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 35 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.
provide neighbors with healthy, nutritious groceries once a week to promote a healthy life and fuel to succeed. Special holiday groceries are also provided 3 times a year. The School Snack service provides all Bluffton schools with snacks so teachers can focus on teaching and students can focus on learning. Other basic needs services include the Holiday Toy Shop, Fresh Xpress Markets, hygiene items, diapers, and cleaning items to help stretch budgets and promote financial independence.
LEARNING & LITERACY
Education & Training Programs
equip adults with the reading, writing, math, and language skills they need to be successful in the family, the workplace, and the community through 18 week English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, Adult Basic Literacy classes, GED Preparation classes, workshops, one-on-one tutoring, basic computer skills training, online certificate programs, and financial literacy. Civics Education and American Citizenship Preparation Classes are also offered to support neighbors on the path to citizenship.
Workforce Development Programs
strengthen the employability of Beaufort and Jasper Counties residents by providing neighbors with the skills and training that employers are looking for. Mentorship and guidance offers job coaching, help applying for jobs, resume writing, interview practice, WIN Learning Certificate programs, all helping neighbors gain skills , better employment and wages on their path to success.
We help neighbors identify their path to success by providing a mentor or advocate and overall guidance to determine and achieve their personal goals on their unique path to success. This holistic approach touches every aspect of their lives through coordinated services, guided resources, open computer use and access to the internet, access to educational resources and workforce tools to neighbors seeking support, drop-in services offer flexibility, and meet neighbors where they are on their personal path to success.
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.