Communities nationwide this week are celebrating acts of philanthropy and service by individuals, corporations and other organizations.
Here in the Midlands, a strong spirit of giving has persisted despite the strain of difficult economic times. That generosity has ranged from school food drives to church holiday meals to corporate donations of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
These donations, often possible only by the community’s generosity, have sustained individuals and programs alike during the turbulent economy.
Today, in recognition of National Philanthropy Week, The State takes a look at a handful of Midlands foundations and individuals who have made some of the biggest contributions in recent years to support local basic human needs and that represent the passion that drives community giving.
United Way of the Midlands
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
Current items under consideration to enhance the group’s mission:
• Development of safety nets for those who have no dental care, especially children, newborn to age 5
• Expansion of successful anti-obesity programs
Evaluation of the impact of the federal Affordable Care Act on future giving
Through the years, she has generated millions of dollars for various community service causes through personal donations as well as through the solicitation of public and private funds from others.
Berry’s early involvement with the Red Cross created an unwavering commitment to that agency as well as to the United Way of the Midlands. She has served on bank boards, led cultural arts projects and given her expertise as a trustee of her alma mater, Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, and of the College of Charleston. Berry also founded various groups, including Women in Philanthropy.
Berry credits her parents – a commercial real estate developer and a homemaker mother – with modeling the importance of giving.
The Nord Family Foundation
Central Carolina Community Foundation
Three key initiatives include:
• Literacy 2030: To break the intergenerational cycle of low literacy in the state.
• Graduation Imperative: To increase access to education and connect talent in the Columbia market for a more vibrant community.
• Talk About Giving: To encourage multi-generational conversations about philanthropy.
Stewart and Steven Mungo
The brothers’ father, the late Michael Mungo, grew up in poverty in a single-parent household. After working his way through USC by hanging drywall, Michael Mungo started his own company, and his gratitude motivated him to help take care of the less fortunate. That sensibility was passed to his sons, who continue the family’s support of various community causes.