Rural communities benefit from Compassion Project

By Kerry Coffey

In the past five years, 121 rural faith and community-based organizations across the state have been helped through the South Carolina Rural Communities Compassion Project.

The federally funded project, led by Clemson’s Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life, provided monetary grants and technical help to rural non-profit organizations. In partnership with state philanthropic foundations, the project distributed $1.5 million in grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

These grants helped local groups address social problems related to hunger, homelessness, at-risk children, welfare-to-work transitions, addiction and incarceration. Technical help was provided to nearly 1,000 participants through personal contacts, workshops and distance learning programs. 

“We were surprised at the large number of rural non-profit organizations in need and gratified that we could fill an important gap in assisting them to help others,” said project leader Mark Small.

For information: Mark Small, 864-656-6286,