Sunshine House centers helping collect donations for flood relief efforts in SC
Sunshine House staff shine during historic SC flooding
Columbia, SC — Oct. 12, 2015 — Nearly half of Sunshine House locations in South Carolina were affected by record flooding last week, due in part to Hurricane Joaquin and several other storm fronts in the Southeast. All Sunshine House locations in the Charleston and Columbia areas, and Florence, SC, were closed for part or all of last week, and several centers in Columbia remain closed this week for repairs.
“It’s just a blessing our schools are still standing when you see some of the buildings crumbling all around them,” said Midlands SC Regional Director Patricia Green, who spent much of last week helping Sunshine House directors try to reopen their centers with limited staff and spotty utilities.
“I’ve never seen a team like this. They’re not even complaining,” Green said of her region. “I can’t thank them enough for the sacrifices they’ve made, and the risks they took just to get to their centers to make sure their centers were OK.”
Several Sunshine House staff and families in the area lost their homes and automobiles in the flooding, while hundreds more were without water and electricity, and unable to travel due to blocked roadways and closed bridges.
Members of The Sunshine House executive management personally delivered bottled water to centers last week, as the entire Columbia area was under a boil water advisory. The company is also collecting toiletries, socks and other household essentials to deliver to affected employees and families in the area.
Individual Sunshine House locations have also conducted their own flood relief drives and been able to donate items to local shelters and food banks.
“As soon as we got back to work on Wednesday, the very first thing the employees wanted to do was collect items needed for those that lost everything,” said Marie Hargrave, director at the Irmo, SC, Sunshine House. “It is in these kind of awful times that we see the true meaning of kindness and compassion come out. All it took was one mention of this to the parents and staff, and in two days we had enough donations to drop off at two locations.”
Monica Pearson, a Columbia director whose center was severely damaged in the flooding, said the tragedy has brought staff and families even closer together. “It still seems unreal. We just can’t wait to fill the rooms back with voices of happy children instead of the despair.”