Kiawah Cares Foundation (KCF) has redefined philanthropy in one rural corner of Charleston County, South Carolina. KCF identified a manageable area of influence, became involved and expert in the needs of the area, and then engaged an active donor community. The result is an effective example of partnership, in which KCF acts as a proactive liaison between those who want to give and those who need support. An active volunteer component makes the Foundation even more effective in fostering mutual respect and understanding. This is a great organization that is making a real difference on the Sea Islands of South Carolina.
I represent BEGIN WITH BOOKS, an early literacy program that provides free books by mail to infants and toddlers. KCF has been a financial supporter of the program for several years, and has made it possible for us to offer this program to every child on the Islands. In addition, through the monthly forum sponsored by KCF, we are able to meet and partner with other social service organizations that serve the same families. This face-to-face connection has made a difference in how organizations work together to provide well-rounded services to the community.
This is a great organization that should be a model to other foundations!
Being a Sea Island resident and seeing first hand the disparity throughout, I applaud the efforts of Kiawah Cares. With partners in education, community goodwill, elder and impaired care and veteran interests they reach a broad range of needs.
As a volunteer with our church's Community Home Improvement Program I have worked with the folks from Kiawah Cares in a number of important ways. They have made available hundreds of household items, furniture and appliances donated by caring people on Kiawah for us to provide to our neighbors in need. They have also contributed significant funding to our ministry that helps pay for building materials used to repair and make safe our neighbor's homes. Without a doubt they always live up to the "CARES" element of their name. We are blessed to know and work with them.
Kiawah Cares has been a tremendous partner and support for the Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area. Their dedication to assisting students and their families in the Johns Island schools has had a lasting impact. We can't thank the Kiawah Cares team and the Kiawah community enough for their extensive generosity.
Music For Life an academic music academy sponsored by The Companion Foundation worked closely with Kiawah Cares on a fundraiser for another non profit Communities In Schools. Kiawah Care organized the event including communications, space and food. They did a highly effective job and the event was very successful.
This group is comprised of miracle workers ! I work with two non-profits that KC partners with on many of our projects. No matter what we find ourselves needing ( materials or funds to repair houses, replace burned or flooded furniture or start a cottage industry to help break the cycle of generational poverty, even providing material to help educate our participants on ways to help themselves) they have always found a way to help us or find someone else who can help us. Their enthusiasm and energy to find solutions for helping the community seems boundless.
This group has strong leadership focused on doing the best work on behlf of its community. As the principal of St. John's High School, I count on them for all types of support and have been so impressed with their willingness to lean in and support!
As Angel Oak Elementary school’s Community Partner, Kiawah Cares supports our students, parents, teachers, and administrators. With their help, our students can attend exciting education field trips. They make possible conversations between the principal, and our mothers, fathers, and grandparents through the breakfast times they assist in providing. Our hard working teachers receive aid with bus services for off-campus events and supplies for school performances. Administrators are encouraged by Kiawah Cares thoughtful donations to the teachers’ classrooms which enhance the learning environment and builds morale.
Our partnership with Kiawah Cares has helped change the trajectory for many struggling K-5 readers on Johns Island. Kiawah Cares has helped us recruit community volunteers to provide one-on-one instruction for over 100 Johns Island students who are reading below grade level. The commitment has helped produce proud, confident learners who are ready for success in school and in life.
In just a few years, Kiawah Cares has become a force on South Carolina’s sea islands. Their meetings bring local nonprofits together on a regular basis and have our increased visibility and collaboration. The organization has been proactive in offering volunteer and financial support almost before we knew we needed it. Kiawah Cares is professionally run with a generous spirit – a powerful combination! Patty Bennett, co-director, BEGIN WITH BOOKS, Charleston County affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Kiawah Cares has been an invaluable resource to both Frierson and Mt. Zion Elementary schools. They are in constant communication with us about the resources they have to offer, and are always inquiring about any holes that need to be filled. Their efficiency and reliability has been a great service to our students. They have "adopted" over 60 students in need over the past two years to provide school supplies, uniforms, and holiday gifts. This particular program has been so appreciated by not only our faculty and staff, but the families as well.
- Corinne Crawford, Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area
Kiawah Cares has been an active resource for Haut Gap Middle for many years. They have supported our students and families in a number of ways made it possible for some of our students to have life experiences they otherwise could not afford. They are experts in connecting people with community resources and tangible items. We are lucky to have them so close by! -Lee McLeod, Communities in Schools at Haut Gap Middle School
Kiawah Cares has been a huge support in helping find volunteers for our program, but also in funding our program benefitting children in Elementary and Middle schools.
Kiawah Cares has continued to be an incredible resource for the community- providing connections, visibility and support towards projects that directly benefit those living on the islands. I highly recommend reaching out to them and seeing if there are opportunities to collaborate.
As a non-profit community partner, we have always had highly positive and beneficial experiences with this organization. They have helped us spread the word about what we do in the community, and we have seen the many great things they have helped organize and accomplish in a large rural area with many needs.
Kiawah Cares makes a difference in our community. By supporting other local groups that manage the many needs on our islands, KC expands its reach and its impact. The Point has benefited from the Foundation. Thank You!
Kiawah Cares has been incredibly helpful in bringing awareness of the needs of the Sea Island communities to those of us who call Kiawah home. The KC team identify and vet the needs and then help harness the incredible resources available through the residents of Kiawah. The Kiawah Cares staff are capable, enthusiastic, well organized and have such great hearts for our communities. In addition to being able to help those in need, we are so very proud of the image and perspective the KC team present of Kiawah to the general area. We participate in many KC programs: We have engaged our grandchildren in the KC annual Coats Drive for elementary school kids (see photo) and work throughout the year with the KC team in their efforts to coordinate making cards, blankets (see photo), shawls, scarves, hats, and assembling toiletry items to provide basic necessities and comfort to those less fortunate. All this is possible thanks to the initiative, caring hearts and quality work of the Kiawah Cares teams.
Kiawah Cares organized a team of community members to come in and clean up a tornado ravaged neighborhood on Johns Island. They raised funds to help the families, and have sent donations of clothing and furniture to help rebuild. They've been so helpful!