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Strand Notebook | St. Christopher’s Children seeks donations to help needy kids

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For eight years, St. Christopher’s Children Inc. has been living up to its motto of, “Helping children when no one else is there, one child at a time.”

Since 2007, St. Christopher’s Children has been providing essential clothing and critical orthodontic care to the neediest of children throughout Georgetown County.

Needy children in every one of the schools in that county have received assistance from St. Christopher’s Children, and all of those involved with the organization are planning to provide more than $100,000 in assistance to them again this year.

St. Christopher’s Children needs donations and volunteers in several areas.

The local volunteer-driven organization operates a resale store. The St. Christopher’s Children upscale resale store is located on U.S. 17 in Pawleys Island in the same business center that houses Applewood House of Pancakes.

Robert P.C. Pelletier, president emeritus, wrote in an email that a quirk in tax laws has meant that more than $11,000 of the money donated in the past has gone to pay sales taxes instead of buying clothes or paying for dental work for the students. But that is changing.

Pelletier wrote, “While the state and federal governments both recognize the charitable value of the work we do and grant donors a tax deduction for their contributions, due to the nature of this charity’s mission, a significant portion of those donations must be given to the state anyway in the form of sales tax.

“The irony is, if we charged the children for the clothes we provide, we’d be entitled to a sales tax resale exemption. But since we give them away, we are the ultimate purchaser and, therefore, subject to the tax.

“Thanks to the efforts of Representative Stephen Goldfinch and Sen. Ray Cleary, House Bill H3568 was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley. Beginning in 2016, our purchases of essential clothing to be given to those in need will be exempt from sales tax.”

Pelletier said that more than 2,300 children have benefited from donations made to St. Christopher’s Children.

“And, thanks to the generous discounting of services by local dental specialists, 136 boys and girls have also received orthodontic care not covered by Medicaid but needed to correct serious (not cosmetic) dental problems.

“They now have smiling faces with bright straight teeth that boost their self-esteem, improve academic performance and offer a better chance for productive lives upon graduation.”

Unfortunately, there are 26 students with serious dental issues for which the organization has not raised enough money yet to authorize treatments.

There are several ways to donate to St. Christopher’s Children, including shopping at the resale store. The organization is also now registered with Amazon Smile, which allows one-half percent of your Amazon purchase to be donated to St. Christopher’s Children.

To find out how to do that and to learn more about the organization – all that it does and how you can help – visit the St. Christopher’s Children website, www.stchristopherschildren.org.

You also can call 235-8001 or visit the St Christopher’s Children Facebook page. Checks may be mailed to St. Christopher’s Children, P.O. Box 749, Pawleys Island, S.C. 29585.

Contact PEGGY MISHOE at pegmish@sccoast.net or 365-3885.

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