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The Sisters of Charity Foundation began its journey in philanthropy in May of 1996. The work started with extensive research on poverty related issues in South Carolina. From that, came the “Dimensions of Poverty” document which outlined the areas of poverty that needed addressing. With that beginning, the Foundation created a two-prong approach to grantmaking with half of its dollars going to strategic or proactive programs, and half going to responsive programs.
The Foundation’s first initiative, “Fatherhood,” started in 1998. Since then, the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families was birthed and there are fatherhood programs and services in all 46 Counties of the state. The Foundation has invested more than $16 million in helping thousands of low income fathers and their families overcome challenges and live loving and fruitful lives.
Also, the Foundation has championed the Immigrant Families Initiative, Kinship Care Initiative, created a program to support Women Religious across the state and invested heavily in building the capacity of nonprofit practitioners and leaders in South Carolina. All told, more than 2,300 individuals have benefited from no cost training and learning opportunities provided by the Foundation. The Foundation has also built a program that supports the next generation of leaders by working directly with college students to expose them to philanthropy and important challenges and opportunities that exist in their neighborhoods and communities.
The Foundation has invested heavily in grantmaking efforts around the state in programs addressing the causes and consequences of poverty. Since the beginning, the Foundation has awarded more than 2,500 grants totaling more than $60 million to help South Carolinians deal with poverty related issues. Programs funded include areas addressing health access, afterschool programs, meeting basic needs, job training, policy training for legislators, programs for women, programs for immigrants, programs for seniors, programs for the homeless and many more.
In its work, the Sisters of Charity Foundation integrates its core values through a dedicated Board of Trustees and staff. The commitment to justice, collaboration, courage, compassion and respect is a part of every decision made and every grant awarded.
In reflecting on the 20 year journey with the Foundation, it has become clear that this Ministry is about positive change. During these two decades, many changes have occurred through government systems, nonprofit and faith based programs, public policy efforts, focused initiatives, capacity building and creating awareness around poverty.
It is certainly our hope that the next 20 years of Foundation Ministry will be as successful and as rewarding as the first 20 years. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to every person and organization that has joined us in our journey. We have never been alone in our quest to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. We will continue that quest with the help of thousands of others who embrace our mission of helping individuals and families live out of poverty.