Good Cheer Fund History
The Good Cheer Fund was established in 1927 by Thomas P. Lesesne, former managing editor of The News and Courier as a Lowcountry community outreach program to help people in need during the holiday season.
The Good Cheer Fund traditionally begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas Day. Each day during this period, The Post and Courier publishes daily updates and inspiring accounts of how the fund helps neighbors in need through the seven Good Cheer Fund agencies: Association for the Blind, Carolina Youth Development Center, Catholic Charities, the Lowcountry Food Bank, Salvation Army, Star Gospel Mission and the Charleston Leadership Foundation.
Since the Good Cheer Fund’s beginning, more than $9,569,201.39 has been raised to help families in crisis, clothe the less fortunate, shelter the homeless and feed the hungry of the community.
How the Fund Works
Principal funding comes from individuals and businesses in the community who respond annually to the newspaper articles written during the holiday season. One hundred percent of the donations made to the Good Cheer Fund are distributed to the seven agencies, with no overhead or administrative costs consuming any of the contributions.
The Good Cheer Fund is registered in the State of South Carolina as a part of The Post and Courier Foundation. The Fund has its own bank account and funds received are deposited to that account, providing separate accountability for Good Cheer Fund receipts, and the funds are not commingled with any other funds of the newspaper. In practice, The Post and Courier Foundation actually disburses the funds to the agencies on behalf of the Good Cheer Fund, the Good Cheer Fund providing reimbursement to The Post and Courier Foundation. The accounting is combined annually with that of The Post and Courier Foundation for the purpose of registration and compliance with federal tax regulations.
The Good Cheer Fund has been the recipient of several endowment gifts from estates. The funds are recorded as a “Restricted Fund” of The Post and Courier Foundation and are deposited with the Foundation. Annually, the Good Cheer Fund receives a prorated share of the interest, dividend and capital gains of the managed fund, attributed to the Restricted Fund, which is deposited into the Good Cheer Fund and distributed along with the other funds to the agencies.
Your Donations at Work
One hundred percent of the donations made to the Good Cheer Fund are distributed to the following seven agencies to aid the less fortunate in the Lowcountry during the holidays.
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired South Carolina
Founded in 1936, the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired South Carolina’s (ABVI) mission is to enrich the quality of life of the blind and visually impaired. Our vision rehabilitation program, Own Your Life, was designed to help individuals with vision loss. Our services help individuals achieve their personal and professional goals so they can live, learn and earn with vision loss. Our classes are available for the 15,000-20,000 Tri-County adults living with a visual impairment.
Catholic Charities of South Carolina is the social outreach arm of the Catholic Church, with our Coastal Regional Office covering Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. We were founded in 1945 by the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and have since grown to encompass the entire state of South Carolina. Through our wellness and basic needs services, family services, homeless and outreach services, and case management and advocacy, our Charleston office is able to serve over 4000 households and impact more than 10,000 individuals each year. Coastal Catholic Charities also provides Thanksgiving dinners, food and transportation gift cards, Christmas gifts and toys, and other emergency assistance during the holiday season. By using a holistic approach to our services, we strive to break the cycle of poverty and guide our clients towards stability and self-sufficiency and make a lasting impact in their lives.
For more information, please contact: Rocio Maldonaldo at 843-531-5570.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is part of a worldwide movement that tailors its programs to the needs of the areas it serves. The Charleston branch helps a wide range of clients through services such as emergency food assistance, clothing vouchers, utility and rental assistance and prescription medicines. The Salvation Army provides Christmas gift assistance to families in need during the Christmas season.
For more information for Charleston, Dorchester & Berkeley Counties, contact:
Suzette Dunlap | Email: Suzette.Dunlap@uss.salvationarmy.org | phone: (843) 747-5271 ext 65901
Carolina Youth Development Center
Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the Carolina Youth Development Center's (CYDC) mission is to empower and equip our community's most vulnerable children by providing a safe environment, educational support, and career readiness in collaboration with families and community partners. Each CYDC serves more than 1,200 children and families across the Lowcountry. In addition to CYDC’s cottages for children in foster care who are victims of abuse and neglect, CYDC provides outreach programs include parenting classes, The Strengthening Families Program, summer literacy programs, and the newly open Family Support Center providing therapy and grief groups for families in our community.
For more information, contact: Katy Calloway | email: email@example.com | phone: 843-266-5216
Lowcountry Food Bank
Since 1983, the Lowcountry Food Bank has led the fight against hunger in our community. The Lowcountry Food Bank is committed to feeding more than 200,000 individuals every year who struggle to access nutritious food and provides educational resources to encourage an active and healthy life throughout the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina. Through the distribution of more than 30 million pounds of food every year, the Lowcountry Food Bank feeds those experiencing hunger in partnership with a network of nearly 300 non-profit and faith-based organizations, as well as numerous programs that target vulnerable populations, specifically children, seniors, and veterans. The Lowcountry Food Bank focuses on both the amount of hunger relief we provide and the quality of nutritious food we distribute. During a natural disaster, our community can count on the Lowcountry Food Bank to provide disaster food relief where it is needed most. The Lowcountry Food Bank also strives to provide equitable access to food throughout coastal South Carolina. The Lowcountry Food Bank advocates on behalf of those who experience hunger and helps empower people to make healthy and nutritious food choices.
Star Gospel Mission
For 117 years the Star Gospel Mission has been ministering to the poor, the needy and homeless men throughout the Low country. The Mission provides transitional housing for up to 30 men who are seeking to make significant changes in their lives and experience a transformation that will place on the right path in life and provide them with a much brighter future. The Mission also offers seasonal assistance to Tri-county residents with utility bills, medical expenses, dental and eye wear assistance, emergency transportation needs and food gift cards, all through the generosity of the Good Cheer Fund.
For more information, contact: Rev. William Christian at 843-722-2473.
Charleston Leadership Foundation
The Charleston Leadership Foundation (CLF) was founded in 2002 to bring together local Christians to minister to the community and change lives.
Now, through the Good Cheer Fund, CLF will be answering prayers for physical needs in our community as well.
In addition to the partnership with the Good Cheer Fund during the holiday season, the CLF sponsors the annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast each fall offering a morning of prayer, music, and worship.
Answering prayers by answering needs.