UNION — One of the public service organizations sharing the new Union County NonProfit Partnership Center is looking to hire a “professional with a disability” to handle its operations in the county.
The center, which is located in the Union County Health Department at 115 Thomas St., Union, held its grand opening Wednesday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries and representatives of the four organizations that share the facility. The organizations are the United Way of the Piedmont, the S.C. Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Red Cross, and Able South Carolina. With the opening of the center the organizations will each have a physical presence in Union County.
While they will share responsibility and cost of operating the center, each organization will be in the center on different days.
“The Alzheimer’s Association will be here the first and fourth Thursdays of each mother from 9:30 to 3:30,” Heather Witt, United Way director of community investment, said Wednesday. “The Red Cross will be here one day a week every Wednesday from 1 to 2.”
Witt said United Way’s schedule in Union County will fluctuate depending upon her schedule and that of other United Way staffers. She said each organization will also have their own phone numbers at the center which she said will be announced next week. The center, however, has its own website https://sites.google.com/site/unioncountycenter/home which includes announcements and its monthly schedule.
Able South Carolina plans to be in Union twice a week, but the group’s executive director said Wednesday that it is looking to hire a part-time employee to staff the center on the days the organization will be there.
“We’re planning on hiring an independent living specialist who will work with people with disabilities to empower them towards their independence,” Kimberly Tissot said. “We’re still in the process of hiring for that position but once that person’s hired we’ll have a permanent schedule.”
Tissot said that not only is her organization looking for someone who can help the disabled moved toward independence, but has been through that process themselves.
“We are a consumer-run organization and 51 percent of staff and board of directors have disabilities, so we are looking for someone who has experience with disability,” Tissot said. “We are looking for a professional with a disability.”
Tissot said that anyone interested in applying for the position should call Sarah Merrin, Able South Carolina director of administration, at 1-800-681-6805.
Until the independent living specialist for the center is hired, Tissot said any Union County resident who needs her organization’s service can call its Upstate office at 1-800-681-7715.
“We will have someone from our Upstate office come and work with the person who calls,” Tissot said. “We’ll meet them at their home or here at the center.”
Formerly known as the Disability Action Center, Able South Carolina offers four core services — information referral, peer support, independent living skills, and advocacy — designed to help the disabled live independently. The organization also collects donations of used medical equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches which it in turn provides to those in need of them.
The services provided by the other organizations include the raising of funds and their reinvestment in the community by the United Way of the Piedmont to promote education, financial stability, and health. The Alzheimer’s Association provides advocacy, care consultation, and information about resources available for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. Services provided by the American Red Cross include health, safety, CPR, and first aid training and helping people recover from disasters such as house fires as well as supporting members of the military and their families through its Armed Services program.
Among those attending Wednesday’s grand opening was Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair who Witt has credited with helping making space available for the center. Sinclair said the groups will provided needed services to the people of Union County at no cost to the county. He said he views the center and its sharing by the four groups as a sign of what can be accomplished outside of government and where the true strength of the community lies.
“What this represents to me is a public/private partnership,” Sinclair said. “Government cannot be all things to all people. The services these people will provide are needed services but not at county expense. It shows in my mind that there is strength in Union and it does not come from the White House, it does not come from the Statehouse, and it does not come from the courthouse, it comes from the people.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.