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Local Nonprofit Receives $30k in Grants to Provide Free Community Outreach Services

Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, has received three grants, each for $10,000. These generous contributions will aid in their mission to provide educational, health and direct outreach services to residents on James, Johns and Wadmalaw Islands as well as downtown Charleston-area residents through the Neighborhood House program.

The Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club grant will directly support Our Lady of Mercy's Wellness Center dental program. In 2011 alone, the dental clinic provided more than $1.1 million in free dental care to limited income and uninsured Lowcountry residents and this grant will allow Our Lady of Mercy to continue providing this basic health service to those living on the Sea Islands.

"Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach's dental program is the perfect fit for our club's mission to offer community services specific to those in need on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands," explains Exchange Club president, Roger Steel. Our Lady of Mercy's dental director, Dr. John Howard, said that they were "very grateful for the gift" and noted that "with this grant money and the assistance of more than 30 dental volunteers - three of which are Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club members - many people will receive dental care that otherwise would not have been cared for."

The David A. and Susan H. Schoenholz Foundation grant will be used to purchase meat for the monthly senior food box distribution as well as other items for Our Lady of Mercy's food pantry. Susan and David Schoenholz are both active volunteers with the organization.

"We are pleased to support Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, an effective ministry that promotes self-sufficiency while providing needed assistance in a respectful and compassionate fashion," explains David Schoenholz.

The third grant is from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, headquartered in New York City. They awarded more than $1.7 million in grants in 2011 and their donation to Our Lady of Mercy will go toward general operating costs for community outreach programs in 2013.

"We are so grateful for the incredible donations from each of these organizations," states Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach executive director, Jill Jackson Ledford. "The Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, the Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club and the David A. and Susan H. Schoenholz Foundation set a great example of stewardship in our community and their generous contributions will help us to better serve area-residents who are facing difficulties during these challenging economic times."

For more information on these grants or on how you can give to Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, call Griff Hogan, director of development, at (843) 559-4109 or email griff.hogan@olmoutreach.org.