Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, a nonprofit that has been helping those in need on the Sea Islands and downtown Charleston for 30 years, is continuing its mission - To encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth for people in need in our community through education, wellness, and outreach services - while taking serious precautions to protect staff, volunteers and neighbors.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, our commitment to the community is stronger than ever. In order to safely support our community, staff and volunteers, we are putting our focus on emergency services. At this time, all nonessential programs and services will be on hold until further notice, allowing the organization to focus on the most needed items – food and financial services.
Staff and volunteers are preselecting and prepacking food items to minimize contact at both locations. The Soup Kitchen at the Neighborhood House location is now serving pick-up only packed lunches to adhere to recommendations of the state for public gatherings.
“We are committed, as always, to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us receive the critical support they need to not fall behind. However, we are anticipating the needs of our community members who will need it most to increase. From those vulnerable and already living paycheck to paycheck, the parent who needs to miss work due to school closures or to food and beverage employees who are now without work at all, our numbers will continue to grow. In order to meet these needs, we are calling on our community for help,” says Ericka Plater, Executive Director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach. “This is new territory for all of us. We know that an especially difficult path may lay ahead for many. But we will continue to work hard to remain a helping hand to our neighbors.”
While times like this are trying, they often bring out the best in human nature, and we see inspiring examples of neighbors helping neighbors and individuals stepping up to support our community.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donate Food: Donations of shelf-stable food will help families prepare for longer term impact. Donations can be brought to our Johns Island location (1684 Brownswood Road) or our downtown location, Neighborhood House (77 & 79 America Street) between 9am and 11am 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.
If you have questions on ways to help, please contact Kristin Raymond at [email protected].
We will continue to provide updates periodically on our website and social media platforms. For more information, visit www.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 Rd, 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 www.olmoutreach.org.