South Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation in immigrant growth. Immigrants represent nearly 5% of South Carolina’s total population, with the majority coming from Latin America, followed by Asia and Europe. Research shows the foreign-born make multiple contributions to the state’s economy sharing business, leadership, education, labor and other skills. However, a large number of immigrants and children of immigrants experience poverty across South Carolina. Given the Foundation’s mission, we recognize the value of welcoming and embracing newcomers who strengthen the communities we care deeply about.

Rooted in the Foundation’s mission and core values of compassion and courage, in 2014 the Foundation launched an Immigrant Families Initiative that is dedicated to enhancing individual and family well-being. This will be accomplished through grant making; forming strategic partnerships to support organizations that lift immigrant families out of poverty; and supporting efforts to build inclusive, welcoming environments for immigrants and their children as they integrate into South Carolina, their new home.

“The Foundation is pleased to announce this Initiative in response to the growing need of immigrant families across the state of South Carolina,” Tom Keith, President, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.

The Foundation awards six Immigrant Families Initiative grants, totaling $112,041 as part of its launch to nonprofit organizations addressing the root causes of poverty in South Carolina’s immigrant or foreign-born populations.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia – ($10,000.00) A pilot program offering one-to-one mentoring to Hispanic children of immigrants at Arden Elementary School in Richland School District One. (Richland)

Charleston County School District – ($8,850.00) A program to improve information dissemination to immigrant families about college and career options for immigrant students in the Charleston County School District. (Charleston)

PASOs – ($40,000.00) Expansion of the Puentes leadership program to empower additional grassroots Latino leaders to educate their peers and build capacity of health and social service providers to respond to maternal/child health and early education needs of the Latino population. (Charleston, Saluda, Newberry, South Carolina)

South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center – ($10,000.00) A “Hold Onto Your Dream” campaign to help DREAMer and DACA immigrant youth in South Carolina to draw attention to the need for immigration reform and tuition equity laws. (South Carolina)

Student Action with Farmworkers – (34,000.00) Supporting Into the Fields/Hacia Los Campos program interns to provide outreach to over 750 farmworkers in rural South Carolina during the summer of 2014. (South Carolina)

University of South Carolina – College of Social Work – ($9,191.00) Linking organizations serving immigrants throughout the state of South Carolina through a series of state and regional networking meetings through the Immigrant Access Project. (South Carolina)