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Grantees of COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund expand shelter, food access & more in Coastal SC

The COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, a collaborative effort with Waccamaw Community Foundation and other organizations across coastal counties of South Carolina, is awarding grants on a rolling basis to nonprofits working with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak and whose work is within the nine counties of coastal South Carolina: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper Counties.

So far, grants totaling more than $1,576,685 have been awarded to support nonprofits expanding food access and health services, providing shelter to children and supporting small businesses throughout coastal South Carolina in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A record number of South Carolinians have applied for unemployment benefits amid the pandemic, with Horry County leading the state with nearly 15,000 unemployment claims in the last two weeks of March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. With a processing backlog at the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, workers are expected to rely more heavily on nonprofit services to make ends meet.

The COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund aims to help nonprofits quickly meet that increased demand.

The fund so far has awarded grants in Horry and Georgetown counties totaling $528,147. 

Conway Downtown Alive in Horry County has been awarded $15,000 to provide direct, one-time relief payments to up to 70 employees of independent hospitality businesses in downtown Conway. More workers in Horry County have applied for unemployment benefits than any other county in the state, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.

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.

Churches Assisting People, which provides emergency assistance to those in need in Horry County, was awarded $5,000 for food distribution.

Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, which provides support services to victims of domestic violence, was awarded $5,000 to support constituents with food, shelter and other needs.

North Strand Helping Hand, an emergency relief organization providing comprehensive services to those in crisis in Horry County, was awarded $4,000 to purchase food and provide emergency services.

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.

Neighbor to Neighbor of SC – which works with homebound seniors and homebound adults with disabilities – has been awarded $6,720 to supplement extra staff, procure sanitation supplies, and provide incentives for volunteers.

Smith Medical Clinic, Inc. – which provides free medical care to low-income and uninsured individuals in Georgetown County – has been awarded $5,365 to fund cell phone service, postage to mail prescriptions, lunch for staff/volunteers, and postage supplies.

The Children’s Recovery Center – which serves children who are victims of physical and sexual assault – was awarded $5,000 to match salaries for Direct Care Staff for a one-month period in lieu of missed fundraisers.

Black River United Way has been awarded $50,000 to provide basic needs like rent/mortgage/utility assistance, food, transportation, and internet to residents of Georgetown County experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Friendship Medical Clinic – which provides primary care and medications to low-income adults in Horry County – has been awarded $5,000 to assist with medical care and treatment of clinic patients.

United Way of Horry County was awarded $55,000 to provide mass food distributions to families facing food insecurity due to school closures.

Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach – which assists individuals and families in Horry County with immediate short-term needs like food, rent assistance, and prescription medicine – was awarded $10,000 to help with rent and utility assistance.

Lower Cape Fear LifeCare – which provides a range of health services in Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry Counties – was awarded $2,400 to purchase personal protective equipment and provide telehealth technology.

New Directions of Horry County was awarded $10,000 to assist with their 4 shelter facilities which provide basic necessities, shelter, and connection to resources for homeless individuals in Horry County.

Georgetown County Family YMCA was awarded $15,000 to benefit approximately 80-100 families by providing summer learning to school age children through a certified teacher.

Palmetto Works Community Development Corporation was awarded $7,650 to host a virtual summer camp for kids in Horry County.

Teach My People – which teaches children and youth in partnering schools to help them overcome academic and social challenges – was awarded $10,000 to support teachers and cover basic operating costs benefiting 124 students in Georgetown County.

Freedom Readers – which serves children struggling with reading in low-income communities in Georgetown and Horry Counties – was awarded $10,000 to provide care packages to 50 students for personalized summer instruction and to hire teachers to further assist students.

Black River United Way – which serves communities in Georgetown County – was awarded $8,200 to assist with four weeks of teacher stipends for tutoring instruction, program support, and supplies for 24 families.

Family Outreach of Horry County – which works to prevent abuse, neglect, and poverty in Horry County families – was awarded $15,000 to support expectant and young mothers and their children through support and supplies.

Friendship Place, Inc. – which works to address unmet community behavioral health issues in Georgetown County – was awarded $15,000 to support general operating costs for their Riverside Behavior and Learning Collaborative.

The Village Group was awarded $8,812 to purchase 60 mobile hotspots with two months of service as well as Chromebook usage for youth living in poverty in rural Georgetown County.

Freedom Readers – which serves children struggling with reading in low-income communities in Georgetown and Horry Counties – was awarded $10,000 to provide care packages to 50 students for personalized summer instruction and to hire teachers to further assist students.

Eastern Carolina Housing Organization (ECHO) was awarded $12,500 to purchase mattresses, box springs, cleaning supplies, and basic hygiene products to help support homeless individuals and families in Horry County.

Chabad Jewish Academy, who works to provide education and a vibrant Jewish identity for K-5 students in Horry County, was awarded $7,500 to help offset COVID-19 cleaning costs for their after-school care.

A Father’s Place, whose mission is to engage and empower fathers in the positive support of their children, was awarded $10,000 to provide emergency needs for clients, technology upgrades, DHEC compliance for facilities, and more.  

The Georgetown County Family YMCA was awarded $10,000 to support operating expenses including staffing costs, rent, and cleaning and sanitation.  

The Shepherd’s Tale, serving Horry County, was awarded $5,000 to support serving 80 to-go meals Monday through Friday, as well as 100 “weekend packs” every Friday of the month. 

The Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand was awarded $15,000 to assist in restarting the Boys & Girls Club Fall program in Horry County in addition to complying with COVID-19 social distancing protocol.

The Children’s Recovery Center was awarded $20,000 to provide 75 forensic interviews for children who are victims of traumatic abuse incidents, as well as for the purchase of PPE for 2021.  

Smith Medical Clinic, serving Georgetown County, was awarded $25,000 to ensure low-income, uninsured residents have every opportunity to get vaccinated against influenza, as well as provide critical cancer screenings and women’s health care. 

Teach My People, a faith-based afterschool and summer program serving Georgetown County students impacted by the negative effects of poverty, was awarded $15,000 to assist in moving their afternoon program to a full day program. The funds will be used to compensate instructors for the additional hours they work during the new program model.  

The Grand Strand Miracle Leagues, dedicated to providing those with Special Needs life-changing opportunity, was awarded $5,000 to support the preparation of the facility for safe play — including the purchase of sanitizing wipes, restroom cleaning, social distancing stickers, and signage.

Miss Ruby’s Kids, serving Georgetown and Horry counties, was awarded $10,000 to support the cost of laptops and tablets for virtual visits, books and backpacks for students, learning program subscriptions, resource kits for mentors, library supplies, reimbursement fees, and sanitation kits.

Mobile Meals of the Grand Strand, providing home-delivered nutritious meals to individuals in Horry County unable to prepare them on their own, was awarded $7,500 to support the cost of meals for 5 days a week for 150 to 175 individuals.

St. Christopher’s Children was awarded $7,500 to support the purchase of clothing for 50 children, which includes shoes, pants, undergarments, shirts, belts, and coats.

The Village Group, serving Georgetown County, was awarded $10,000 to support the purchase of 35 Chromebooks and software for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Carolina Human Reinvestment (CHRSC), serving Georgetown County’s at-risk youth and their families through gardening and education programs, was awarded $15,000 to support staff salaries for the Virtual Learner’s Day Program and CHRSC Community Garden.

Freedom Readers, serving Georgetown and Horry Counties, was awarded $15,000 to support the purchase of 1,200 books for six weeks of online reading practice, a subscription to Moodle to host the online training program, safety training, and supplies.

Healthy Learners, providing children with access to health care services, was awarded $30,000 to support trainings, health screenings, health care services, and staff recruitment and employment. Healthy Learners currently serves Georgetown County, but a program expansion is underway in Horry, Colleton, and Hampton counties to serve more children and provide access to critical services.

Little Smurf, currently serving 50 Georgetown County students by providing a safe environment for them to do schoolwork, virtual and in-person tutoring services, computers, and meals, was awarded $10,000 to support the costs of food, new computers, and hazard compensation for staff members.

Bible Way Community Learning Center, providing high-quality childcare for children in Georgetown County ages six-12, was awarded $10,000 to support efforts to sanitize the center, as well as purchase new technology, and hire two additional full-time employees.

The list of grants awarded in other parts of the region can be found here.

About the fund

The COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund of Coastal Community Foundation is a regional, collaborative effort supported by Black River United Way, the Chapin Foundation, Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, 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 on our online portal. Donations can be made securely online with a credit card here.

3655 S. Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

843-357-GIVE (4483)


Our business hours are 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Friday.

We are always happy to set appointments outside of normal office hours. Please call to set an appointment.

EIN: 56-2121992

Copyright © 2024 Waccamaw Community Foundation

Jean Ann Brakefield

Programs Officer


Jean Ann provides support and day-to-day management for WCF’s competitive grantmaking and scholarship programs. She also serves as the external point-person for community programs focused on capacity building for agencies in Horry and Georgetown counties.

Brakefield comes to WCF from Coastal Carolina University where she acted as Director of Stewardship and, prior to that, Director of Alumni Relations. She also served as Vice President of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Brakefield earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with husband with whom she has two children and one grandchild – and one on the way!

Gary Cooper

Vice Chair, Development Committee

Gary Cooper is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Palmetto Infusion Services, LLC. Gary graduated from Wofford College with a BS in Economics and went on to acquire his Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of South Carolina. 
He has dedicated twenty-four years of service and leadership to the health care industry as an entrepreneur across a number of businesses. Gary’s commitment to the industry and servant leadership has ensured that the employees, patients, and communities served by his companies have benefitted from his stewardship.
Gary and his wife Kelly reside in Pawleys Island, SC and are the parents of four children – Gracyn, Clemons, Marshall, and Sutton.

Dr. Deshawn Rouse


Dr. Deshawn Rouse is the Founder and CEO of Spirit Filled Ambassadors for Christ Ministries. He also serves as Senior Prelate of the United Ministries of the Kingdom. Additionally, Dr. Rouse is the Founder and CEO of Prison of Hope Ministry, a state and federal prison ministry. Also, he is the Founder and CEO of Zenith Wealth Building.
He received his Doctoral Degree in Biblical Studies in 2013 from North Carolina College of Theology in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Deshawn has served on various boards including the City of Andrews’ Planning Commission and its Zoning Board of Appeals. He is the Vice Chairman of Smurfs Development School and is a covenant partner with Helping Hands of Georgetown. Dr. Rouse has received the Order of The Silver Crescent from Governor Henry McMaster, an Icon Award from the Andrews SC Chapter of the NAACP, the Town of Andrews’ Citizens Award, and various other awards from federal, state, and local officials. Deshawn released a book Never Have a Bad Day and two children’s books Them Two: Morals Stops Quarrels and Kingdom Economic.
Dr. Rouse is married to Lady Debra Rouse and has four children Tarique, Kenly, Jordon, and Jeremiah. 

Emma Ruth Brittain


Emma Ruth Brittain is a native of Darlington, and is retired from her most recent employment as a member of Thomas & Brittain, P.A. She is a graduate of Furman University and received her law degree from University of South Carolina School of Law. Emma Ruth began practicing law in September of 1980 and her areas of practice included Employment and Labor Law and she retired from the practice of law in 2019.
As a practicing attorney, she was a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, American Bar Association and Horry County Bar Association as well as the Myrtle Beach Women Lawyers Association. She has served on the Supreme Court of South Carolina Lawyer Mentoring Program and Coastal Inn of Court.  She currently serves on the boards of United Way of Horry County and the Long Bay Symphony.  Emma Ruth served as a past president of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club. 
Emma Ruth and her husband, Clay, live in Myrtle Beach and have 2 grown children Clay IV and Benjamin.

Robert P. Hucks, II

Vice Chair

Robert P. Hucks, II is Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer at Coastal Carolina National Bank. Hucks has worked in the banking industry for 23 years and represents a second-generation banker in Horry County, where he currently resides in Conway with his wife Christi and two boys, Riles and Winn.

Wallace Evans Jr.


Wallace Evans Jr., is a native of North Myrtle Beach, SC. He is married and has four children. He attended Clemson Univ. but graduated from Coastal Carolina Univ. with a B. A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is currently the CEO of A Father’s Place, the nonprofit father engagement initiative with three offices serving Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties.

Cheryl Cail


Cheryl Cail is Acting Chief of the Waccamaw Indian People and Chairperson of SC Idle No More; a committee under the SC Indian Affairs Commission, which focuses on protection of the environment, cultural preservation, and indigenous sovereignty. She owns Coastal Carolina Signings, LLC, and also works part-time as an Associate Director at American Rivers. She is the mother of three sons and grandmother of seven.

Dennis L Wade

Dennis Wade is a native of Lancaster, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wade has been President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackson Companies since 2001. The Jackson Companies is a diversified tourism, hospitality and real estate development company located in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach. For more than five decades, the Jackson family has instilled philanthropy and community service into their multifaceted group of businesses. Dennis is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand XIX and a Waccamaw American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. He currently serves on the Coastal Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors for the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, and the Conway Medical Center Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. and a director of Coastal Carolina National Bank. Dennis and his wife, Marie, have two children, Erica and Taylor, and have called the Grand Strand home since 1997.

Allen Jeffcoat

Allen Jeffcoat has been practicing law in Myrtle Beach since 1977. His areas of practice include real estate, estate planning, probate administration, environmental law, corporate and business law, and bankruptcy.  He serves as an expert witness in cases in these areas of practice. He is licensed to practice law in SC and NC. He has served as chair of the Real Estate Practices Section of the SC Bar.

Allen’s relationship with Waccamaw Community Foundation began many years ago, when he would advise his estate planning clients to invest their funds to benefit their philanthropic interests, such as education, the arts, and environmental protection. After working alongside his clients and WCF, Allen joined the Foundation’s board of directors in 2007 and served as director until 2016.

In addition to his professional to his professional interests and his involvement with WCF, Allen has a history of supporting coastal and statewide conservation efforts. In 1985, Allen joined the South Carolina Nature Conservancy board of trustees, and fulfilled a variety of leadership roles- including a stint a chairman— from 1987-1989. Allen also served on Governor Carroll Campbell’s Freshwater Wetlands Forum, and continues to apply his experience in environmental and real estate law to help preserve and protect natural resources and ecosystems vital to the local community.

Allen is also a founder and first president of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina.

Allen has resided in the Grand Strand since 1977 with his wife, Mary. They have two grown children and a granddaughter.

Tim Whitten



A native of Alabama, Tim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University and a master’s degree in religion from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He brings to WCF a background in grant writing and in disaster recovery most recently serving the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Tim resides in Galivants Ferry with his wife Julie and their four children.

Phillip Anderson

Vice Chair, Grants Committee

Phillip Anderson is a Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer for Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeTrust Bank, serving the coast of South Carolina. Throughout his 22-year banking career, he has served in commercial banking, trust administration, retail banking, and market leadership roles with mid-size and regional banks in South Carolina and Georgia. He has always embodied the community banking model of building strong local relationships and being active in numerous non-profits and promoting their causes.
He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA, the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School, The Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership program. He is also a graduate of several Chamber of Commerce Leadership programs over his career.
Phillip resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing golf.

Ellen Barney Sycks

Stewardship & Communications Officer

Office: 843-357-0165
Mobile: 614-893-7998

Ellen serves the Foundation as its Stewardship and Communications Officer, responsible for communicating with fund holders on a regular basis and providing advice when needed, particularly around fund development as well as relevant field of interest information.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ellen provides more than three decades of non-profit leadership experience, focusing on creating major gift and planned giving opportunities to support organizations’ programs, special projects and capital campaigns. Ellen received her B.A. in National Security Policy from The Ohio State University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with her husband Jay and their two cats, Mabel and Murray.

Chris Hanna


Chris Hanna is a Senior Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, he started in the real estate business in 1993. Chris is a member of the Coastal Carolinas, South Carolina and National Associations of REALTORS and is an active local community member as well, having served on various boards such as the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Coastal Carolina Athletic Foundation, and Horry County school district Carolina Forest Advisory Board. He is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality and Oceanview Baptist Church. Chris is a graduate of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, and he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina in 1992.

Rick Elliott


Rick Elliott is president of his family business, Elliott Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in North Myrtle Beach. As a native of Horry County, he has always made giving back to the community a part of his approach to business. Each guest who stays with Elliott Realty is given the option to add an additional $1 per night to their bill to be donated to the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund at Waccamaw Community Foundation, which invests in causes throughout the surrounding community. Rick brings this commitment to community philanthropy to his service on the Waccamaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served as the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Tyler Easterling


Tyler Easterling is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has resided in Georgetown County since moving to the area in 2002. Tyler is the president and COO of The Brandon Agency, an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Myrtle Beach. She is the current board chair for Coastal Montessori Charter School and serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Georgetown and Young Presidents’ Organization Southern 7 Chapter. She is a member of the 2018 Liberty Fellowship class.

Tyler holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and enjoys spending time with her husband, Marshall, and two daughters, Julia and Anne Marshall.

Terri DeCenzo


Terri serves as executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL). She is married to Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo, and when he joined the university in 2002, she became passionately involved with the life of the university, taking an active role in issues relating to student government and NCAA athletics, among others. Previously Terri has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Foundation for Georgetown Hospital System and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that established Family Justice Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties. In 2016, Terri was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. A graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Towson University, she spent most of her career practicing in critical care. The DeCenzo’s have four children: Mark (his wife Jen), Meredith (and her husband Ryan Daley), Gabriella and Natalie; and one beautiful grandson, William Mason Evans.

Executive Director, Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL)

Dr. Tracy Bailey


Dr. Tracy Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in May of 2013. She is a Teaching Associate with Coastal Carolina University teaching Intermediate Literacy Development and Instructional Practices for Early Literacy.

Dr. Bailey began her career in education as a high school English instructor and has worked in both rural and urban educational settings. After realizing the impact professional development and community literacy had on her personal and professional growth, she wanted others to experience this. She is the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, Inc., a nonprofit company dedicated to promoting literacy. Tracy seeks to instill in teachers, students, and the community at large the belief that every student can learn and every learner has the responsibility to pass on new knowledge to another.

Dr. Bailey earned her BA from The College of Charleston- majoring in English Education- and a Masters in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University. She is married to award-winning writer, Issac J. Bailey, and is the mother of two wonderful children, Kyle and Lyric.

Brent Groome


A 1987 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Brent came to the Grand Strand area in 1989. After a 31 year career with HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative), he retired in 2021.  In addition to his current role with WCF, he also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for HGTC. He is also active with his church; serving as a Sunday School teacher and congregational song leader.  He and his wife, Dana, live in the Conway area.

Shawna Mosley-Foster

Service and Operations Officer

843-357-4483 x200

Shawna, a native of Jamaica, NY, has more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality and tourism field. Since relocating to South Carolina in 2004, she spent a few more years working with a local hospitality company before joining WCF’s staff.  While a native New Yorker, Shawna has a rich heritage right here in the Waccamaw area. Her mother was born and raised on Sandy Island, and her father is from Bucksport. She enjoys cooking, stargazing with her family, cruising and once retired….RVing! Shawna and her husband are empty nesters and resides in Myrtle Beach. 

Mike Mancuso

Executive Director


Mike is a veteran business leader with more than 30 years of experience as an innovative problem solver and change agent for nonprofit, banking and small business organizations. Mike is a skilled economic developer with background in community development, downtown redevelopment, industrial development and strategic planning. His passion is helping Communities and Businesses thrive and grow.

Most recently Mike served as the President and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation in Johnston County, NC and as Executive Director for the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc in Salem, OH. Mike and his wife Christine make their home in Little River, SC. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren living in Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, & Austin TX. Mike enjoys boating on the ICW, tinkering in his workshop/garage and spending time with family and friends.