If you met Leonard, you would walk away feeling that you just met a really nice guy. Like many people in Mt. Pleasant or the East Cooper, he isn’t a native but calls Mt. Pleasant his home now. Leonard and his wife moved from West Virginia in 2004 on a work move and have enjoyed living here and working for Ingevity ever since.
Leonard and his wife are charter members of the Palmetto Presbyterian Church (at Carolina Park), and he has been active there for many years. Since their children are now grown, being active in supporting the community and his church came natural. From being on the church session, to missions and ushering, you can say serving is in his blood. Shortly after Fix It! was founded, he heard of the mission that Fix It! was on and thought his talents could be used there. An engineer by trade, this made for a good fit as many of the projects need that sort of vision in either design or execution.
Leonard felt that access ramps would be a great way to give back to his community as ramps so often are life changing (see page 4 article ‘Access gives a Lift’). He and his team from Palmetto Presbyterian became a ‘go to’ squad when a ramp needed building and you could say they have mastered the art of giving access to those in need. Ramps gives so much more than access; it gives those who need it a better way of life!
Thank you to Leonard, his team and all the Fix It! members who are making a positive impact in the lives of people here in the East Cooper!
If you have read the Moultrie News or the Post and Courier recently, you are well aware the housing challenges many with fixed or low income have here in the East Cooper. Just the other week, the Moultrie News wrote an article titled “Affordable Housing – Why there isn’t any” which gave a progress report on where we are and the future.
But if you are a resident in the East Cooper, have low and or fixed income, and have a home that is in great need of repair, there are few options and moving (considering the expense to move) usually isn’t one of them. So what is a resident who is unable to pay for, or unable to repair themselves to do? Most rely on family members as this is their first line of support. But when many have already moved away to less expensive areas, these residents do not have that support network to fall upon when there is a roof leak, kitchen or bath repair, or other necessity such as an access ramp needs to be built or repaired.
The great thing about living in the East Cooper, is the generosity of the many people and organizations that live here. We have houses of worship, charitable organizations and other non-government agencies that are able to help ‘fill in the gap’ when a resident is in need of support. The East Cooper Faith Network’s Fix It! program pulls many of these groups together to help ensure the needs of the challenged can be met so that all who live her, do so in a safe and healthy environment
Ms. Shirley (pictured) lives in Mt. Pleasant with 2 children and with winter here, her HVAC system down, not having the funds needed for a repair, she knew she needed some help. Ms. Shirley was referred to the Fix It! program by ECCO (East Cooper Community Outreach) as she was on disability and needed some help. Through the support of Fix It!’s volunteers and donors, Fix It! was able to provide a new system to ensure a safe and warm winter for her and her family. This is just one example of what Fix It! does.
The East Cooper Faith Network’s Fix It! Program has been working to be a part of the solution for east cooper families in need since it was founded in 2012 when Meals on Wheels drivers saw the need for home repairs from those that cannot do the repairs themselves and/or cannot afford to have them done for them. Fix It! caters to our community with its mission to provide home repair and access ramps to those in need to ensure safe and healthy living environments. In doing so, it allows these people the opportunity to stay where they are, with their friends and community rather than having to seek housing in other areas in the tri-county area.
Fix It! is not alone in this endeavor. It partners with ECCO, East Cooper Meals on Wheels and East Cooper Habitat for Humanity to network for solutions and to learn of community members in need and partners with many local faith groups and charitable organizations for volunteers and financial support. We are all working together to make a positive impact on our community.
Please consider making a donation today to the East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) as we raise funds for our 2017 programs; I-Beam and Fix It! You can donate by clicking on the DONATE NOW button to the right or by sending a check to ECFN, PO Box 1071, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465.
By giving your tax deductible contribution, you make an impact on our children who are in need of mentors and learning support all year round through I-Beam and I-Beam Camp. Also, Fix It! makes life safe and access free by offering home repair and wheel chair access to needy homes so quality of life may be achieved.
In 2016, 280 at risk children were matched with over 300 mentors and volunteers and over 6700 hours were given to these children by reading and mentoring through I-Beam and I-Beam Camp.
Students love coming to the Miriam Brown Center to interact and learn with the volunteers and professional instructors. “The biggest benefit these kids have is the one on one attention that they receive by the volunteers.”, I-Beam Camp Volunteer
“I love the program and my I-Beam students always look forward to seeing their mentors. Thank you for this program. It makes a huge difference to these students’ lives!”, I-Beam teacher 2015-2016
Fix It! repaired over 15 homes and of these 7 new access ramps were built or repaired making life safer and healthier so people in need can live in a safe environment. From the hospice worker caring after a Fix It! client retelling about the effect the ramp will have on their patient; “After the ramp is built, I can do this and that….” and then when he would talk about the ramp, he would light up. The ramp gave him hope, it opened doors that were not shut for him.
ECFN has over 25 faith groups, 2 charitable organizations, and 5 government agencies that consistently support the network by giving contributions or volunteers > both are greatly needed and appreciated. Please make a contribution to ECFN to help people in our neighborhood by making a donation, volunteering, or help spreading the word of our work.