Fundraiser helps The Parenting Place but more is needed

By D. C. Moody dmoody@civitasmedia.com

February 18, 2014

PICKENS — Although more than $1,000 was raised through “Show us Your Talent” to aid the prevention of child abuse and The Parenting Place’s services, money just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

“This money will go into our Family Support Fund to aid the families we work with,” said Gloria Morris, executive director of The Parenting Place. “That money goes to kerosene, gasoline vouchers, and the simple tools it takes to help families become self-sufficient. We call it the Bridge to Self Sufficiency, the simple steps we help families take to success.”

“Show us Your Talent” was a fundraiser designed much like TV’s popular show, “The Voice.” The Carolina Gentlemen walked away with the competition’s top prize, but it’s the families and children in Pickens County who will benefit the most.

“This was more than just about raising money, it was about raising awareness,” organizer Theresa Woods explained. “South Carolina ranks with the worst in the country in domestic violence and we’re trying to get that message out as well. That trickles down to the children and we want to keep our youth from becoming what they grow up in.”

The first event has been deemed a success for its first year, but based on the costs of providing the services Pickens County families need, there has to be more monetary help from somewhere.

“We just recently spent $600 on diapers and formula so it’s easy to see how fast money can go,” Morris said. “We just can’t have children doing without.”

The Parenting Place provides services to underprivileged families in Pickens County with the ultimate goal being removing those families from welfare and help them become independent. To achieve this goal, the range of services is as costly as it is varied.

“We do everything we can possibly do to help families become healthy,” Morris explained. “We just recently had three families get jobs and are now in a position to succeed, removing them from welfare and public assistance. We are helping good families become independent and successful.”

Both Morris and Woods are thankful for the strong turnout to the event and even more thankful for the money raised, but they remain realistic in the needs of the community.

“There are so many different ways we help these families,” Morris said. “We help provide supplies that aren’t available on WIC, such as help with dental care and hygiene products, basic items you need to get a job and find success.”