Bluffton Self Help and The Literacy Center Merge as Part of Major Expansion to Meet Growing Community Needs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 –
Two lowcountry nonprofits, Bluffton Self Help and The Literacy Center, have merged in a joint effort to dramatically expand the availability of basic education and training programs in order to meet the growing needs of the economically at-risk in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
The local non-profits report that nearly 6 in 10 households in Beaufort County and 3 out of 4 in Jasper County are not earning a living wage, and are just one mishap away from a financial crisis.
Building upon more than 8 decades of combined experience serving neighbors, the merger will promote educational programming, workforce training, career readiness and access to vital resources - essential services to break the cycle of poverty and the barriers to self-sufficiency.
“Strategically joining forces with The Literacy Center will enhance access to adult education, English literacy and career preparation throughout our Lowcountry community,” said Board Chairman Doug Adamson. “Bluffton Self Help and The Literacy Center are the perfect example of two organizations coming together, leveraging their combined strengths, and working together to build a stronger community,” Adamson said.
The merger brings expanded access to a broader array of programs and services. The combined organization will now operate in 4 locations in Beaufort and Jasper counties– two in Bluffton, one each in Hilton Head and Hardeeville. With transportation being one of the leading challenges in the region for economically at-risk residents, this is one more way that Bluffton Self Help can save neighbors’ critical time, and support them on their pathway to personal success.
“We are thrilled to be joining Bluffton Self Help. We both have deep roots in our communities and a strong desire to do whatever needs to be done to lift neighbors out of at-risk situations and empower them to improve their lives. Together, through this partnership, we will be able to reach more people, more efficiently,” said Literacy Center Chairman, Don Brashears.
Coming out of an economic and health crisis that threatened the lives and livelihoods of people already struggling to survive, a new and different response is called for. Bluffton Self Help is taking the lead in facilitating responses to community needs by strengthening and formalizing its network of partnering agencies, area leaders, donors and volunteers, in order to help build a stronger foundation of high-quality services fostering good health, personal development, job placement, financial stability and career advancement.
“Today’s announcement jump-starts our movement to build a stronger network of like-minded community organizations as partners to create a true community of opportunity. This initiative is an exciting step toward accomplishing our 5-year strategic plan—A Path Forward 2020-2025,” said Executive Director Kimberly Hall.
“I am excited to be a part of bringing two legacy programs together to make a greater impact in the Lowcountry,” says Brad Steele, The Literacy Center’s Executive Director.
The merger announced today follows a previous program expansion and partnership launched between Bluffton Self Help and the City of Hardeeville in March 2021.
Details on the merger, expanded services, locations and more will be available as the non-profit unveils a new website in the Summer of 2021. Stay tuned for that release! For more information, go to www.blufftonselfhelp.org.
Bluffton Self Help is the Lowcountry’s leading community-centered organization, promoting independence and self-sufficiency through direct services, advocacy and alliances that eliminate economic vulnerability and improve the quality-of-life for all neighbors in need. Founded in 1987 by Mrs. Ida Martin, their goal is to help local neighbors in need of food, clothing, educational and financial assistance, as well as to provide programs that promote self-worth, dignity and create a pathway to personal success.
The Literacy Center was founded in 1973 at the St. Franciscan Center on St. Helena Island. The Literacy Center equips adults with the reading, writing, math and speaking skills they need to be successful in the family, the workplace and the community.