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 six Good Cheer Fund agencies: Association for the Blind, Carolina Youth Development Center, Catholic Charities, the Lowcountry Food Bank, Salvation Army and Star Gospel Mission.
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 six 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.
Since the Good Cheer Fund’s beginning, more than $8,735,417.93 has been raised to help families in crisis, clothe the less fortunate, shelter the homeless and feed the hungry of the community.
Your Donations at Work
One hundred percent of the donations made to the Good Cheer Fund are distributed to the following six agencies to aid the less fortunate in the Lowcountry during the holidays.
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ABVI)
Founded in 1936, ABVI seeks to improve the quality of life for the blind and visually impaired through services, programs and advocacy designed to help individuals participate fully in their communities. Own Your Life was developed to help individuals gain independent living and job-readiness skills. Focus on Adults and Focus on Children are prevention programs offering free, comprehensive eye exams, glasses and referrals to low-income adults and children.
Catholic Charities of South Carolina is the social outreach arm of the Catholic Church. We were founded in 1945 by the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and have since grown to encompass the entire state of South Carolina. Our Coastal Regional Office covers Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties by providing disaster services, wellness services, pregnancy and family services, and homeless and outreach services. So far this year we have provided 66,019 meals through our food pantry, 200 seniors with dentures, 110 children with backpacks and supplies for school, and repaired/rebuilt 60 homes impacted by disasters in our region. Catholic Charities also provides Thanksgiving dinners, food gift cards, toys, and other emergency assistance during the holiday season.
For more information, please contact Robyn Karoly at 843-531-5535 x 31.
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 its Boys and Girls Club, which features an after-school program and summer day camp, and social 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 County and Lower Berkeley County, contact: Suzette Dunlap | Email: Suzette.Dunlap@uss.salvationarmy.org | phone: (843) 747-5271 ext 65901
For more information for Dorchester County and Upper Berkeley County, contact: Ashanti Cromedy | Email: Ashanti.firstname.lastname@example.org | phone: 843-747-5271 ext 65930
Carolina Youth Development Center
Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the Carolina Youth Development Center's 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, serving more than 1,200 children and families each year. In addition to CYDC's emergency shelters for child victims of abuse and neglect, outreach programs include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Strengthening, and the Bakker Career Center, which prepares youth for success in adulthood through job readiness and life skills.
For more information, contact: Gordon Robertson | email: email@example.com | phone: (843) 266-5218
Lowcountry Food Bank
The Lowcountry Food Bank’s mission is to feed the poor and hungry of the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina by soliciting and distributing healthy food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor, and to educate the public about the problems of and solutions to domestic hunger. Nearly 20% of the Lowcountry Food Bank’s clients are seniors.
Star Gospel Mission
For 115 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 28 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 emergency rent payments, 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.