St. Christopher’s Children, the Georgetown County nonprofit that has helped well over 2,000 children since 2007, is opening an “Upscale Resale’’ store in Litchfield and preparing for its 4th annual fundraiser gala.
“Things have come a long way,’’ says Beverly Dougherty, a board member of the nonprofit, of the store at 14361 Ocean Highway, in front of Litchfield Exchange Shops. “It’s been a great community effort.’’
The store has received “tons of donations’’ and has several volunteers doing merchandising.
On Tuesday, several sales were made and at one point more than 20 shoppers were in the store, which is in the same building as the popular Applewood House of Pancakes. A formal opening for Upscale Resale is planned for next week.
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Sales to largely Applewood patrons have been strong enough to pay the rent in December and Dougherty is confident the “soft opening’’ sales will cover this month’s rent. Donations of men’s and women’s clothing, home decor and furniture are accepted at the store. Children’s clothing will be accepted but will go to fill requests from 20 Georgetown County schools.
Members of the Knights of Columbus of Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church built dressing rooms and painted the interior and an artist painted St. Christopher’s logo and slogan: “Helping children when no one else is there . . . one child at a time.’’ Everything has been accomplished since November when the space was leased.
The hope is that Upscale Resale “will help bridge the funding gap so we can help more children,’’ Dougherty says. During 2013, the nonprofit spent about $120,000 for clothing, other needs such as diapers and orthodontic services. The nonprofit received 334 requests for assistance in 2013, including 23 for critical orthodontic care. “We currently have about 20 children on the waiting list for funding for orthodontic care,’’ Dougherty says.
Children helped range in age from birth through high school. Assistance requests come from school nurses, guidance counselors and service partners such as The Family Justice Center, Birthright of Georgetown County, the Department of Social Services and other agencies.
“Big Hearts Helping Little Hearts’’ is again the theme for the nonprofit’s major fundraiser, the Feb. 8 gala at Pawleys Plantation. Dougherty is co-chairwoman with board member Susan Seningen.
The evening includes dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions and a “clothe-a-child’’ opportunity. The Tony Torre Orchestra will play Big Band music and Waccamaw High School “Young Treasures’’ pianist Regina Thompson will play during the silent auction/cocktail reception.
Thanks to individual and corporate sponsors, $100-a-person tickets and the auctions, the event has been a financial success and Dougherty is hoping to raise $40,000 to $50,000 with the 4th annual gala.
The next couple of weeks will be particularly exciting for the many volunteers and board members of St. Christopher’s Children, an outstanding example of big hearts doing good works for children.