Our Mission & History
Who We Are: Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach is rooted in the legacy of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy thus participating in Christ’s mission of love and mercy in accordance with Gospel values and a commitment to systemic change.
Our Core Values:
Serving with a spirit of charity, love and understanding
Committing to ensure diversity and acceptance of all people
Treating individuals with respect and honest in all situations
Achieving results through teamwork and partnership
Conducting ourselves in a highly ethical manner and serving as good stewards of our resources
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, established in 1989, is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. A 20 member Board of Directors governs the organization which employs approximately 20 staff members. The organization relies primarily on community support to fund its operations.
The organization began auspiciously only two weeks before Hurricane Hugo devastated the Charleston area. After dealing with immediate concerns of disaster relief, and in consultation with area residents, Our Lady of Mercy began to dedicate itself to providing services urgently needed in the sea islands area. Services have grown each year since. Today, the organization serves approximately 5,000 families on the Sea Islands and in the Eastside Community of downtown Charleston.
Headquartered at 1684 Brownswood Road on Johns Island, Our Lady of Mercy currently extends a helping hand to the community through educational programs, health services, and by responding to basic human needs. In partnership with more than 250 volunteers annually, the staff effectively delivers a variety of services, including emergency assistance, dental, prenatal and women's healthcare, life skills classes, English as a Second Language and GED instruction, after-school tutoring and a summer enrichment camp for youth. Services are always provided without regard to race, religion, disability or any other extraneous consideration.
The Neighborhood House, originally founded by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy in 1915, became part of the organization in 2005. Located at 77 America Street in downtown Charleston, the Neighborhood House provides a soup kitchen, food pantry, clothing, senior and adult education and other outreach services to many of Charleston's most vulnerable residents.
Over the years the organization has expanded its Brownswood Road facilities to include an education building and a Wellness Center. Our Lady of Mercy's capital campaign raised $4.6 million to create a new, larger and enhanced building for the Wellness Center, and to help defray the continuing costs of service expansion. The new building was dedicated on December 7, 2008.
Building on the synergy among the services it provides, Our Lady of Mercy seeks to address the undercurrents of poverty and foster the capacity of area residents to improve the quality of their lives and the life of the community.
In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.