It's time to help the area's less fortunate by participating in The Empty Stocking Fund, organized by The Herald.
The Empty Stocking Fund is a holiday assistance effort to help needy families in the newspaper's readership area. Contributions will be divided among eight local nonprofits -- Fort Mill Care Center, Clover Area Assistance Center, Chester County Department of Social Services, The Turning Point of Chester, Project HOPE, PATH (People Attempting to Help), Salvation Army and Tender Hearts Community Outreach. Contributions to the Empty Stocking Fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 10921, Rock Hill, SC 29731, or dropped off at The Herald, 132 W. Main St., Rock Hill. Contributors' names will be published in The Herald.
Agency: Clover Area Assistance Center, 1130 S.C. 55 E., Clover.
Hours of operation: 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.
Services offered: Provides emergency food, financial assistance and health services to respond to the emergency needs of those who live in the Clover school district. The center also operates a medical and dental clinic and offers educational classes in "living basics," breast cancer awareness program and vouchers for free clothing. Funds provided through the Empty Stocking Fund will help the center provide toys for some of its 400 children, aged birth to 12, through its Santa's Closet.
By the numbers: In 2006, the group assisted 779 households or 2,298 individuals with food, 470 households or 1,365 individuals with financial assistance and 98 households or 317 individuals with rental assistance. The agency sees an average of 45 clients a month at medical and dental clinics.
The number of people served so far this year was not available. Last year, volunteers provided 165 households or 357 kids with toys through its Santa's Closet program, for infants to 12 years old.
What they are seeing now: Janie Davis, executive director, said they see the elderly and disabled on a regular basis. They also see those who need help in crisis situations with their utilities and rent. Families who receive assistance with those things may attend a living basis class to help them in the future, she added.
Sources of funding: Donations from individuals, churches, businesses, foundations and the United Way of York County.
Budget: Last year's operating budget totaled almost $241,000. This year's budget was not available.
Brief history: The Clover Area Assistance Center was established as a nonprofit in 1999 by two local groups known as the Good Neighbor Pantry and Clover Caring Center.
Contact information: Janie Davis, executive director of Clover Area Assistance Center, (803) 222-4837.