Compassion Project helps rural citizens

By Kerry Coffey

man and woman gardening

Since 2002, rural faith-based and community groups have been able to help the state’s underserved citizens through the South Carolina Rural Communities Compassion Project.

The program is administered by Clemson’s Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life and funded by the U.S. Administration on Children and Families. The federal grants have helped support efforts by 121 groups across the state to address homelessness, at-risk youth, children of prisoners and other issues. 

The next phase of the project will partner with The Spartanburg County Foundation and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina to distribute mini-grants up to $20,000 that will build the capacity of rural organizations. In addition, technical assistance is provided through workshops and consulting on topics from board development to financial management.

“The opportunity to provide so much funding and assistance to organizations serving rural South Carolina’s most vulnerable populations is unique among universities and a great tribute to Clemson’s commitment to public service” says Mark Small, director of the project.

For more information: Clemson Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, 864-656-6271, or