Keys for Hope involves hundreds of kids in service

  • Monday, April 1, 2013

Keys for Hope has sold keys at several of the area farmers markets. PHOTO PROVIDED

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The Keys for Hope organization is igniting a movement of kids throughout East Cooper to get involved in a very important fundraising and awareness-building project for Crisis Ministries.

Since last year, more than 700 kids have participated in key-making “workshops” in which children come together through various church, youth and school groups to learn about the cause and help create Keys for Hope. The workshops are led by a group of kids from Mount Pleasant, aged 9-12, who are determined to make a difference in a creative and meaningful way. Keys for Hope are painted, recycled keys, which are then decorated with unique buttons and embellishments. They can be used as necklaces, key chains, zipper pulls, gift tags or ornaments. The funds raised (more than $30,000 thus far) will contribute to the construction of the new homeless shelter being built by Crisis Ministries, Charleston’s homeless shelter.

For the last few months, the drive has been to create 10,000 keys (which would bring in a $5 donation per key) in preparation for the Cooper River Bridge Run Expo and Kids Run/Wonderfest events on April 4 and 5. So far, kids have been involved from: Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, East Cooper Baptist Church, East Cooper Montessori Charter School, School of the Arts, Pinckney Elementary, First United Methodist Church Isle of Palms, Life Park Church, Palmetto Presbyterian, Hibben United Methodist Church, Christ our King and various other small groups of friends. More are scheduled throughout March, including students from Wando High School.

Started by a small group of friends in October of 2011, the effort began as a way to help Charleston’s homeless men, women and children. Too young to volunteer in the soup kitchen, these kids figured out a way that they could make a difference. One key at a time, they have brought an incredible amount of awareness (and money) to the cause.

To learn more, or to find out where to find the Keys for Hope displays and/or make donations, visit www.keysforhope.org or facebook.com/keysforhope.

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