

Adventures in Allendale

Recently, I traveled to Allendale County to conduct site visits for the Winthrop Family Allendale/ Hampton Fund in memory of Sarah T. Winthrop. This grant program serves nonprofits in Allendale and Hampton Counties and was established at the Foundation in 2002. Because the family members are scattered throughout the United States and they participate in the grantmaking process remotely, they depend on the Foundation Staff to be their eyes and ears on the ground in order to make informed decisions.

Allendale County is located about 2 hours away from Charleston and most other metropolitan areas. If you don’t know anything about Allendale, you can look for it among counties that have the highest statistics for negative indicators and the lowest statistics for positive indicators. On a recent visit to Allendale to learn more about the Allendale Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy based at Allendale-Fairfax High School, I learned that last year 20% of the girls attending that school became pregnant. At Allendale County ALIVE, a local community development corporation, I learned that over 100 families are on a waiting list to receive critical home repairs. At the Healthy Learners Program, facilitated by the Sisters of Charity Development Corporation, I learned that a large number of children are unable to access health care because of transportation barriers, lack of insurance, and in some cases their parents lack the skills and resources needed to seek appropriate care.

Despite odds that seem insurmountable and low rankings across the board, there are several nonprofits with some of the most dedicated staff that I have come in contact. These individuals are working tirelessly to provide much-needed services and to create positive change in Allendale County.

Form more information about Allendale nonprofits, please contact me at or 843-723-3635.

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