East Carolina Community Foundation News

First Round of Pee Dee Disaster Relief Grants Awarded

PO Box 1615 Florence, SC 29503  

843-667-1131   easterncarolinacf.org


Pee Dee Disaster Relief Fund Grants Awarded

Eastern Carolina Community Foundation has announced the recipients of the first round of funding from the Pee Dee Disaster Relief Fund. Elizabeth Kahn, ECCF Board Member states, “Non-profit organizations throughout the whole Pee Dee are struggling due to a decrease in donations and a general increase in need.  Local organizations are really stepping up their services, so we are stepping up our support of local organizations.”

Bread of Life Food Pantry, Caring and Sharing, Empowered to Heal, Darlington County Humane Society, Florence County Disabilities Foundation, Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County, Future Entrepreneurs, House of Hope of the Pee Dee, House of Refuge, iHope Christian Care and Counseling, Junior League of Florence, Lydia’s Bowel of Mercy Home, Mercy Medicine, My Brother’s Keeper Shelter, The Naomi Project, One More Round Boxing Team, Pathfinders United, Resurrection Restoration Center for the Homeless, Seminole 6 Sports, St. Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment, United Way of Chesterfield County received a grant from this fund. Over $18,000 was distributed to these non-profit agencies.

Julie Maxham from House of Hope, responded “The only reason we can continue, besides our tireless and dedicated staff, is through the support of the community.  With this grant from Eastern Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, we will continue to offer food, shelter, and clothing, despite this terrible disease.”

Thomas Kennedy, ECCF Board Member, said, “it is good to see non-profits from right here in the Pee Dee area assisting people in need in times like these.  After going through the grant requests, it solidifies the fact that you don’t have to look hard to find people in need. The need is great right in our own backyard.” Rev. Mary M. Finklea, ECCF Board Chair added, “Helpers are also from our own backyard. It is beautiful to see the connection between needs and resources. People want to give, knowing their gift will impact the lives of their neighbors.”

The Pee Dee Disaster Fund was first established in 2010 at the Eastern Carolina Community Foundation through a partnership with the Darlington Raceway in response to tornados that hit Darlington. In 2015, donations helped to support organizations responding to devastating floods. In more recent years, Hurricanes Matthew and Florence wreaked havoc for many families in the Pee Dee.  Now, in 2020, during a time of global pandemic there is both a health crisis and an economic challenge.

The intent is to help organizations respond to food, shelter, health, and non-profit sustainability needs stemming from the pandemic in a quick and efficient way.  Grants are available in amounts varying from $500- $2,000. “We know this can’t solve all the problems that our small local non-profits are up against, but we hope these funds help to ease their burden,” says Finklea. This fund will award grants in three rounds, over a six month period, in order to provide a much needed cash infusion quickly, while also preparing for long-term needs of the community.

Online donations to the Pee Dee Disaster Relief Fund may be made at www.easterncarolinacf.org and checks may be sent to ECCF, PO Box 1615, Florence, SC 29503. All gifts are greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged to the donor.  The ECCF Board of Directors serves as the decision making body for the grant’s distribution. Non-profit agencies with annual budgets below $1,000,000 that serve the people of Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marlboro, Marion, and Williamsburg counties are eligible to apply for the grant. Finklea added, “The more we receive, the more we can give away! I invite the community to support this wonderful initiative.”


For more information, please contact the foundation at info@easterncarolinacf.org.




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