Several executive directors of Greenwood area nonprofits credit the Self Family Foundation’s Mamie Nicholson with mentoring them.
Teresa S. Goodman with Community Initiatives and Wendi Andrews with the Food Bank of Greenwood County are among those who say Nicholson’s guidance has been invaluable.
“The Self Family Foundation is not here just to give you a check. It is here to help you sustain your organization,” Andrews said. “Teresa and I have a very strong partnership. We work together to expand our community outreach. We realize we are stronger together.”
Andrews said she is the first full-time executive director for Food Bank of Greenwood County and Self Family Foundation granted funding to make that possible.
Goodman said Nicholson was encouraging of Community Initiatives in its beginnings, suggesting that the nonprofit should file for articles of incorporation.
“Here we are, some 20 years later,” Goodman said. “We’re still doing the work in the community. An example of the partnership between Community Initiatives and the Food Bank is that we have a counselor who can come into the Food Bank and help you determine if you are eligible for food stamps...Food insecurity is addressed by immediately providing someone with food from the Food Bank and also long-term, if that person is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Additionally, Food Bank clients might also learn about additional services like Community Initiatives’ free medical clinic.”
Goodman credits a Self Family Foundation grant with enabling Community Initiatives to purchase a larger building and triple the number of children and families served and quadruple the number of adults served.
“They will also tell you no if you are not ready,” Goodman said. “They invest in us, but we have to prove their investment will be sound. If a request is denied, you will get some type of guidance and encouragement to try again during another grant cycle. It’s a teaching moment.”
Contact St. Claire Donaghy at 864-992-8934.