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Community Involvement

DLI Carry On Crew

In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, and in partnership with Fostering Great Ideas and the Greenville Fire Department, the Carry On Crew led a city-wide project to collect gently used or new luggage, handbags, and diapers for children in foster care. In South Carolina, there are more than 4,600 children in foster care and nearly 500 children in foster care in Greenville. As these precious children move from one place to another, they often have nothing but plastic garbage bags to carry their belongings with.

Book Bags of Love

The Book Bags of Love initiative was developed to provide book bags to adult men who are experiencing temporary homelessness. The team feels this is an important initiative based on the disparity of resources available for men compared to women and children enduring similar situations. By partnering with local companies such as Dude Wipes, Dead Down Wind Body Wipes, and Good Wipes as well as raising money, the team will be able to provide bags containing toiletries and a document holder. Supporting this need will strengthen our community.

Project Power Play

Project Power Play is a capstone project that connects USC Rotaract, USC’s Society of Automotive Engineers, and a corporate sponsor to enhance maneuverability for children with mobility challenges. Following a model designed by Georgia’s Etowah Electric Eagles FRC robotics team, South Carolina college students will design, build, test, and deliver mobility solutions through robotic technology. The project will allow students to apply their STEAMM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, Medical) to serve others and impact the local community.

Fight4Her

Fight4Her focuses on assisting female veterans in the Upstate with connections and resources that they might engage to more successfully transition from their military service to the private sector, especially in their search for meaningful employment. We learned of the need from our team member, Rachel Putman, through her work at Goodwill Industries of the Upstate.

Pendleton Place Partners

Moved by the podcast we listened to on our first DLI class day, our group, Pendleton Place Partners, has collaborated with Pendleton Place, a local nonprofit that, among many other services, seeks to break the cycle of poverty and abuse through programs for youth transitioning out of foster care.

COPA Design: Building Communities

Rationale: A legacy Community Impact Program aligned with Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Institute in the Riley Institute.

Project Description:

From the beginning, the group intentionally focused on the desire to make a direct impact on whatever project we took on. The group was in complete alignment and quickly gravitated towards what we internally called a legacy project. Members of the group had conversations with DLI graduates resulting in strong relationships and idea sharing which led to the COPA II project. Initially created in the Spring 2018 cohort, COPA Champions began to take form.

Greenville Greeters

Mission

The purpose of the Greenville Greeters program is to challenge the misperceptions and false assumptions that people without disabilities have and to engage and connect with each other in a workplace setting, to shift the perception that allows people without disabilities to see the talents, skills, and abilities of people with disabilities.

Swamp Rabbit Express - Strengthening Communities, Nourishing Lives

Approximately 76,000 students attend Greenville County Schools and about half of these student rely on the Food and Nutrition Program. This DLI group worked to expand student access to free, nutritionally balanced meals during the summer months. As a result of their vision, a second food truck will be donated to the Greenville County School District and allow lunches to be delivered directly to students in their own neighborhoods when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. 

Safe Water Initiative at Metanoia (SWIM)

Background

Children ages 1 – 4 have the highest likelihood of drowning across the US generally and in SC (CDC, 2018; CDC, 2016; CSN, 2015). Of all major injuries and deaths among children, drowning was tied with homicide as the number one cause of death in South Carolina1 children ages 1-4 at 36 of every 100,000 children (CSN 2015). Additionally, it is the number three cause of death among South Carolina children ages 5 – 14 at between 15 and 24 per 100,000, and the number five cause of death among children ages 15 – 19 at 38 per 100,000. Deaths tend to be higher in coastal communities – a phenomenon that is not confined just to the US. A number of US and international studies have shown that drowning prevalence is higher in coastal communities (Morgan, Smith, & Triggs, 2008; Franklin, Scarr & Pearn, 2010; Brenner et al, 2001). 

Music is the Medium

The project is a collaborative mentoring program between the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO) and the Charleston County School District. The project will engage high school graduating Youth Symphony members with students from a Title 1 elementary school in a structured interactive program of music and mentoring. The program will provide an opportunity for CSYO members to share their passion and commitment for music with elementary students in hopes of fostering an appreciation and desire for music education. In addition, the unique nature of the monthly experiences and interactions between the mentors and mentees will hopefully result in a level of mutual engagement and understanding that facilitates a foundation of diversity awareness and impact, for all the participants.