$1.2M raised within two weeks for COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund in coastal SC, exceeding matching goal

Waccamaw Community Foundation and its regional partners are excited to announce today that $1.2 million has been raised in two weeks for the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund for coastal South Carolina, exceeding the fundraising goal by $200,000.

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and the Bakker family, who matched $500,000 in donations, the fund balance now stands at more than $1.5 million, with $1.8 million total raised since the fund’s inception. Every dollar is going directly to the nonprofits working on providing medical care, food access, financial support and more to those most impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak in the nine counties of coastal South Carolina.

Blackbaud founder Tony Bakker, his wife, Linda Bakker, and their two children, James Bakker and Katy Bakker McKee, pledged on April 7 to match donations of up to $500,000 to the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund of Coastal Community Foundation through April 20 —giving the Foundation and its partners two weeks to raise the $500,000 from other sources.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who joined in to meet the match, which more than doubled what can go out to support those in need during this time of unapparelled crisis,” Tony Bakker said.  “This is about the health and welfare of our friends and neighbors, all along the coast, and we believe it important to think about those who are struggling with the basics.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to live in such a generous place with donors who give what they can even in uncertain times to help their neighbors in need,” said Angel Johnson-Brebner, director of Waccamaw Community Foundation.  “With this addition of resources, Waccamaw Community Foundation and our partners will be able to significantly increase our grantmaking to the nonprofits supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Waccamaw Community Foundation and its partners would also like to extend a special thank you to Bank of America for contributing $100,000 to the fund, with $40,000 specifically designated for relief and recovery in Horry and Georgetown counties. Local gifts also included $40,000 from the Disaster Recovery Fund for Horry and Georgetown Counties and $5,000 from the city of Myrtle Beach’s employees.

Since its inception in March, the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund has raised more than $1.8 million. So far, the fund has awarded grants to 17 nonprofits, totaling $211,000. Six nonprofits based in Horry and Georgetown counties have received a total of $55,000 combined.

The following local nonprofits have been awarded grants:

  • Conway Downtown Alive received $15,000 in the first round of grants to provide direct, one-time relief payments to up to 70 employees of independent hospitality businesses in downtown Conway.
  • The Salvation Army of Horry County was awarded $10,000 for food purchases and utility assistance. The nonprofit’s thrift store, a main source of income, is closed during the pandemic, prompting the need for additional support to continue serving Horry County’s low-income population.
  • North Strand Housing Shelter (Worldview Ministry International, Inc.) — which provides housing and program assistance to veterans and families with children in Horry County— has been awarded $10,000 to provide food to residents and cover operating expenses including utilities and transportation for the next two months.
  • SOS Health Care, Inc. was awarded $10,000 to provide iPads to families in Georgetown and Horry Counties so they can receive virtual therapy and to pay for sick time off for employees.
  • The Center for Counseling & Wellness Inc. — which provides out-patient mental health and/or addiction treatment in Georgetown and Horry Counties — has been awarded $5,000 to support counselors and front office salaries.
  • The Community Kitchen of Myrtle Beach has been awarded $5,000 to purchase to-go containers, portable drinks, and food to provide free meals to the working poor, families, veterans, senior citizens, and transients in Horry County.

The COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund is set up to fast-track the application process for nonprofits in need of more support to meet the increased demand. Grants are deployed as quickly as possible on a rolling basis to help meet community needs as they emerge.

About the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund

The Covid-19 Relief & Recovery Fund is a regional, collaborative effort led by Coastal Community Foundation and supported by Black River United Way, the Chapin Foundation, Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Social Venture Partners Charleston, Trident United Way, United Way of Horry County, United Way of the Lowcountry and Waccamaw Community Foundation.

This fund is designed to make grants only to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization. This is a rolling process, and applications will be accepted as they come in. Donations can be made securely online with a credit card here.