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, the 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 $7.2 million 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 is a new program developed to train individuals for employment and daily living skills encouraging independence. Focus on Children and Focus on Adults are prevention programs offering free comprehensive eye exams, glasses and referrals to underserved three and four year old children in Charleston County Title 1 schools and adults in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.
For more information, call Lorraine DeNicola at 843-723-6915 or visit http://www.abvisc.org.
Catholic Charities' mission has expanded in the past few years from simply offering emergency assistance with utility bills and rent to holding medical and vision clinics once a month and providing free dentures. The agency's special program for senior citizens provides such services as food, prescription medicines and a memory support group.
For more information, call Robyn Fick at 843-531-5535 ext. 31.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is part of a worldwide organization that tailors its programs to the needs of the areas it services. The Charleston branch helps a wide range of clients through its men's transitional shelter, after-school care, summer day camps and social services such as emergency help with utilities, rent, prescription medicines and eyeglasses. The Salvation Army provides some 2,300 families with Thanksgiving dinner, as well as food gift cards and presents for the children at Christmas.
For more information, call Capt. Thomas Richmond at 843-747-5271 ext. 14.
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, visit: Carolina Youth Development Center
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.
For more information, call Lucy Lytle at 843-747-8146 or visit www.lowcountryfoodbank.org.
Star Gospel Mission
For 114 years, the Star Gospel Mission has been ministering to the poor, and in particular, homeless men of the Lowcountry. The Mission provides transitional housing for up to 28 men needing a helping hand to start a new life. The Mission also offers emergency rental and utilities and medical assistance to the community and distributes food gift cards to the needy.
For more information, contact Rev. William Christian at 843-722-2473.