UNION — They were expecting a tour of their facility but officials with the Union County Disabilities & Special Needs Board got a pleasant surprise when members of the Union Community Foundation presented them with a check for $1,000 Monday morning.
Located at 207 S. Herndon St., Union, the Union Community Foundation is, according to its mission statement, “a local, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the development of a community tradition of philanthropy by assisting individuals, families, corporations, businesses, and charitable organizations to establish funds in support of the organizations and entities that will provide for the material, moral, intellectual, and physical improvement, assistance, relief, and well-being of the citizens of Union County, South Carolina.”
On Monday, the foundation took another step toward fulfilling its mission of supporting organizations that address the needs of the people of Union County by donating $1,000 to the Union County Disabilities & Special Needs Board.
They did so, however, under the guise of taking a tour of the DSN facility at 737 Industrial Park Road, Union. While they did tour the facility, the primary reason for the visit was to present DSN officials with the donation and that was the first thing they did when they arrived.
Foundation Chairman Pat Littlejohn and Past Chairman Lisa Morris presented DSN Board Executive Director Amy Smith and Director of Day Services Carol Whitener with a check for $1,000, much to the surprise and delight of Smith and Whitener.
“It was a surprise,” Smith said after being presented with the check. “We’re very thankful for this grant. We’ll utilize the money given to Union Services to continue to provide quality services.”
“This was a wonderful surprise,” Whitener said. “We’re grateful for the Union Community Foundation’s generosity.”
According to its “Ready & Able” mission statement, Union Services, Inc. and the Union County Disabilities & Special Needs Board “are committed to helping people with disabilities achieve their dream and goal of working. We provide each person with the training and help to successfully do their job. We also provide the businesses that employ our people the assurance of top quality work.”
If possible, the work done by the DSN and Union Services clients for the companies that hire the organizations’ services is done at the Industrial Park facility and then delivered to those companies.
Among the services provided at the Industrial Park facility is a document shredding service. Whitener said that companies and individuals who need document shredded can contact DSN at 427-7651 about having their documents shredded at a cost of 15 cents per pound.
For those individuals who are unable to work, Whitener said DSN provides them with life skills and socialization training along with fun and exciting activities.
The Industrial Park Road site is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Littlejohn and Morris said that the foundation’s contribution is not only part of its mission, but also a recognition of DSN’s needs and the needs of the community.
“Our local board looks for ways to give back to the community,” Morris said. “We knew that their funding had been cut this year and we wanted to help them.”
“We think that, especially as hard hit Union has been with unemployment and budget cuts, a little money goes a long way,” Littlejohn said. “It’s such a good feeling to see the excitement and appreciation that these recipients show.”
According to its mission statement, anyone may use the foundation “to give something back to the community.” Assets donated to the foundation “create one of several types of funds to support your charitable goals. We offer you a full menu of planned giving options to tailor your gift.”
It further states that:
“You can create a fund in honor of someone you love or to celebrate a special event. You can direct your gift broadly or narrowly to issues you care about or to wherever the needs are greatest. However you give, your gift can change lives — today and in the future.
“We use professionals to invest and manage our assets. Our board is made up of local citizens who know the community and our staff can help you create the gift that makes the difference you want.
“We offer you power and flexibility in giving without the paperwork, time and expenses associated with running your private foundation. We can help you set up a fund that will maximize both your tax advantages and your impact in the community — now and forever.”
Persons interested in establishing a fund through the Union Community Foundation should call 864-391-1098.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]