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Community Giving funds connected Sanders-Clyde Elementary students to their food sources through the Green Heart Project, which promotes gardening and cooking, healthy eating and personal growth.

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has awarded $128,500 in grants to 71 charitable organizations through its annual Community Giving Program.

The program provides grants to organizations in regions where S.C. Ports operates with the goal of positively impacting maritime commerce, economic development, environmental awareness, community outreach, education and workforce development efforts.

S.C. Ports is providing more funding to more organizations than ever before through its fiscal year 2020 grants.

“Our continued growth and success as an economic development engine for South Carolina enables us to support charitable organizations through our Community Giving Program,” S.C. Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome said. “Our grant recipients work to improve children’s literacy, cultivate a world-class workforce, enhance the environment and support students’ creativity and curiosity, among other critical initiatives. We are proud to partner with these organizations as they undertake incredibly important work for our state.”

Grant recipients apply for the Community Giving Program. A committee - made of members with various backgrounds at the port – review applications and prioritize funding. The program offers grants of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000.

This year’s $5,000 grant recipients include: A Backpack Journalist, Greenville Tech Foundation, Wounded Nature - Working Veterans, Dillon County First Steps and SC Future Makers.

A Backpack Journalist provides students with real-world journalism experiences, including the process of writing, storytelling, film making and promotion. The group plans to use the funding to further their mission, including telling stories about the maritime industry.

Greenville Tech Foundation received SCPA funds for its Truck Driver Training Program, a 10-week certificate program that trains entry-level commercial truck drivers in long haul, short haul and basic rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation.

Wounded Nature – Working Veterans received SCPA funds to help with its mission of protecting coastal habitats and wildlife. The group assembles volunteer boaters and veterans to remove debris from hard to reach coastal areas designated by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Natural Resources as critical wildlife areas.

Dillon County First Steps is a nonprofit striving to help every student in Dillon County arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed. The programs offer a comprehensive approach to ensure children receive excellent care and develop an interest in reading from a young age. SCPA funds will help support this early childhood education initiative.

SC Future Makers exposes and connects the next generation of students to statewide career opportunities. The organization works to close the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) gap and retain emerging talent. SCPA funds will be used to engage high school students and connect them with businesses.

Fiscal Year 2020 Recipients

• A Backpack Journalist

• ACE

• American Red Cross (Lowcountry SC Chapter)

• Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired South Carolina (ABVI)

• Audubon South Carolina (ASC)

• Avian Conservation Center

• Camp Happy Days

• Camp Rise Above

• Charleston Adult Education

• Charleston Area Senior Citizens' Services, Inc.

• Charleston Habitat for Humanity

• Charleston Leaders

• Charleston Waterkeeper

• Children's Cancer Partners of the Carolinas

• Communities In Schools of Greenville, Inc.

• Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area

• Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center

• Dillon County Chamber

• Dillon County First Steps

• Dillon Historic School Foundation

• Dorchester County Economic Development

• East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO)

• East Cooper Meals on Wheels

• Engaging Creative Minds

• Florence Crittenton Programs of SC

• Friends of Coastal South Carolina

• Friends of Keep Charleston Beautiful

• Greenville Tech Foundation

• Greer Community Ministries

• Greer Cultural Arts Council

• Greer Relief & Resources Agency

• Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County

• Help 4 Kids Florence

• Helping and Lending Outreach Support dba HALOS

• Home Works of America

• Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation

• Jasper County First Steps

• Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina

• Kids On Point

• Love Feeds

• Lowcountry Food Bank

• Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity

• Lowcountry Local First

• Lowcountry Maritime School

• Meals on Wheels of Summerville

• Multiplying Good (formerly the Jefferson Awards Foundation)

• My Sister's House

• Operation Home

• Orangeburg County Community of Character

• Palmetto Project/BEGIN WITH BOOKS

• Reach Out and Read Carolinas

• Reading Partners South Carolina

• Rebuild Upstate

• Redux Contemporary Art Center

• Respite Care Charleston

• Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston, Inc.

• SC Future Makers

• SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation

• South Carolina Aquarium

• South Carolina Operation Lifesaver

• Teach for America South Carolina

• The ARK of SC

• The First Tee of Greater Charleston

• The Green Heart Project

• The Village Group

• Trident Literacy Association

• United Ministries

• Water Mission

• Wings for Kids

• Wounded Nature - Working Veterans

• YouthBASE

Fiscal Year 2019 Impact

Community Giving recipients complete outcome surveys at the end of the fiscal year to be eligible for funding in the next giving cycle. The survey allows S.C. Ports to measure the positive lasting impacts of the grant program and fulfill its mission to be a strong community partner.

S.C. Ports awarded $106,000 to 54 charitable organizations in fiscal year 2019. Impacts of the funding include:

• 70,000 South Carolina students benefited from Community Giving grants.

• 5,685 people received meals through hunger-relief programs.

• 5,849 people received job skills training.

• 200,000 people were educated about environmental sustainability.

• 100,853 South Carolina students participated in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities.