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 eight Good Cheer Fund agencies: Association for the Blind, Carolina Youth Development Center, Catholic Charities, East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) the Lowcountry Food Bank, One80 Place, Salvation Army, and Star Gospel Mission.
Since the Good Cheer Fund’s beginning, more than $11,018,981.14 has been raised to help families in crisis, clothe the less fortunate, shelter the homeless and feed the hungry in 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 eight 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.
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 eight 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, we serve our neighbors in need and provide a compassionate and personal approach, helping restore awareness of the dignity of every person. Coastal Catholic Charities hosts yearly Thanksgiving distributions, provides Christmas gifts, 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 843-531-5576.
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 & Dorchester locations help 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 please contact:
Suzette Dunlap | Email: Suzette.Dunlap@uss.salvationarmy.org | Phone: (843) 747-5271 ext 65930
Jennifer Happ | Email: Jennifer.Happ@uss.salvationarmy.org | Phone: (843) 747-5271 ext 65902
Chasity Gilliard-Brown | Email: Chasity.Gilliard-Brown@uss.salvationarmy.org | Phone: (843) 747-5271 ext 65901
Carolina Youth Development Center
Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the mission of Carolina Youth Development Center's (CYDC) is to cultivate thriving youth and families. Last year, CYDC served more than 900 children and families across the Lowcountry. In addition to CYDC’s cottages for youth in foster care, are runaway or homeless or are transitioning into adulthood, CYDC provides community-based programs including parenting classes, family counseling and family skills workshops, grief support groups and summer literacy programs
For more information, or to schedule a campus tour or discuss volunteer opportunities, please contact: Dan Daniel | email: dan.Daniel@cydc.org | 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 40 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:
Reverend Dr. Marion Platt, III
Executive Director & Pastor, Star Gospel Mission
474 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
cell: 843.779.9596 office: 843.722.2473
Founded as an emergency relief effort in 1989 after Hurricane Hugo’s devastation, East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) has since grown into a permanent resource providing assistance, guidance, and resources to help our neighbors navigate through life’s challenges. Whether it’s one single service provided like food or financial assistance, or years of walking through hardship, our team will encourage, advocate, and develop a system of support focused on providing help and hope.
All programs and services strive to help neighbors find a path toward opportunity. ECCO’s ministry of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” aims to improve the quality of life in our community in a compassionate way that respects the dignity and worth of every person.
One80 Place’s mission is to end and prevent homelessness. One80 Place believes that everyone deserves a home. Annually, One80 Place assists an average of 950 people in ending their homelessness. Through housing-focused case management, individuals and families experiencing homelessness are connected to resources with the ultimate goal of moving into a permanent place to call home.
In addition to housing-focused services, One80 Place operates a nightly shelter and daily community kitchen. The Community Kitchen is often the only source of food for many Lowcountry residents in need. Food in the Community Kitchen is obtained through our Food Rescue program and relies on generous donations from local grocery stores and restaurants.
Support from the Good Cheer Fund will be used to provide essential items for individuals and families as they move from the shelter or other temporary living situations into their own homes. Recognizing that some individuals and families will likely spend the holidays in the shelter, the Good Cheer Fund will help make the holidays brighter for those who are still working to move back into a home of their own.
For more information about your tax deductible donation
or questions regarding the Good Cheer Fund,
please contact email@example.com or call (843) 937-5766.
Contributions may also be made by check and mailed to:
The Good Cheer Fund
148 Williman St., Charleston, S.C. 29403.