Hilton Head Island has an extensive and diverse group of mission-driven organizations, many of which have fascinating local histories. A large percentage of the local community contributes to non-profits, charity events, boards and contributions.
The Outside Foundation
It was founded with the mission to promote outdoor activities for children and protect the pristine natural environment of the Lowcountry. The Foundation hosts riverway cleanups, educational outdoor experiences for children, sustainable fishery initiatives and recycling programs.
This year’s Keep the Broad Creek Clean Festival takes place Wednesday, August 18, from 4-8 p.m. at Shelter Cove Community Park. The festival features local non-profits and organizations. Interactive and educational exhibits related to conservation, recycling and environmental stewardship will be on hand. Highlights include a latern making workshop with #culturehhi,
tie-dye, a touch tank of marsh critters, eco-art fun and snacks from Palmetto Pops! A great time for the whole family! Bring your hard to recycle items for recycling: charger cords, CFLs, batteries, laptops .
For more information about The Outside Foundation, visit www.outsidefoundation.org.
One of the oldest local non-profits is The Deep Well Project, founded in 1973.
At that time, many Native Islanders fell ill, due to drinking contaminated water from shallow wells. Deep Well’s goal addresses the needs of these Islanders. Over time, shallow wells were no longer a problem, and Deep Well adjusted to the changing needs of the community. Today, this organization provides emergency aid to residents in need with food, clothing, rent payments, jobs, school uniforms and much more.
Volunteers in Medicine is one of the largest free clinics in the United States.
Dr. Jack McConnell was the force behind the clinic’s unique concept, which opened on Hilton Head Island in 1993. VIM, as it is locally known, is operated by healthcare volunteers. They provide free services to the one in five local residents who do not have health insurance, primarily those employed in the service industry. Fun fact: Dr. McConnell’s son Page is a keyboardist and songwriter in the hugely popular band Phish.
The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head also has an interesting celebrity connection.
The local club opened in 1999, 13 years after the original Beaufort Club and four years after the first Bluffton Club on land donated by the Van Landingham Rotary Club. The 28,000- square-foot Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head building was outfitted through a capital campaign headed by tennis great and Sea Pines Resort touring professional Stan Smith.
Whether you are a longtime visitor, new to the Island or a salty local, September is a great time to volunteer for one of these, or any of the other, great local charity organizations. Visit the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry’s website at cf-lowcountry.org to learn when, where and how to volunteer.
By Jessie Renew