FROM BLUFFTON TODAY:
Sometimes hope is all about numbers. How much do we need? How much will it cost? How much can we save? How many people can we help?
Bluffton Self Help began with a decision by one little lady to extend some help and hope to a few families who had very little. The services the organization now provides far exceeds the original efforts of Ida Martin, who began in 1979 to serve her neighbors from the trunk of her car. She saw a need to provide assistance to working families, senior citizens and those with disabilities, and acted on it. Whether it was a bag of clothing or a bag of groceries, she found she had more than she needed and others didn’t have enough, so she shared. Then she got her neighbors to share.
That effort — with the help of a few more friends — provided in 2010 food to more than 11,600 people and clothing to nearly 9,000 people.
Now the nonprofit will soon be able to help many more, thanks to the opportunity to move into much larger quarters. Having long since outgrown its home in the town’s old jail on May River Road, its bulging shelves, too-small rooms and tiny parking lot make providing services difficult on most days.
The address at 39 Sheridan Park will become the new home of Bluffton Self Help before this Thanksgiving, if all goes according to plans.
Like all organizations and businesses, BSH has a wish list a mile long for everything, from $1,800 permit fees to $1,250 construction Dumpster services to $175 weather alert radio. They need coat hangers, chairs, tables, commercial grade vacuums and floor scrubbers, a safe, shelving and a heavy duty shredder.
BSH needs help with interior construction, too — paint, drywall, wiring, plumbing, fixtures, bathroom hardware, appliances and fire extinguishers.
And of course, Bluffton Self Help — as Miss Ida said at her toast and roast last year — cannot do without volunteers. They are the lifeblood of any organization and BSH could not do anything without them, she said.
Hundreds of people over the years have contributed to the ability of organizations like BHS to make a difference in the lives of those who have so very little. A capital campaign labeled “Building HOPE” which will cover the renovation of the new building.
Our centerpiece focuses on the plans for the new building and includes the complete wish list. If you can help, or know someone who can help or know someone who knows someone … share a little of what you have to help those who have very little themselves. You never know when you might need a helping hand.