Be a Christmas angel
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, email@example.com
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us remember that Christmas is not found in a store, or a gift under a tree. The spirit of Christmas is the love and joy in our hearts, and sharing our blessings with others during this most holy holiday is the best way to honor His birth.
What a perfect time of year to be a Christmas angel!
There are many ministries and caring organizations in Darlington County to help others this Christmas; here are just a few:
Darlington County Free Medical Clinic
The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County is an interdenominational Christian ministry that provides free medical care, medications, and pastoral support to Darlington County residents who are ineligible for Medicaid, who are without the financial resources to afford such care, and/or who have no medical insurance. Even with the Affordable Healthcare Act, there are many people that are underinsured in our midst.
There are two locations: 203 Grove St., Darlington, SC 29532, and 500 W. Carolina Ave. in Hartsville. Donations may be mailed to the Darlington address, or on their website with their PayPal account. www.freemedicalclinicdc.org, 843-398-0060.
Darlington County Habitat for Humanity
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Darlington County Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seek to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Donations to their two ReStores help raise funds to build these homes, and are located at 1106 S. Main Street in Darlington, phone: 843-944-0314; and 120 Washington St. in Hartsville, open Monday thru Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Call 843-383-8517 to arrange a donation pickup in Darlington County. Donations may be mailed to: Darlington County Habitat for Humanity P.O. Box 1983 120 W. Washington Hartsville, SC 29551-1983 Tel: 843-383-8500. Habitat is always in need of volunteers to help build these homes, so contact them if you have a specific talent, or if you are willing and able to take direction, the teams will find a job for you!
Darlington County Humane Society
This group volunteers at the county animal shelter and assists the homeless pets in the area. Funds can be donated to sponsor a specific animal, medical needs, rescue efforts to transport animals to no-kill shelters in other areas, or the group’s spay/neuter fund.
Mail donations to DCHS Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 503, Darlington SC 29540.
You may also consider adopting a pet for your family! Visit the Animal Shelter on Highway 151, approximately 1 mile west of the racetrack; turn by the blue water tower. The address is 1705 Harry Byrd Hwy, Darlington, SC 29532. (843) 398-4402. Foster families are always needed as well, as are helpers to groom, walk, photograph, and assist with fundraisers and rescue transports.
Carolina Kids, LLC and The Kids Closet of Darlington County
Carolina Kids is an all volunteer organization governed by a board of directors made up of members of all backgrounds in the community. serves economically disadvantaged children in the Darlington County School District by providing food, clothing and school supplies. Our mission is to enhance the lives of the needy children in the area by providing them with their basic necessities and also providing them opportunities they would normally not receive. Programs include:
The Kids Closet, Hunger Busters (weekend food bag program) Backpack Program, and Everyone Should Go – monetary assistance for field trips.
Volunteers from the county work under the same umbrella to diligently to provide needy children in the Darlington County School District with clothing and basic needs. They work together to support each ministry, and have been successful in bringing awareness to the community that it “takes a village to raise a child”.
The Kids Closet in Darlington collects donations of clean, gently used, good quality and “kid-approved” clothing for students of all ages. The children are able to “shop” with vouchers provided by the guidance departments at their schools, and are always so excited to have good quality clothing that makes them so proud to wear. The volunteers purchase new socks, underwear and pajamas for those that need them. Arrangements to make donations of new or gently worn clothing appropriate for students K – 12th grade, monetary and/or gift cards may be arranged by contacting Kids Closet at: 843-858-8038
Monetary donations may be sent to: Kids Closet 72 Public Square, Darlington, SC 29532
At the Carolina Kids Hartsville location, volunteers meet each week to provide weekend food supplies for all children of Darlington County School District with their Hunger Busters Program. Donations of peanut butter, packaged foods, etc. are always in need, but call first to make sure. There are some clothing there as well, and a donation box is outside the building for weekend and after hour drop offs on the stair landing at the 8th Street side of the Thornwell School for the Arts on West Carolina Avenue; look for the sign for Adult Education, which is on that far left side of the school building facing from W. Carolina. Contact Information: Andrea Pulling, Director 843-639-7239 firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary donations may be sent to: Carolina Kids LLC, P.O. Box 28, Hartsville, SC 29551
The Lord Cares
The Lord Cares ministry has been providing assistance to those in need in the Darlington area- including Darlington, Lamar and Society Hill- for over 25 years. Once a need has been established, The Lord Cares assists people with food, electricity bills, and medical prescriptions and occasionally doctor bills. Amazingly, The Lord Cares does not ask for donations from Harvest Hope, and has never applied for any state or federal grants.
“Anything we get comes solely from our community,” said founding volunteer and board member, Mary Butler. “All our food comes from food drives, businesses and the community. We want it to be a community service.” The ministry is 100% volunteer, and never had a paid employee. “And never will!” says Mrs. Butler.
To make a donation, make checks payable to The Lord Cares, and mail to: The Lord Cares Ministry, P. O. Box 1457, Darlington, SC 29540. Their phone number is: 843-395-1001. Donations may also be made during office hours Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at their location on 201 Grove St. in Darlington.
All contributions to The Lord Cares are tax-exempt; TLC has been listed as a recipient for memorials, and named in the wills of many former volunteers. Donations are also given as birthday and Christmas presents; the recipient is notified that a friend remembered them by a gift to The Lord Cares in their honor.
Hartsville Interfaith Ministries (HIM)
Director Robin Young coordinates the volunteers from the 31 churches currently provide financial support to the organization, which operates a food bank and provides emergency assistance to families and individuals in need from Hartsville and Lydia. Donations may be mailed to: HIM 210 Swift Creek Rd, Hartsville, SC 29550 843- 857-9003, or made during office hours Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon. Donations of non-perishable foods may be brought during office hours, too.
Hartsville Soup Kitchen Mission
Many faithful volunteers of the churches and businesses in the Hartsville area support the Hartsville Soup Kitchen Mission. This mission is headed by Wesley UMC and is supported by donations to serve a hearty hot, nutritious lunch Monday through Friday. The meals are shared after the group in attendance has a group prayer. No one is turned away. To make a donation, make checks payable to Hartsville Soup Kitchen Mission c/o Wesley United Methodist Church, 145 E College Avenue, Hartsville, SC, 29550.