KRA/SC Works Spreads Good Will to Youth in Tri-County Area

On December 9, 2011, KRA staff from each adult and youth SC Works program in the Waccamaw Region of South Carolina visited a group home or independent living facility for youth, in the County in which the KRA office is located. The visits were part of KRA’s company-wide Community Care Day Initiative, a day of volunteerism to celebrate the joy of giving and sharing good works with neighbors in the communities KRA serves. To obtain gifts for the youth, all offices staged drives to solicit donations from staff and from KRA partner-businesses and organizations in the three communities. Contributions and cash donations (to purchase more gifts) poured in: 70 individual items of bath linens, board games, clothing, hats, pajamas, and sports equipment, and 15 gift cards from local stores and restaurants.

KRA’s Coastal Center in Horry County sponsored the Waccamaw Youth Center, Inc., a private, non-profit agency that provides comprehensive residential services for up to 20 abused, neglected, and abandoned youth. In operation for 10 years, and currently housing 15 boys, the Center is the first and only low-management group home in the County, and the only independent living facility for youth in the state of South Carolina.  When the seven-member team, including Alisha Williams, KRA Program Manager of the Waccamaw Region operation, delivered the gifts to the Center, they were introduced to  Chris Williams, Center Director, and several staff members.  Mr. Williams told them that “he was very pleased with the efforts of KRA and its partners.” He then provided staff with a tour of the facility, which sits on 15 acres of land, or as he put it “15 acres of therapy.”  After the tour, the boys introduced themselves to each KRA staff member, and expressed their gratitude for the gifts.

The Tara Hall Home for Boys, sponsored by the staff of the KRA Center in Georgetown County, is a long-term residential home and school that currently houses 24 neglected, troubled, and abused boys. Whether they were taken away from abusive homes or sent away because of their unmanageable behavior, at Tara Hall “they come together as brothers and leave as changed young men.” When KRA volunteers Josephette Dotson, Sherell Robinson, and Jeff Ward arrived, they were met by  Patsy Morris, Assistant Director, who accepted the donations.  Dotson reported that “Patsy was really appreciative of the gifts that were collected for the home and thanked KRA Corporation for our kindness to collect the gifts for their kids for Christmas.”  Next, an 11-year old resident offered to give them a tour of the facilities that the boys call “home.”  Robinson commented that “he gave us an excellent tour.  We were really impressed by the young man’s politeness and good manners.”

Josephette Dotson, Jeff Ward, and Sherrell Robinson at Tara Hall Home for Boys

Volunteers from KRA’s Kingstree Center, in Williamsburg County, sponsored the Willowglen Academy, a highly structured and intensive medical day-treatment program, for boys and girls, that provides intensive therapeutic services, with an educational support system.  Willowglen’s  mission is to provide the premier therapeutic experience using patient-centered,  strength-based approaches in ways that ensure desired treatment outcomes for all in their care.  Mr. Terrence Whitfield, Program Manager,  in describing Willowglen’s services, stated that the facility can accommodate 40 residents and they are now at 39! Consequently, they have already broken ground for the construction of two additional wings. Ms. Lawanda Whack, Program Coordinator, also shared information with the KRA team, and expressed great appreciation for the donations.

Gwendolyn Brown; Lawanda Whack, Willowglen Program Coordinator; and Kathy Hammond

Ms. Jamie White, KRA Career Agent and the Community Care Day Coordinator for the Waccamaw operations, concluded “The staff of KRA/SC Works appreciates the opportunity to bring a little Christmas cheer into the lives of these boys and girls who are trying so hard to overcome the challenges that confront them. We also appreciate that KRA has created this program, which gives us the opportunity to go ‘above and beyond’ in the communities we serve.”