For more than 30 years, Bluffton Self Help has been providing basic needs and financial support to our community. And though our roots are in serving the generationally impoverished, our future is in supporting our families who are economically at-risk. With expanding services that include educational programming and leadership, we serve as advocates for those in need throughout our local community and beyond. With direct access to necessary resources, a deep understanding of our community needs, and significant relationships to create change, we provide those in need with a pathway toward self-sufficiency.
To empower and advocate for Lowcountry neighbors to improve their lives through education and training, basic needs, and guided access to a network of community resources.
Communities where everyone has equal access to essential tools and resources to support their journey towards personal success.
Our Core Values
Your support has not only allowed us to continue the work started by our founder, Mrs. Ida Martin, more than 37 years ago, it has allowed us to position our organization to meet the needs of many more people in many more places well into the foreseeable future. We call it our Path Forward.
Bluffton Self Help’s basic needs programs are often the first step on one’s path to success, helping neighbors stretch their budget and meet their most critical needs. Through The Market, neighbors have weekly access to fresh, healthy food, clothing, diapers, hygiene items and special groceries for major holidays. We are stabilizing families as they work toward self-sufficiency.
The Clothing Closet
Holiday Grocery Program
Education & Training Programs
Our education and training programs help adults acquire the basic skills they need to be productive workers, family members, and citizens. At Bluffton Self Help’s four Learning & Literacy Centers, neighbors attend adult education classes, workshops and trainings, have access to computers and internet, and receive the support they need to reach their individualized goals on their path to success.
Adult Basic Education Classes
GED Preparation Classes, Tutoring & Testing
English as a Second Language Classes & Online Programs
Workshops, Tutoring, & Certificate Programs
Open Computer Lab
American Civics in preparation for U.S. Citizenship
Educational Scholarships for higher education
Digital Literacy Online Program & Classes
Career Readiness Certificate Program
Coordinated Resources & Collaboration
We empower, mentor, and advocate for individuals and families to improve their lives and livelihoods, providing one-on-one support to set and achieve individual goals. Through our career development programs, we help train and educate the Lowcountry workforce.
Emergency Financial Assistance
Referrals to Community Resources
Address Critical Needs & Provide Ongoing Support
Apply for Jobs & Connect with Local Employers
Resume Building & Interview Skills
Provide Guidance with Benefit, Education and Training Applications
Throughout the year, we collaborate with community partners, local schools, and neighbors to provide various programs that provide nutrition, resources, and tools, enabling all Lowcountry neighbors to stretch their budget, experience joy and thrive.
WITH MORE NEIGHBORS economically at risk THAN FINANCIALLY SECURE, Bluffton Self Help is leading a coordinated response to how human services are being offered in our community.
Bluffton Self Help completed an extensive community needs assessment in 2020-2021. Through this research we uncovered staggering data related to the interconnected issues of education, housing, and transportation as barriers to economic mobility in the Lowcountry.
Our neighbors are suffering and Bluffton Self Help is responding. We are leading a coordinated response to how human services are being offered in our community, including an additional $1 million investment this fiscal year.
Click below to see the research and join us in our continued mission to bring our neighbors from surviving to thriving.
In 1987, Bluffton resident Ida Martin recognized a great need that was not being met for working families and senior citizens in the area, and so began Bluffton Self Help, which was chartered a year later in October of 1988. At that time, nearby Hilton Head Island had a wonderful organization whose mission was to provide assistance to islanders in need, but nothing was available to help Bluffton residents when they had a financial crisis. Initially working out of her garage, Mrs. Martin obtained resources from family and friends and sometimes went door to door. Clothing was donated and food was obtained by driving to grocery stores and picking up outdated food items.