Gifts of Grace
by Laura Stone | December 13, 2018 7:30 pm
Last Updated: December 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm
The St. Paul’s Elementary School Beta Club has partnered with the 21st Century After School Program and Hands of Grace Healthcare to bring blankets and gifts to the senior community in Clarendon County.
Hands of Grace Healthcare Director Carol Tindal works with the elderly on a daily basis. Hands of Grace sends CNAs out to take care of the daily needs of Clarendon County seniors. Tindal regularly goes to senior service organizations, such as nursing homes and residential homes, to present healthcare tips and more and to assist with activities.
“This [project] is something we wanted to do for the holidays to give back to the community for the seniors, to cater to them and let them know we care about them and we’re here,” said Tindal.
The Gifts of Grace project is taking donations of daily-needs products, as well as fun items, to give to local seniors. These include products such as lotions, soaps and deodorants, as well as blankets, stuffed animals, crossword puzzle books, coloring books, hats, scarves, gloves, slippers and slipper socks, combs and bows for hair and costume jewelry.
“Some people in residential and nursing homes don’t have families to provide these things,” said Tindal. “They’re shut in, and they don’t get out as much, so we bring it to them.”
21st Century After School Program Director Kiz Everette has partnered with Tindal before on projects such as Santa Shop, which directly benefited the senior community. When she was made director of the after school program, Everette reached out, desiring to partner again.
“Our goal is to try to train our children while they are young in the way they should go,” said Everette. “So getting them started in this particular project was something interesting to them. They’re excited about it.
St. Paul’s Elementary Principal Joaquin Brown heard about the project and knew the school’s brand-new Beta Club had to participate. Brown previously sponsored a Beta Club while working in the Fairfield school district, and he sponsored the new club at St. Paul’s, a first for Summerton’s elementary school.
“I knew [Tindal and Everette] were partnering together, so I asked if the Beta Club could join in the efforts,” said Brown, whose Beta Club is focusing on blankets for the seniors. “Our Beta Club has been tremendous with their efforts.”
The students and parents have brought in blankets, and other community members have also helped out. Even Brown’s sister has gathered blankets from her social media connections.
“We have about 55 blankets,” said Brown. “Our goal is 90 blankets, because there are 84 residents at Lake Marion Nursing Home.” Any additional lap or throw blankets the organization gathers will be shared with the other five groups to which the Gifts of Grace will be disbursed.
The partnership of organizations plans to give gifts to Lake Marion Nursing Home, Windsor Manor in Silver, The Council on Aging in Manning, The Council on Aging in Summerton, Walters Brothers Residential Care Facility in Sumter and Dorch Community Residential Care Facility in Manning, making a total of two nursing homes, two residential homes and two senior centers.
Donations were taken through December 12, and they will be disbursed on December 14.
“Beta is an academic organization. We focus on student leadership and service and character,” said Brown. “We lead by serving others. I tell them it’s better to give than receive. We’ve been given a lot, and it’s time to give back.”