Growth is often a measure of success and with our success, we have been asked to add 2 more schools this fall. Joining our list of schools is who participate in the I-Beam program is Carolina Park and Mount Pleasant Academy bringing our total to 9. For a full list of schools that are participating with I-Beam, go to I-Beam Schools for information on each school. Additional schools mean new mentors and our orientation this fall went very well as we enrolled over 75 new mentors to the program. The picture below is from an orientation/fact finding session at one of the first churches who started I-Beam, Greater Goodwill A.M.E. Church.
This year is an important year, not only because we have expanded, but this is the year when the SC Read to Succeed Act comes into effect where children need to be reading at grade level or risk being held back. I-Beam is also looking at expanding the program to younger grades as well so stay tuned for more information on that.
This program has many people to be thankful for, particularly Adrienne Lauder from CCSD who has been our ‘mentor’ these years by offering the I-Beam committee and all of its mentors with training and feedback on how to be better mentors. So, Thank You Adrienne and CCSD for all of your support.
Much of the discussion today in the East Cooper is about affordable housing. However, when you really look at what is being discussed, the vast majority of the conversation is not about the very low-income. These families do not have a choice in most cases and will stay in their home, regardless of condition. Fix It! focuses on repairing homes so that families can live in a safe and healthy environment. It’s mission is below:
Provide needy homeowners with essential home repairs as well as wheelchair ramps via the
coordination of skilled volunteers and the collaboration of community agencies.
After Hurricane Hugo, many homes received new roofs but over 30 years of weather and neglect, what we are seeing today is that many of these homes cannot be repaired on the inside as the outside (roof) is leaking which causes many issues inside such as mold, rotted wood, etc… In order for Fix It! to be able to work on these homes, roofs need to be repaired and/or replaced. However, roofing is currently out of scope for Fix It and many other nonprofits. We hope to change this.
The Fix It! program has added an initiative of its own called The Roofing Project; which is to repair or replace roofs in the East Cooper. As you can imagine, roof replacement is costly and should be left to the professionals (not volunteers). Therefore, the East Cooper Faith Network provided some seed money to this project to start and Fix It!/The Roofing Project is needing to work with other nonprofits, foundations, local charities and others to fund this program.
Fix It! has many volunteers, mostly coming from the trades and from these skill sets, has developed strong processes to help ensure we keep costs down and can serve as many people as possible. Below is an example of a
Mr. and Mrs. Wright have been good members of our community. Both worked their respective jobs, paid their bills, and volunteered with the community. So when health issues made it impossible to work (as well as repair their home) and retirement and savings weren’t enough to support themselves they turned to ECCO and ECFN/Fix It! for support.
They are what may be called a typical client of ECCO; hard-working, giving, but needing a little support. ECCO has helped them for the last 7 years and by helping with food, clothing, health, and financial assistance and well as classes. When their roof was finally at a stage of disrepair where it had become a hazard due to leaks, ECCO referred them to ECFN’s Fix It! and their home was able to be the pilot for the roofing project; to repair or replace a roof for those in need. With the support of ECFN and the project lead, Mr. Robert Dunn of Hill Construction, the project was completed this summer by Hill Construction with the help of Keating Roofing. Many thanks to Hill Construction and Keating Roofing!
The roofing project is part of Fix It! that supports families in need. To receive assistance, each client must fill out an application, show need, and be a participant in the process. Once the application is reviewed and approved, it is fully accessed and plans are made to complete the project including drawings, budget, and process created so that volunteers, donors, and companies can take a look at it and see where they can contribute. This was our first project and was completed in August of 2017. The Wright’s are so very grateful for the hard work done by the team that built their new roof!
With a new school (Carolina Park) and the continual need to have mentors, we are recruiting new mentors for this fall. So, please help us spread the word about this program as more mentors are needed this year. Our annual orientation sessions will be in September (below are dates, time, and location for orientation).
September 19th at noon at Christ Church September 21st at 6:30 pm at Christ Church September 27th at noon at Christ Church
September 28th at 6:30 at St. James Santee Elementary School
Location: Christ Church Parish Hall located at 2304 N Hwy 17, Mt Pleasant, SC (near the intersection of N. Hwy 17 and Long Point Rd)
Location: St. James Santee Elementary School located at 8900 US-17, McClellanville, SC 29458
Even if you have attended every year or every other year, we wish to invite all to come as there will be new/updated mentoring tips on how to work with students on specific areas.