By Jeannie Colson for The Island Connection
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, in sponsorship with South State Bank, will hold a free food and dental kit distribution Oct. 17, between 9 a.m. and noon at its Johns Island location at 1684 Brownswood Road.
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has been able to stay open despite the pandemic, providing hope to those needing emergency financial, employment and food services during these challenging times.
The Saturday distribution will be a contact-less, drive-thru model to keep staff and patrons safe. A Saturday was chosen to help community members who need assistance but can’t receive it during business hours. While Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach’s free dental clinic works toward a safe reopening, dental kits will also be provided during the food distribution event to ensure access to basic supplies so dental emergencies can be avoided.
Food boxes will be provided to families on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has:
Packed and distributed more than 35,000 pounds of food at both locations for families in need;
Handed out almost 8,000 bag lunches at the Neighborhood House Soup Kitchen location;
Given more than $22,000 in financial assistance.
The community can help make the food and dental distribution a success by donating shelf-stable food and dental supplies to help families prepare for longer term impact. Donations can be brought to the Johns Island location at 1684 Brownswood Road between 9 a.m. and 11a.m. Monday through Friday. Those who wish to help also can purchase items from the Amazon wish list at amazon.com/ hz/wishlist/ls/1CW80MHLSFKDY/ ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1?_ encoding=UTF8&type=wishlist.
“Families and individuals are still struggling to cope with lost wages, eviction notices, utility disconnects and now navigating the virtual school environment. This Saturday distribution is a small way we can expand our efforts to help. We will continue to come up with innovative ways to lend a helping hand. We know the road to recovery from COVID-19 will be long for many,” said Ericka Plater, executive director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach.
To learn more about the organization, go to olmoutreach.org.
About Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach
Founded in 1989, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach provides educational, health and direct outreach services to more than 5,000 people each year in the Lowcountry. With the support of volunteers and donations, community members receive dental and pre-natal care, emergency food, clothing and financial assistance, lunch five days a week at Neighborhood House, and diverse educational and capacity-building opportunities such as after-school programs, money management, GED and ESL classes, workforce development, and more. The two locations include Johns Island on Brownswood Road, serving the needs of James, Johns and Wadmalaw Island residents, and the Neighborhood House in Charleston that serves Eastside-area residents. For more information, visit olmoutreach.org.