COLUMBIA, SC — A Clarendon County woman was honored Thursday night for helping others in crisis.
Ann Driggers was named the individual champion during the 2013 Best of Philanthropy awards ceremony put on by Central Carolina Community Foundation and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine.
The annual event recognizes people, businesses and groups who have made significant contributions to the community.
Driggers has run Jordan Crossroads Ministry Center – Haven of Rest for five years. The four-bedroom, two-bath home in Clarendon County offers a safe haven where women in crisis can escape their abusers and begin new lives. Women are referred to the center by pastors, the Department of Social Services, area victims’ advocates hospitals and the Department of Mental Health.
The individual award was among five service awards presented by the community foundation Thursday.
“At the Community Foundation we celebrate philanthropy every day,” said JoAnn Turnquist, Central Carolina president and chief executive officer. “It’s a privilege to be an eyewitness to the time, talent and treasure our neighbors – regardless of background, wealth or title – share with our community in addressing tough problems.
“The selfless service demonstrated by our 2013 Community Champions illustrates the incredible difference that folks, who make giving back a priority in their lives, can make.”
Ervin and Linda Yarrell received this year’s family award. The Columbia couple are credited for outreach to the area’s homeless. They have distributed hundreds of meals in recent years, which has included hot meals three evenings a week at Columbia’s downtown winter shelter with the help of First Northeast Baptist Church members.
Columbia Eye Clinic was named this year’s local business champion, primarily for its services to patients at the Free Medical Clinic and to various other patients who cannot afford care.
Junior Women’s Club of Columbia was named group champion, largely for its assistance to abused and neglected children.
Swansea High School JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) students were named student group champions, largely for their efforts to help students develop some of the skills they will need in the workforce while giving back to their communities. The students started a food pantry at the school, which helps feed more than 60 families twice a week and school-wide drives are held to help stock the pantry.
Central Carolina also presented the David W. Robinson Catalyst Award, which recognizes organizations that have demonstrated leadership, creativity, vision and commitment in addressing critical community issues.
PASOs received this year’s award. The agency provides community-based education in Spanish on health prevention and early childhood education, helps Latinos cnavigate and use resources, and partners with health and social service providers to serve the growing Latino population.
Central Carolina Community Foundation serves 11 counties in the Midlands by helping charitable individuals and businesses meet various community needs. For more information, visit www.yourfoundation.org.