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Editorial: Community can help by sharing food, supplies

Myra Collins saw a need a couple of years ago and she made sure to take action.

In 2015 Collins, the United Way of the Lowcountry’s Jasper County manager, saw how church food banks were busy with constant requests for food.

Church members did their best to donate food, but Collins — wanting to offer as much help to those in need as possible — thought more people could benefit if the community was involved.

She implemented the first Share and Care event that year and planned to make it a yearly event. Last year’s plans were thwarted because of Hurricane Matthew, but the one-day initiative is back.

On Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ridgeland’s farmers market on Main Street, the United Way will collect non-perishable food and supplies.

The food will be for Ridgeland Baptist Church’s food bank and the supplies, such as shampoo, deodorant, and baby lotion, will go to the Board of Disabilities and Special Needs.

Collins works closely with the Board of Disabilities and knows sometimes there aren’t enough funds for essentials.

“A lot of times they don’t have help with extra supplies,” Collins said. “The Board of Disabilities doesn’t have a big budget. I want to help.”

Collins said each item is valuable. Whether it be canned ham, tuna, corned beef hash, rice, or everyday stuff like bath towels.

“We need the community to participate,” she said.

Board of Disabilities and Special Needs Executive Director Deborah Walsh said the event is vital.

“This is a very important event for the consumers as it supplements the items we get funded for from the state, but as we know it is never enough,” said Walsh, who noted hygiene items and adult diapers are needed. “This will allow us to allocate funds that would’ve been spent on these types of items to be spent elsewhere.”

The Board of Disabilities and Special Needs has about 200 consumers, including 24 who live among six group homes.

We encourage the community to drop off canned goods or some everyday essentials that could make a big impact in someone’s life.

If you can’t make it on Wednesday, Collins welcomes donations at Ridgeland’s United Way office at 1509 Grays Highway.

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