ORGANIZATIONS SPONSORED BY
THE OPTIMIST CLUB OF ST ANDREWS-IRMO
Families Helping Families-
www.fhfmidlands.org – In 2018 Families Helping Families (FHF) in the Midlands provided assistance to more than 3,200 families in need of food, clothing, and Christmas gifts. The estimated value of this assistance was nearly $1.5 million. Now in its 26th year, FHF provides a business-like approach to organizing holiday giving for the neediest families in South Carolina. By coordinating with local agencies and community assistance programs we can insure that donations and charitable giving are targeted to those who need help the most, and by eliminating duplication of services we can do more for more families. Over the past 25 years, more than 45,600 South Carolina families have been helped at Christmas.
My First Books SC-
www.myfirstbookssc.org -In South Carolina, it is estimated that one-third of South Carolina children do not have the literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. The single most important activity to prepare a child for a life of learning is to read frequently with the child. Research has shown that children growing up in homes with books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, regardless of income or their parents’ education.
Palmetto Place- https://www.palmettoplace.org/ – It is their mission to provide a safe and supportive environment for children and teens who have faced abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or homelessness. Palmetto Place provides housing and wraparound support services to unaccompanied youth, homeless teens ages 16-21 within the Midlands. At Palmetto Place youth are provided comprehensive medical and mental health care while receiving independent living skills in effort to establish permanent housing and self- sustainability. In 2018, Palmetto Place housed and served over 50 unaccompanied youth.
DARE Program at Harbison West and HE Corley Elementary Schools- The DARE program- which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is an ongoing education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs and violent behavior. To participate, all 5th grade students must sign a pledge not to use drugs or join gangs.
Optimist International Foundation-
http://www.oifoundation.org/ Optimist Clubs support OIF through unrestricted donations so that programs sponsored by OIF can continue to operate, thereby guaranteeing more support for the youth in our community.
https://homeworksofamerica.org/ Home Works is a Christ- centered nonprofit organization providing home repair services to low-income homeowners while mentoring & discipling youth in the process. Our Club makes a financial donation that roughly covers the material costs of the houses our members work on in the spring and fall.
Irmo National Night Out-
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Optimist donation used to help cover the cost of the event since it is free to the public (food, giveaways, entertainment, etc).
Katrina’s Kids Foundation-
www.katrinaskidssc.com Katrina’s Kids is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing much-needed resources for foster children and children living in group homes. Your support to Katrina’s Kids will help these kids have opportunities and memorable experiences, such as attending summer camp, participating in sporting events, taking an after-school drama or music class, or having the chance to take a horseback riding lesson.
ICRC Athletic Scholarship-
www.icrc.net The Mission of the ICRC Scholarship fund is to provide the ability for children who qualify for financial assistance to participate in athletic programs conducted by the agency. The Optimist Club’s donation provides 27 children the opportunity to participate in a team sport.
Sharing God’s Love-
http://sharinggodslove.net/ -SGL provides area families in need with food, clothing, financial support and spiritual support. This food supply and clothing comes from local merchants, church and school groups, scouts, and other organizations, as well as individuals. Cash donations are used when purchases are necessary. SGL constantly strives to convey a loving spirit and offers prayers with the clients, gives them Bibles, and encourages affiliation and participation in local church services and activities.
McGregor Presbyterian Youth Group-
For over 15 years, our club’s contribution to the MPC Youth Group helps to defray the cost of high school- aged youth attending the Montreat Youth Conference in Montreat, NC for a week each year. They enjoy a week of study, worship and recreation along with other youth from across the country.
Summer Reading Programs-
Summer Reading Programs at Irmo Elementary and Harbison West Elementary Schools. This program provides books for summer reading at the student’s homes in order to reduce the annual “summer slide” when school starts back in the fall.
Ready By Five-
A Rich/Lex District 5 program to provide basic necessities, mainly diapers and wipes, to families in need. Over 80 families were impacted by this program and the need is growing.
Nancy K. Perry Childrens Shelter-
This shelter serves 50-90 children each year by providing a “family-style” environment in which to live, as well as therapeutic services. Their mission is “To provide a safe and nurturing family-style environment for children who are in crisis, allowing them an opportunity to heal and grow.” Nancy K Perry Children’s Shelter (nkp4kids.org)
This organization’s mission is to provide easily accessible, quality mental health education and counseling services to youth in an effort to promote well-being and a better tomorrow. This is an important area of service to children that is woefully under-served.
Rivers Edge Retreat-
Rivers Edge primarily provides a summer camp and after school care to over 400 children each year. Their mission is to change lives, without regard to social or financial status, thought inspiring hope and showing the love of God. gamechangerssc.org
ICRC Children’s Theater-
For many Middle and High School age students, this program has become their second family and a safe place. Serving students from a wide variety of backgrounds, they can all come together with acting and theater as a common goal.
SC Career Kids-
SC Career Kids provides opportunities for ALL children to explore careers through interactive experiences where students engage and build relationships with skilled experts. Our mission is to begin career exploration at a formative age so that South Carolina’s future leaders and future workforce are exposed to future opportunities right here in the Palmetto State. https://sccareerkids.com/
What is an Optimist Club?
We are a community service organization of men and women dedicated to helping the youth in our area.
By joining our Optimist Club, you actively participate in empowering youth, enabling them to reach their potential and fostering positive change in the community.
Membership in our Optimist Club means being part of a supportive and dedicated community focused on service, collaboration, and shared values.
Being part of your local Optimist Club provides the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the lives of children and your local communities, by contributing to initiatives and programs that make a real difference.
Ways to Get Involved
From weekly membership meetings to making a donation, we have many ways for your to get involved and help out.
Weekly Membership Meetings
Every Friday Moring
We meet for breakfast every Friday morning from 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM. If you would like to join us to learn more about being a member of our Optimist Club, contact us for more information.
Christmas Tree Lot
The Annual Optimist Club Christmas Tree Lot is primary fundraiser for our club. Located on St. Andrews Road at McGregor Presbyterian Church parking lot. We also always open “the weekend before Thanksgiving".
Annual Golf Tournament
You can participate by sponsoring or signing up a team to golf. All proceeds go to our Annual Day of Giving, supporting the local youth within our community!
Annual Day of Giving
We support many youth-related organizations each year and this culminates in our Day of Giving event where we fund and thank those organizations for what they do in our community.
Are you ready to make a meaningful impact in the lives of our youth and community? Your involvement with the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo can help turn hope and positivity into real-world change. Join us in our mission to empower, uplift, and inspire. Whether it’s through membership, volunteering at events, or contributing to our fundraisers, there are many ways to be part of this extraordinary journey. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a beacon of optimism and a force for good.