Posted on July 25th, 2017

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Collaboration for Ministry Initiative (CMI) grants.  This Initiative was established in 2003 with the intention to engage, support, and sustain the ministries of Catholic Women Religious in South Carolina. These ministries have been responsible for establishing schools, hospitals, and social service programs that have served hundreds of thousands of people over the years.

These grants are designed to strengthen ministries of Women Religious that provide services to underserved individuals and families living in poverty throughout South Carolina. The application process is open to any ministry that has a Catholic Woman Religious serving in a leadership role and grants are awarded once each year.

The following ministries have been awarded 2017 Collaboration for Ministry Initiative grants:

Felician Center – The Felician Center seeks to be a transforming presence through compassionate ministry, educational services and loving care. This grant will provide support for succession planning that the Felician Center has begun. The Sisters have engaged in strategic actions to facilitate transitions of leadership from women religious to laity. Funding will also support the day to day services of the Felician Center Food Pantry, Clothing Closet, Dental Care, Eye Care and Prescription Assistance Programs. The anticipated Federal funding cutbacks to programs like Medicaid and SNAP will impact organizations such as Felician Center. (Williamsburg County)

Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Services and Neighborhood House – OLM Outreach Services’ mission is to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth for people in need in the community through education, wellness and outreach services. The Neighborhood House serves the poor in urban Charleston and offers a weekly lunch program and food pantry to meet the nutritional needs of the poor, especially on weekends and holidays. This program has operated for many years and is representative of the commitment of the Christian community to those in economic need. This funding will support general operating efforts that will enhance the operations of both OLM service locations; Johns Island, serving the Sea Islands and Neighborhood House, serving the Eastside and nearby areas. (Charleston County)

St. Cyprian Outreach Center – St. Cyprian Outreach Center is a Catholic Christian presence in an economically deprived area serving all persons whose goal is to respect the dignity and serve the basic human needs of those in Georgetown City and County. This grant will support the Center’s ability to provide assistance to needy families in the form of emergency utility and rent assistance, prescription medications, food, and clothing as well as a new program to engage residents called “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World”. This program is a comprehensive self-help, life-skill program, in which participants, called investigators, meet weekly for sixteen (16) three hour sessions. This in-depth program engages residents and helps them begin to move from crisis management of their lives to positive, long-range life planning. (Georgetown County)

St. Francis Center – The mission of the St. Francis Center is to break the cycle of poverty through education, advocacy, respect and compassion. This grant will support the Emergency Home Repair program which serves economically disadvantaged families in northern Beaufort County who need emergency home repairs and/or modifications for handicapped access. The Center partners with these families by purchasing the necessary construction materials while the family arranges for labor. Projects include ramps, railings, roofs, flooring, kitchens and bathrooms. Funding will also support the Migrant Farmworker Outreach Program which provides 300 welcome boxes of food, towels and toiletries as well as shoes and new toys for children of seasonal migrant workers housed in migrant camps on St. Helena Island who have arrived to harvest the tomato crop. (Beaufort County)

St. Martin de Porres Catholic School – A ministry of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, this school is a vibrant Christ-centered school that emphasizes the joy and wonder of learning in a loving and caring atmosphere. This grant will support the “Learning Through the Arts Program” which will be a creative approach to reading, math, music and art. Integrating art across the curriculum will be the approach to strengthen reading fluency and comprehension. The skills needed for accuracy in math will be addressed through creative & engaging activities. Most of the students come from low-income families and many students experience low self-esteem and academic weaknesses. St. Martin promotes learning in a fun-filled way, helping students love school and encouraging excitement about learning. The “Learning Through the Arts Program” will be an engaging approach that will not only boost academic achievement, but promote differentiated learning, creativity, self-confidence and pride for students at St. Martin de Porres Catholic School. (Richland County)

Thumbs Up – Thumbs Up Children’s Educational Center, founded by Sister Mary Trzasko, OP, is a year-round, no-cost early intervention literacy and mentoring program. Designed to help low-performing children who are living in economically disadvantaged families to achieve grade level proficiency in reading and math, students become able to achieve success in school and in life. This grant will support the organization’s efforts on developing the new “Thumbs Up Early Literacy Intervention Program.” Thumbs Up will be enrolling a new cohort of students in grades PreK-3, particularly those children with reading disorders–as identified by Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or by Limited English Proficiency (LEPs). These are students who are at risk of early reading failure, and who will inevitably struggle and fall farther behind in reading than their peers over the next three years. It is vital to their future success in school. Funds will also be used to purchase quality reading and instructional materials, books online, computer software and support operating expenses. (Beaufort County)


About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.