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    Meeting Needs in the East Cooper Area

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    This past weekend, I attended a community missions seminar at St Andrews Church in Mount Pleasant, SC and had the opportunity to learn more about two efforts in our community.

    Sharon Barnet and Helen Cooke, with the East Cooper Faith Network spoke about I-Beam, a program to help children with their reading skills.

    “One out of every five children in East Cooper elementary schools is at risk for falling behind in reading … “

    Volunteer mentors spend an hour a week with a child starting in the 2nd grade and ideally following them through the 5th grade. To support these skills during the summer months, they offer a 6-week camp at different community centers in Mount Pleasant to keep these kids on track when they return to school in the fall. Both the weekly mentoring and summer program invite volunteers to get involved.

    Another organization, has several locations in the Charleston area, not just East Cooper. They help people get out of poverty and stay there through one on one relationships.  Participants are empowered to take the steps they need to move forward and volunteers provide hope – along with practical assistance. As a faith based program also aims to help people with their spiritual lives as well.

    “Transforming lives through Jesus Christ,
    one conversation at a time“

    To refer people to a NextSteps affiliate, you can view their locations online. There is no charge to participate and participants can walk in for assistance. Volunteers are also needed in this ministry for front-line support as well as administrative roles. Learn more about their needs at

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