Foundations, nonprofits, businesses join forces to help

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Help4Hope, a nonprofit organization created by the Watterson Family Foundation, partnered with Hargray in an April 21 distribution of gift cards purchased by donors for those in need. Leading the effort is Billy Watterson, right, founder of the Foundation

The Lowcountry relief effort by residents and businesses is team-based. Here are relief campaigns related to the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund (LCCRF).

Help4Hope: This nonprofit provides economic support to those affected by the pandemic by feeding families, supporting restaurants and saving jobs in the food industry. The Watterson Family Foundation, founded by Bluffton resident Billy Watterson, has teamed with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and local partners to raise $5 million in the effort.

Lowcountry Strong Foundation: This nonprofit has partnered with Ryan and Leah McCarthy, owners of the Downtown Catering Company and Deli in Bluffton, and creators of the Hungry Heart Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, a program that serves free meals at participating restaurants in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and Beaufort for unemployed hospitality workers.

Hampton Hall Charitable Fund: Hampton Hall has set up a crowd-funding campaign for residents and others to make donations that will be applied to LCCRF.

Camelot Limousine: Camelot Limousine in Bluffton has established a crowd-funding campaign. They will pick up prescriptions, groceries, take-out orders, etc. and, in lieu of payment, they request a donation be made to LCCRF.

Community Strong Club Outside: Donors can purchase a $250 membership that includes a $100 gift card, and 25 percent discounts on Outside recreational activities and retail merchandise. The donation sends $100 directly to the Outside Employee relief fund to support displaced company team members, and $50 is donated to LCCRF.

USCB Education Foundation Student Emergency Fund: This fund provides support for students who are housing or food insecure and might not have internet accessibility or transportation, have academic or basic household needs, or unexpected hardships.

Other efforts include:

• Christ Lutheran Church on Hilton Head has installed a Little Free Pantry in its parking lot for residents who might be hungry. Offered are single-serving food items and personal hygiene products. The pantry's message is "Take what you need and leave what you can."

• For a $100 donation at the Corner Perk in Bluffton, donors receive a $20 gift card and food discount, a coffee mug and a blend coffee bag. More importantly, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the unemployed staff and their families.

• For a $250 Community Strong VIP package at the 18-restaurant SERG group, donors receive a $100 gift card, a 25% food discount and other perks. $100 of each sale goes directly to unemployed staff employees, and $50 goes to Bluffton Self-Help and Deep Well nonprofits.

Operation BBQ Relief, a Missouri-based company that was founded after a tornado in 2011 decimated Joplin, has been providing free meals at FISH Casual Coastal Seafood in Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head and at The Enclave apartment complex in Bluffton. Hundreds of meals have been offered daily to anyone curbside or at the drive-through lane.

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