A local charity’s outreach to help feed needy children across Horry County does not follow any school calendar or workweek; it’s an everyday, year-round mission.
Anyone can join a fundraiser for Help 4 Kids/Backpack Buddies by dining in, or taking out, lunch to help raise more funds for the effort. The benefit luncheon is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Villa Romana Italian Restaurant, 707 S. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. A spaghetti meal with meat sauce or tomato sauce will be $10, including salad and beverage. All to-go orders are due Wednesday; call 651-4310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barb Mains, director of the all-volunteer entity, said 100 people make up the team, and that they’re all grateful for the community support, which includes donations rounded up by businesses, such as Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and a new promotional fundraiser for March through Jersey Mike’s Subs on the Grand Strand.
Hitting their own home run to help, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will dedicate Monday-night home games for a third straight year to collecting nonperishable food donations in exchange for discounted game tickets, said Jen Borowski, senior director of community development in the front office for the team, in its first year as a Chicago Cubs affiliate. She said the cash value of goods donated by fans attending games totaled $5,400 in 2013 and $7,800 in 2014.
“We generally collect about $1,000 of value per game,” Borowski said, also saluting a Conway company. “Then HTC, in the past, has done a companywide donation … to a game, which is about $2,500 in value.”
Mains said this Villa Romana spaghetti benefit on Friday has become an annual tradition as well. She called the personnel there “very generous.”
Question | Besides raising funds to provide food through connections with 28 schools across Horry County, what other donations of some basic needs remain high on the wish list, especially with this frosty weather the past month and plenty of days left this school year?
Answer | Sleeping bags, blankets, coats for the kids, and always food — nonperishables.
Q. | What regular school supplies remain in demand that the public also can donate?
A. | Regular things such as paper, pencils, pens and stuff like that.
Q. | What were the roots to get Help 4 Kids/Backpack Buddies going?
A. | It started in 1989, after Hurricane Hugo. I was just going to go out and do some volunteer work with my friends … and we saw a lot more need … and we’ve been trying ever since to make a difference. …
It’s all about the kids. When you see kids in need, you can’t turn your back; you have to try to do something about it. …
The kids we feed, they get breakfasts and lunches, too. When school’s out in the summer, we help feed them; our volunteers make 2,000 sandwiches a week over the summer, and we take them for distribution to the kids because they’ll be home from school.
Q. | What simple, easy steps can anyone take to assist Help 4 Kids/Backpack Buddies?
A. | Always remember there are hungry kids out there. If you go to the grocery store and buy something, and buy one extra of that every time, you can make a big difference, such as buying an extra can of soup every time you go shopping.
And we’ll be at three Wal-Marts in March, collecting food (Wal-Mart Supercenters, March 14 in Garden City Beach and March 21 at Surfside Commons, off S.C. 544, west of Surfside Beach; and March 21 at Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, near U.S. 17 Business and S.C. 544, across from Ocean Lakes Family Campground).
We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and we’re ready to help for another 25 years.