By Jeannie Colson for The Island Connection
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the Charleston community lives, works and plays. Families have been isolated, local businesses have either closed or adjusted to stay open and the usual hustle and bustle of Lowcountry life has slowed down. However, one local organization has never been busier.
Although Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has had to suspend its education and health programs for the safety of the public and its staff and volunteers, emergency food, financial assistance and employment services have steadily increased.
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has been, and will continue to be, committed to staying on the front lines to serve those who have fallen through the cracks of the coronavirus pandemic. The organization has extended its client base and is assisting anyone who lives within the Sea Islands or in downtown Charleston.
Since the beginning of March, the organization has:
- delivered 200 senior food boxes;
- packed almost 18,000 pounds of food at for families in need;
- handed out over 4,100 bag lunches at the Neighborhood House Soup Kitchen location;
- given close to $9,000 in financial assistance.
Partnering with Pay it Forward and Tricounty Ministries, the organization is also giving fresh produce to food and beverage workers affected by the restaurant closures.
“We are seeing many people come through our doors for the first time. On the front lines, we are seeing many heartwrenching examples of hurt and hardship – lost jobs, lost loved ones, individuals needing our services who never needed them before – but we are also seeing many examples of hope and inspiration,” said Ericka Plater, executive director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach.
It takes a village to care for those who have fallen through the cracks of our society – our veterans, our children, our neighbors, artists, restaurant workers and more.
Help us help those in downtown Charleston and on the rural Sea Islands gain access to the most basic need – food. Be a part of our village.
There are many ways you can help Our Lady of Mercy Community of Outreach.
Donate food: Donations of shelfstable food will help families prepare for longer-term impact. Donations can be brought to the Johns Island location at 1684 Brownswood Road or the downtown location at Neighborhood House, 77 and 79 America St., between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Financial contributions: As resources are directed to focus on meeting the unfolding needs and as the number of people we serve may increase, your support will help us remain responsive to this crisis. An example of an immediate financial burden we have is the need to purchase additional food to provide bag lunches in our soup kitchen or meats for our food pantry. To make a monetary donation, visit olmoutreach. org/donatenow.
Amazon wishlist: Purchase items from your home. Visit amazon.com/ hz/wishlist/ls/1CW80MHLSFKDY/ ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1?_ encoding=UTF8&type=wishlistto browse and purchase items.
And if you or someone you know is in need of assistance, call 843-559-4109.