By Hands of Christ for The Island Connection
Since 2003, Hands of Christ has provided school uniforms and school supplies to over 57,000 children in Charleston, Berkley, Dorchester and Colleton Counties and other areas throughout South Carolina. Thirteen churches served as distribution sites in 2019 where plans were in place to serve 4,800 children, grades K-3 through 8th grade, over a four-week period. 2020 posed a special challenge as people could not gather together to staff the event or to receive the critical supplies.
Undaunted, the Hands of Christ team created a method of contactless ordering and delivery, with the support of the Charleston County School District.
Approximately 830 children received clothing and school supplies in pre-ordered bags, and churches in Orangeburg and Summerville held modified distributions, allowing the ministry to serve close to 1,000 school children. The plan for 2021 is still being developed, but the organization plans to serve as many children as are safely possible, within the boundaries allowed by the ever-evolving COVID protocol.
Jim Frye, Operations Manager for Hands of Christ noted: “We want to be ready to serve the children this summer, whether with pre-packaged bags, a drive-through operation, an in-person distribution—or any combination to meet the needs of the underserved population.”
Hands of Christ is funded primarily by the member Presbyterian Churches, individual donors, local businesses and foundations. The three Presbyterian Churches on James Island and Yeamans Park Presbyterian Church sponsor fundraising concerts as well. The James Island churches came together this year for a virtual concert, giving a performance of “We Shall Overcome,” arranged by Horace Scruggs.
At a recent meeting of the Hands of Christ team, Mr. Frye noted: “We don’t know what the platform will be this summer; and future years may be different as well. We have to be prepared, and we will.”
To learn more about Hands of Christ or to support their mission, visit their website at handsofchrist.net or facebook.com/HoC. SC. The virtual concert can be viewed at facebook.com/JamesIslandPC/videos/2963 87951560463/?fref=gs&dti=5638712117 0&hc_location=group.