System News

Friday, March 1, 2024 - Roper St. Francis Healthcare donates to 35 organizations to advance community health, wellness

Roper St. Francis Healthcare's Community Investment Program on Thursday awarded grants to 35 organizations to help bolster programs that are broadening access to healthcare and improving well-being throughout the Lowcountry.

As a not-for-profit healthcare system serving the tri-county area, Roper St. Francis Healthcare's mission of healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence shines through both patient care and contributions to the community.

The community investment grants support organizations working to positively impact our prioritized community health needs. Our primary goal is to make a difference in the lives of all people — in particular, the underprivileged.

This annual funding opportunity resulted in $200,000 worth of grants to the 35 recipient organizations, which accepted the donations Thursday during an event at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, one of four hospitals and more than 100 facilities in the healthcare system.

See the list below for details on all the awardees.

Dr. Megan Baker, interim president and CEO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, thanked the recipients for their great work to make our community a better place. An accomplished breast surgeon, Baker recalled how she started in healthcare as a volunteer in health advocacy. She views overall community wellness as a team effort that involves many pieces.

"Through this work in our community, we're creating comfort, security and holistic care for all our patients," Dr. Baker said. "It's collaborations like this that pull all the pieces of community health together, and we can drape our community in a sense of wellness and security."

Each day, organizations in the Charleston region are helping to reach those who need health and well-being resources the most. Many of these residents are uninsured or underinsured. Roper St. Francis Healthcare's Strategic Plan 2030 calls for the health system to expand access to care for such historically marginalized communities.

"In order to carry out the Roper St. Francis Healthcare mission of healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence, we can't do it alone," Dr. Michael Moxley, vice president and chief diversity, inclusion and health equity officer at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. "There's more to it than access to quality healthcare. That's why we need our partners in the community to help with behavioral health, maternal child health, healthy foods, affordable and safe housing, education, employment and more. That's how we will see our community thrive."


As a not-for-profit healthcare system, Roper St. Francis Healthcare chooses purpose over profits by putting our extra money back into our system to help meet the health needs of our community. The largest healthcare system features four flagship hospitals: Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital. In an emergency, the healthcare system offers six strategically placed ERs. With more than 6,000 teammates, we are the Lowcountry’s largest private employer with nearly 1,000 doctors representing almost every medical specialty. Our 657-bed system consists of 117+ facilities and services across five counties.


Please help us celebrate these organizations and the inspiring work they do in our community:

AME Girl On The Move

Program: Living The Scriptures

  • AME Girl On The Move educates, executes and gives individuals the tools to be successful through their programs, such as Community Exercise and Fitness which supplies equipment t-shirts, socks and shoes; Mental Health on the Go, Healthy Food and Household Bags, and Transportation support through bus cards and Mobile Health Care Truck. This organization works to remove barriers to accessing health resources to make a lasting impact.

Art Pot

Program: Diabetes Prevention Program

  • ArtPot works to develop Diabetes Prevention Programs in the Latin Community. They collaborate in events to assess diabetes risk and DPP eligibility as well as promote lifestyle change programs. The Hispanic community have a higher risk of diabetes than other ethnic groups. ArtPot aims to reduce these disparities to create better health outcomes for the Latin community.

BackPack Buddies (RSFH)      

Program: BackPack Buddies

  • Roper St. Francis helps support Malcom Hursey and Oakland Elementary Schools through BackPack Buddies. BackPack Buddies works to pack bags to provide meals for poverty level children to take home on the weekends so they can stay nourished.  Providing extra meals for the children in a needy family makes a huge impact on the life of the child.

Beautiful Gate Center              

Program: Expand Capacity for more Behavioral Health Treatments

  • The Beautiful Gate Center is a Charitable - Therapeutic Group Specialty Clinic offering individualized services as well as a day treatment Developmental Learning Center program. The first of its kind in South Carolina. Their clinical group practice is equipped to provide a wide range of clinical services, developmental assessments and it credentials therapeutic staff into a number of payor networks to support a wide range of Health Equity initiatives to a diverse group of special population children and youth ages 2 to 21 with varying diagnoses, including non-verbal, behavioral challenges, cognitive delays and life skill deficits.

BEE Collective               

Program: Perinatal Services

  • BEE Collective’s project goals are centered around enhancing maternal health, equipping parents with knowledge and tools, supporting vulnerable communities, promoting safe and inclusive spaces, and advocating for systemic change. They aim to foster healthier pregnancies, ensure informed decision-making, and create a more inclusive and equitable perinatal experience for all.

Bridges of Hope

Program: Unbridled Hope: A Pilot of Equine Therapy as Grief Support

  • Bridges of Hope supports those who are grieving through their curriculum, activities and events based on best practices for childhood bereavement. They empower families by giving them practical tools and resources they can use together well beyond their direct involvement with us. Their Program Pilot of Equine Therapy is an innovative curriculum integrating best practices of therapeutic horsemanship with evidence-informed practices of grief support.

Camp Happy Days      

Program: Family Assistance

  • Camp Happy Days’ Family Financial Assistance Program provides direct financial assistance to families in South Carolina that are facing pediatric cancer. Following diagnosis, during treatment, and for up to two years following the death of a child, families are eligible for up to $1,000 in assistance per year from Camp Happy Days. Assistance can cover things like rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, car insurance and car repair, fuel and lodging for families traveling for treatment, food and groceries, and funeral expenses.

Camp Rise Above        

Program: Adaptive Programming for Children with Disabilities and Life-threatening Illnesses across South Carolina

  • Camp Rise Above believes that all children should experience the magic of childhood and summer camp, regardless of their medical status. Since 2010, their mission to provide life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and challenges has driven their work. From the start of Camp Rise Above, they have been able to implement two main programs: Camp Rise Above at the Hospital and Camp Rise Above Summer Camp sessions, which are both still flourishing today and allowing them to serve hundreds of deserving children across the state of South Carolina.

Charleston County Adult Drug Court              

Program: Charleston County Adult Drug Court Foundation

  • The Charleston County Treatment Court programs provide an alternative to incarceration to nonviolent offenders who suffer with mental illnesses and drug and alcohol substance abuse disorders. Their programs will provide people in their treatment courts, many of whom are homeless and lack adequate housing funds for housing, transportation, prescriptions, eyeglasses, health and dental services to assist with their daily needs.

Charleston County Parks Foundation             

Program: Park and Play

  • The Charleston County Parks Foundation has a mission to provide park and recreation access to all members of our community. Park and Play has a goal to further the ability of children in rural Charleston County to connect with the natural world through wellness, play and environmental education. The Park and Play program is designed to bring park and recreation services to residents in rural areas where Charleston County Parks has not yet built parks, and where reliable public transportation for children and adults is not available. Three trailers will be equipped with: Mobile sports, games and fitness items, a Mobile nature/cultural center which includes microscopes for water collection observation, binoculars for birdwatching, indigo dye supplies, Native American program supplies, etc.

Charleston County Public Library     

Program: Free and Fresh Fridges Program and Yoga for Kids

  • The Free and Fresh Fridges Program provides free fruits and vegetables to residents of our low-income or rural areas of our county with Community Fridges in 3 library branches (St. Paul’s Hollywood Library, Otranto Road Library and John L. Dart Library*). This is a program that was established in 2021 due to the emergent need for food access exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yoga for Kids is a program to provide access to free professional-led physical activities that will give children the tools to regulate their bodies and emotions in times of need and help build confidence in themselves.

Charleston Habitat For Humanity     

Program: Homeownership Program: A Healthy, Safe, Affordable Home for Theresa

  • Habitat For Humanity is a new, safe, affordable home in North Charleston. This individual will gain equitable access to housing, upholding their physical and mental health, and empowering them to redirect their resources to transportation, workforce development, education, medical, and food. They will complete financial and homeownership classes, pay about $800 per month on a 30-year, 0 percent mortgage and build equity for themselves and future generations of their family.

Charleston Hope         

Program: THRIVE School-Based Counseling Program

  • Charleston Hope's school-based mental health program is a vital component in their mission to promote equitable access to mental healthcare for students in low-income communities. Through their integration of mental health services within schools, they break down the barriers that often hinder marginalized students and communities from seeking and receiving the equitable mental health support they rightfully deserve. Their program operates during regular school hours, eliminating transportation and scheduling obstacles. This streamlined accessibility ensures that students can readily access essential mental health support.

Charleston Orphan House    

Program: L.Y.G.H.T

  • Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) has cared for the region’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children and youth for 233 years. CYDC uses innovative programs to assist youth with the loss that abuse and neglect can cause. The L.Y.G.H.T. program is a peer grief and loss support group influenced by and developed for youth in foster care. L.Y.G.H.T. helps the region's youth in foster care who experience frequent and intense loss every time they are removed from their home, relocated to different foster care placements, and/or change schools.

Closing The Gap In Healthcare            

Program: Closing the gap in healthcare for African Americans and the Underserved

  • Closing the gap in health care is an award-winning program that focuses on improving the health literacy of the urban community throughout the TriCounty area. Their  program uses radio, television, and social media to reach the community to educate on current issues in health and the health disparities.

Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center

Program: Collaborative Community Response to Child Abuse Program

  • The overall goal of Dee Norton’s Collaborative Community Response to Child Abuse (CCRCA) program is to ensure all children and non-offending caregivers, who have been identified as having experienced abuse or trauma, have access to and receive appropriate evidence-based assessment and mental health treatment services. The expected benefits of providing these services is to mitigate the immediate and long-term negative effects of child maltreatment and trauma upon individuals and their families, as well as to reduce the long-term public health problem. With the services Dee Norton provides, at-risk children will be able to lead healthy and productive adult lives.

Dorchester County Community Outreach   

Program: Behavioral and Physical Wellness Program

  • Dorchester County Community Outreach aims to improve the physical and mental/behavioral health of the men and women (guests) being served through the DCCO temporary housing and service residences. They also provide on-site mental/behavioral health, substance use, and alcohol disorders interventions to the men and women served through the Home of Hope (Men) and Hope's House (Women) homeless residences.

Feed Berkeley                

Program: Feed Berkeley

  • Feed Berkeley aims to help alleviate nutritional deficiency for residents of Berkeley County. They strive to provide not just food, but healthy food including fresh fruits and vegetables. Feed Berkeley is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, excluding holidays to distribute both non-perishable and perishable food items.

Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina     

Program: Program for Pregnant and Parenting Teens

  • The goal of Florence Crittenton’s Program for Pregnant and Parenting Teens is to ensure young pregnant teens have a healthy pregnancy and infants of young mothers have a healthy start to life. This includes ensuring pregnant teens carry their infants to term and receive the education needed to prevent accidents and child abuse. The program is designed to give each young mother the skills and resources needed for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and start to life.

Green Heart Project   

Program: Growing a Fruitful Future for Charleston through Farm to School Education & Healthy Food Access

  • Green Heart Project’s core programs include the Farm to School Program which reaches elementary - high school students, the majority of which attend Title I schools, and the majority of which are located on the Upper Peninsula & in North Charleston. Farm to School Programs involve in-school and after-school garden education, culinary education, farm field trips & school garden work days. The second program area is their Healthy Food Access work, which involves school produce distribution, as well as a sliding scale produce market held weekly at their Urban Farm’s Farm Stand.

Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS)     

Program: Kinship Program

  • One of the key goals of HALOS’ Kinship Program is to increase caregiver knowledge of, access to, and ability to advocate for resources in the community that can help them support the child(ren) in their care. Their program links kinship families with community resources that exist to assist with various needs - medical, financial, housing, food, clothing, mental health, education, legal, etc. In addition, HALOS aims to reduce caregiver isolation and stress so that they can better meet the children’s needs and provide caregivers with educational opportunities and other types of support.

Hope Center  

Program: Hope Care

  • The Hope Care project has a goal to increase housing retention for low-income families and members of the unhoused in our community by connecting them with mental health services that will promote their well-being, reduce rates of eviction, and establish positive coping mechanisms that will help promote and provide self-sufficiency and stability

Hope To Home Furniture Resource  

Program: Furniture Donation and Delivery

  • Hope to Home Furniture Resource’s goal is to provide a new bed for everyone in the households we serve. They will purchase a quality mattress and platform bed frame and foundation for the individuals we serve.

Lowcountry Food Bank            

Program: BackPack Buddies Weekend Hunger-Relief Program

  • The goal of the BackPack Buddies program is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition experienced by children on the weekends during the school year in the tri-county area. The LCFB is working diligently to secure the funding needed to continue providing more than 1,400 food-insecure children, in partnership with more than 30 schools in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, consistent access to the nutritious food they need to grow and thrive.

Lowcountry Street Grocery

Program: Grocery Rx

  • The goal of Lowcountry Street Grocery and GroceryRx is to provide equitable fresh, local food access coupled with the equal opportunity for quality nutrition education. This means making nutritious food and health information affordable, available and accessible. They currently work with many clinical and community partners to receive referrals for their clients/patients, including Greer Transitions Clinic of Roper St Francis.

Neighbors Together

Program: Neighbors Together Health and Wellness Program

  • Their Health and Wellness Program plays a vital role in addressing these challenges by providing accessible healthcare services, promoting preventative care, and fostering overall well-being. The establishment of a nurse-led clinic and various health initiatives are essential steps toward mitigating the adverse effects of this medical and food desert, ensuring our neighbors have the resources and support they need to lead healthier lives.

Operation Home          

Program: Critical Home Repairs and Heat and Cold Relief

  • Operation Home exists to provide Home, Health, and Hope to vulnerable low-income families in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Home is the sacred place where families live and feel safe, Health is physical and mental well-being, and Hope is what their organization can do to transform the despair of poverty. Operation Home's goal is to increase safety and accessibility for low-income homeowners. Annually, the organization accomplishes these objectives and serves over 3,000 individuals in over 1,000 families who have never received their support before.

Postpartum Support

Program: Postpartum Planning Program

  • The postpartum planning program aims to provide comprehensive education on the signs and symptoms of maternal mental illness to workshop participants, to reduce the stigma associated with maternal mental illness by creating a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for expectant mothers to share and learn, and finally, to enhance community awareness and education surrounding postpartum mental health.

Sea Island Habitat For Humanity       

Program: Salters Hill Homes

  • The goal of this project is to build two new affordable homes on Salters Hill Road in Hollywood SC. The homes will be built with volunteer labor. Prospective home owners will be selected by their Family Services Committee following a written application and personal interview. Each prospective owner will be required to contribute 400 hours of "sweat equity" to his/her home and to prepare for home ownership by completing a financial literacy course.

The ARK             

Program Name: Support for Families Impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia

  • For individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia, The ARK provides a half-day social respite program based on The Brookdale Model, three days a week in Summerville and one day a week in Harleyville to enrich the lives of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia and give caregivers relief from the stresses of around-the-clock caregiving.

The Lonon Foundation             

Program Name: Family Resource Kits

  • The Lonon Foundation aims to provide psychosocial and emotional support to children impacted by a parent's or caregiver's cancer diagnosis through coping and resilience psycho-educational resources and support. Along with other programming, The Lonon Foundation provides Family Resource Kits (FRK) to area hospitals and cancer clinics. These kits are created with family-centered care and trauma-informed principles by a Certified Child Life Specialist, incorporating a variety of materials to promote a child’s or teen’s ability to cope when a parent or caregiver is diagnosed with cancer.

The Remnant House Outreach Ministries     

Program Name: Substance Use and Addiction Treatment via Mental Recovery Housing and Mental Health Counseling

  • The Remnant House Outreach Ministry has helped men addicted to alcohol and drugs recover their lives and become active members of their families & community. Their goal is to see men return to the head of their household and become re-integrated into society following their battle with substance abuse. Through their treatment and recovery program, they offer comprehensive wraparound services that encompass housing, food, transportation, job placement and training, clinical counseling, and assistance with societal integration.

Tricounty Cradle to Career    

Program Name: Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative Collective Action Initiatives

  • Through Tricounty Cradle to Career Collaborative’s initiatives and partnerships they are addressing barriers though their Collective Impact approach. Lowcountry Digital Equity Coalition  convenes and collaborates with partners who offer complementary, wrap-around, and supportive services for households and local businesses lacking access to, or adoption of, broadband. It is an alliance of thirty-two strong, representing a cross-sector of public and private entities inclusive of education, healthcare, government, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), private sector industries, and community residents in our regional ecosystem dedicated to activities that ensure digital inclusion.

Tricounty Play Collaborative

Program Name: Play As Prevention

  • The goal for Play as Prevention is to inform and provide early childhood professionals and parents with creative opportunities to engage young children in play to support children’s mental health. Activities include hosting 6 bi-linguial community family play days with various play partners across the tri-county that inform and model for parents and children about the benefits of play through a variety of activities, Provide child care center-based play immersive play experiences to 9 child care centers across the tri-county, and Provide 2 interactive workshops with parents and early childhood professionals about the importance of play to support mental health.

Wings For Kids              

Program Name: WINGS Heart Smarts Program

  • The key goals for the WINGS Heart Smarts program include: High-Quality Mental Health Curriculum: WINGS which will develop a 6-week evidence-based mental health curriculum for elementary school students that is easily implementable across schools and youth programs, and High-Quality Mental Health Program: WINGS which will provide a comprehensive, codified, evidence-based mental health program to approximately 150 low-income kids at Title 1 schools located in Charleston County and Berkeley County. This program will promote positive mental health outcomes.
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