The Fort Mill Care Center wasn’t open to clients Thursday afternoon, but President Diana Bernard would’ve opened the door if for nothing but the curiosity.
She’d get a better reason.
“This was just an email I received saying we’d like to give you a gift,” she said just before a half dozen LGI Homes representatives arrived for a tour. “I’m waiting. I’m so curious.”
The company presented Bernard a $1,500 check for use helping the community they’re adding to themselves, with the construction of Pecan Ridge. Tony Hanson, vice president of sales with LGI, said his company has similar interests to the Care Center helping residents get on solid financial footing.
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“We’re in the homebuilding industry and we primarily focus on first-time homebuyers,” he said. “We help a lot of people that may not think they could never get a home.”
Hanson has videos of first-time homeowners who say their lives were changed by the opportunity to move into their own place. He sees the same type of energy at the care center.
“You guys are definitely changing lives here,” Hanson said, “and that’s why we want to be a part of it.”
The presentation Thursday came two years to the day after a move to the Center’s building at 2760 Old Nation Rd. For years it operated at the former middle and high school site on Banks Street. The center raised $400,000 in a capital campaign. All while operating on an all-volunteer basis.
“We rely solely on the community for monetary and food donations,” Bernard said.
The center serves up to 240 families a month. Eligible families can receive food ever 28 days, emergency help with utility bills every four months and some clothing, dental and other services.
“If we can’t help, we do give resources,” Bernard said. “We call a church, something like that.”
More than 100 volunteers help at the center. Community groups often hold food drives or similar events. The center will give out Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey meals. The food pantry is a little low now, not uncommon in summertime. They already are thinking about turkey donations that will go out in early November.
“Everybody thinks about us in the holidays, but we really need those starting in October,” Bernard said.
It isn’t every day, she said, when someone calls out of the blue wanting to help. Or bringing money and thanks for what the center does. But it happens more often than people may think. The center doesn’t get federal assistance. It started a half century ago as people in the community wanting to give and make a difference. Which is pretty much what the center is today.
“You live in a wonderful community if you live here,” Bernard said.
Want to know more?
The Fort Mill Care Center serves clients 9 a.m.-noon Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Donations of food, money and supplies are always appreciated. The center is getting ready to collect turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. For more information, stop by during operating hours, call 803-547-7620, visit fortmillcarecenter.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find them on Facebook.