As the director of the Fort Mill Care Center and one of its many volunteers, Carol Higgins is used to working behind the scenes helping ensure the center has enough food and money to give to clients in need. But in 2013, Higgins became a near monthly fixture in the pages of the newspaper as she worked to focus attention on the Care Center’s many needs.
The year was one of upheaval and change for the Care Center as it prepared to move from its Banks Street location after officials learned that the building they had been in for more than 15 years would be closed and ultimately razed.
For several months Care Center officials, with Higgins leading the charge, searched for a new facility that would be big enough to house the food pantry and offices. When an appropriate location couldn’t be found, they settled in a new spot on Tom Hall Street, despite being too small than what officials had in mind.
The food pantry at the Care Center had to shrink and clients would no longer be offered fresh meats or as large a variety of foods. Higgins looked toward the future, however, and continually reminded the community that the Care Center has bigger plans. A capital campaign to fund construction of a new Care Center will be launched soon and Care Center officials are already looking for suitable land.
Capping off the year for the nonprofit group was some good news: Just last month, Higgins and other Care Center volunteers traveled to Columbia to receive an award for being on the S.C. Secretary of State’s “Angel” list. The Care Center was recognized as one of 10 charitable organizations on the 2013 “Scrooges and Angels” list for meeting various criteria, including using 80 percent or more of its revenue to meet goals, having strong volunteer programs and receiving minimal grant funding.
For all of the "Fort Mill 11" top newsmakers of 2013, click here.