Bertram Rantin

Inspire Me: Acts of kindness brighten Midlands

WE ARE ENCOURAGED by many stories of inspiration shared with us since asking for examples of community generosity.

Midlands residents have not been short on kindness. Here are just two more examples:


When an area woman walked into the Harvest Hope Food Bank seeking help recently, her needs were quite visible. She had no shoes, no socks and no undergarments.

Food bank officials quickly offered assistance, supplying her with clothing and blankets from a donation bin along with food and personal care items.

But as an agency worker walked the woman out to her car, another client in the food bank's waiting room noticed she had no shoes. So she took off hers and placed them on the woman's feet.

Food bank officials say the woman who gave up her shoes likely was in little position to do so. She is a regular food bank client who, with five members in her household, must balance low wages with medical expenses and high utility bills, they say.

"Everyone at Harvest Hope is moved by this incredible act of kindness, generosity and compassion," said food bank chief executive officer Denise Holland. "I trust and pray that others will find inspiration ... and will look to find ways they can provide their own measure of comfort to the suffering in their community."


Eight-year-old Gigi Shevchik of Lexington knows the loss of cancer after her grandmother died of the disease last summer.

But the Lexington youth has turned that hurt into hope for others facing the same ailment.

Since her grandmother's death, Gigi has started making jewelry in her memory. She sells her jewelry at Lexington area shops and on the Internet at

Last week she presented $250 to Children's Chance from her sales during ceremonies at Lexington Town Hall to mark her first charitable contribution.

Children's Chance provides nonmedical financial, emotional, and psychological support to children facing cancer and their families. Gigi's gift will provide support for South Carolina families of children with cancer.

"We are so proud to be chosen as Gigi's first charity to receive funds from her handmade jewelry," said Children's Chance spokeswoman Samantha Higgins. "Gigi is an amazing young girl and is showing the community that no matter what age, you can make a difference."