Our Lady Of Mercy Community Outreach Receives $120,000 In Grants From Trident United Way

Money Will Support Free Dental And Emergency Services Programs For Those In Need

Charleston, SC – Trident United Way announced on April 23, 2019, that Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach (OLMCOS) was named one of 25 programs selected for their 2019 – 2020 community investment grant cycle. OLMCOS will receive $40,000 for direct services and $80,000 for free dental services each year. These grants are vital to the integrity and impact of the organization as a whole and what it provides to the James, Johns and Wadmalaw islands every day.

The $80,000 grant will directly support the free, comprehensive dental clinic in the Wellness Center – the only one within a fifteen-mile radius – to low-income, uninsured individuals in the community. These services address both acute and emergency conditions, as well as the on-going preventative care needed to avoid painful symptoms and extensive treatment. In fiscal year 2018:

  • 12,175 dental procedures were completed
  • 4,215 patient visits recorded in the dental clinic
  • 539 emergency dental procedures were completed
  • $1,370,233 valued services were provided

OLMCOS will use the $40,000 to support its direct services programs that include a clothing closet, a Lowcountry Food Bank designated Wellness Food Pantry and financial assistance. These direct services provide food, nutrition education and necessities to families in need.

In fiscal year 2018 alone:

  • 1421 people accessed the clothing closet for necessary items and clothing
  • 910 individuals were able to get food necessities to feed their families from the food pantry
  • $43,732.90 of financial assistance given to 389 clients to pay rent, keep their lights on and other utilities.

These grants will support OLMOCS’s mission to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth for people in need in our community through education, wellness and outreach services. Building on the synergy among the services it provides, OLMOCS seeks to address the undercurrents of poverty and foster the capacity of area residents to improve the quality of their lives and the life of the community.

“We are grateful to be chosen as a recipient of this year’s community investment grants, and we look forward to the continued partnership over the next three years. This investment will enable our organization to help thousands in our community overcome the systemic barriers of poverty. Our reach is broad, but our intentions align with Trident United Way’s primary focus for this grant cycle: education, financial stability and health,” says Ericka Plater, Executive Director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach.

“Trident United Way has focused its investments on education, financial stability and health efforts for a number of years,” TUW Vice President of Community Impact Amanda Lawrence says. “The program and basic needs investments in this grant cycle more closely align to our collective impact approach. Priority was given to applications focused on our stated network priorities in kindergarten readiness, workforce development and health. This will ensure our investments have a greater impact across the community. Given the expanding pool of applicants and finite resources, we have every confidence in the community benefits that will be derived from these investments. See Trident United Way’s official announcement here.

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About Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach

Founded in 1989, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach provides educational, health and direct outreach services to more than 5,000 people each year in the Lowcountry. With the support of volunteers and donations, community members receive dental and pre-natal care, emergency food, clothing and financial assistance, lunch five days a week at Neighborhood House, and diverse educational and capacity-building opportunities such as after-school programs, money management, GED and ESL classes, workforce development and more. The two locations include Johns Island on Brownswood Rd, serving the needs of James, Johns and Wadmalaw Island residents and the Neighborhood House in Charleston that serves Eastside-area residents. For more information, visit www.olmoutreach.org.