BMW Pro-Am: Birdies for Charity

    BMW Pro-Am: Birdies for Charity

     

    BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX is looking for local, Upstate, nonprofit organizations to sign up for Birdies for Charity to start earning matching funds now!**see details below.

     

    Here is a little informational Q&A about the program:

     

    What is Birdies for Charity? Birdies for Charity® is a multi-level fundraising program designed to give participating charities the opportunity to generate contributions for their organization based on the number of “birdies” made by Korn Ferry Tour professional players Thursday through Sunday during the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX.

    What’s the cost for local nonprofits to participate? It is completely free for 501(c)3’s and schools in the Upstate to participate.

     

    What are the expectations? There are no expectations! Just sign up and start soliciting pledges. We recommend that you send e-mail blasts, post on social media and work within the community to promote that you are participating in this event….but there are no minimum requirements!

     

    What’s the benefit of participating?

    • No Risk! No out of pocket expenses!
    • All donations are tax-deductible
    • Charities receive 100% of their donations
    • Organizations can receive Bonus Bucks
    • Dollar for dollar match up to the first $100,000.00 raised by all charities
    • Participating organizations get their name on the Charity Spotlight Board at the tournament

     

     What’s Next? Go to bmwcharitygolf.com to register. Click on the “donate now” button and then choose “participating organization”. You will receive an approval email within 5-7 business days that includes login information to the Birdies Portal. Once you have the approval email you are able to solicit donations! Utilize the charity resources that are on the Birdies website and then email cassadzandi@sccharities.org with any questions or concerns.

    Wholespire – Promoting and Supporting Health Equity in South Carolina

    Wholespire – Promoting and Supporting Health Equity in South Carolina

    Have you ever heard about a town that was losing its only grocery store? What about a local park that was run down and unsafe? At Wholespire, we help community coalitions identify ways to fix those types of problems so that all community members have a fair chance at taking better care of their health. It’s amazing to see how making one or two small improvements can lead to a healthier and happier community.

    Wholespire has been working to make South Carolina a healthier state since 2007. Our mission is to provide communities with proven and sustainable approaches that lead to increased access to healthy choices for all people. With a focus on increasing access to healthy eating and active living, Wholespire is a leader in creating environments that promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease.

    1. We were formerly known as Eat Smart Move More South Carolina

    While you may not be familiar with Wholespire, you might know us as Eat Smart Move More South Carolina. In 2020, we decided to change our name to better reflect our work.  Wholespire combines the word “whole” with the words “aspire” (what we’re striving for) and “inspire” (what we hope to evoke in people). It’s the state in which a complete and harmonious community is achieved.

    Our new name and look capture our efforts to bring about lasting and healthy change for so many who aspire to wellness but lack access to the key components of health. It’s a refresh on our goal to make whole health a possibility for all South Carolinians as we inform, engage and influence decision-makers to include health in policy decisions.

    1. We are advocates

    What makes us different from other organizations is that we advocate to our state legislators to include health in all policies. You can find us at the state house advocating for free school meals for all SC students, more recess time at school and the Healthy Bucks program. We also support our partners’ initiatives that impact health equity. In addition to advocating to change state-level policies and laws, we equip communities to do the same at the local level. You can learn more about our legislative priorities and the bills we’re watching by visiting our Advocacy Center. You can also become a Wholespire advocate! We make contacting your legislators easy with pre-written email messaging. Sign up to become an advocate for health in your community.

    1. We have annual mini-grants available

    To date, Wholespire has invested over $200,000 in mini-grants across the state. While these grants cannot be used to fund events, programs, or direct education, they can be used to create or improve access to nutritious foods and safe places to be physically active. Examples of mini-grant projects include:

    • A paved walking track at an elementary school
    • Outdoor water bottle refill stations at parks and trails
    • Bilingual signage at a farmers’ market
    • Benches, signage, trash receptacles along trails or walking paths
    • Playground equipment for schools or parks

    For more information, visit our website.

    1. We have 14 county-level Wholespire chapters across the state

    Community change must start with community voice. That’s why Wholespire uses a chapter model to allow communities to lead the change themselves. We provide branding and technical assistance, but each coalition has volunteers made up of people who live and/or work in that county. Each chapter chooses the strategies that make the most sense for their community.

    Stay up to date with all our work by subscribing to our newsletter!

       

    AARP – “Age is not a defeat, but a victory”

    AARP – “Age is not a defeat, but a victory”

    AARP’s remarkable founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, had a passion for education and service that carried her throughout her extensive career as a teacher and a high school principal. After retiring at age 60, she turned her energies to helping “aging folk realize life’s possibilities.”

    Dr. Andrus had a new and different vision of aging. “We don’t get old,” she said, “we grow old. We mature. If we ever stop growing, then we have had it.” But as she looked around in 1950s America, she could see that “most organizations working with older citizens did things for them—things that too often led to trivial activities and childish games.”

    “Why,” she asked herself, “can’t AARP offer senior Americans a chance to solve their own problems of personal identity, recreation, travel, health protection and financial security?”

    Since 1958, AARP has been doing just that—and helping all Americans to understand that, in Dr. Andrus’ words, “age is not a defeat, but a victory; not a punishment, but a privilege.”

    Here in South Carolina, AARP has more than 600,000 members. There are great ways to get involved ere in the Upstate. See the opportunities below and let us hear from you.

    AARP South Carolina’s volunteers are local heroes. They are everyday people who care about their communities and are doing what they can to make a difference. We want to join you in the work you are doing in your community or to create the change you know needs to happen.

    We work on the issues that impact the 50+ and their families, including:

    • Veterans Outreach
    • Health & Healthcare
    • Hunger and Food Insecurity
    • Utilities
    • Caregiving
    • Fraud Prevention

    Join AARP South Carolina as a volunteer for some great opportunities and self-fulfillment. The calendar for the upcoming months is starting to take shape and your help is needed. AARP SC is planning some major events and activities for our Upstate members.

    Here is a sample of volunteer opportunities that are available in the Upstate.

    Community Engagement Team – be a part of the steering group to help plan and Implement community events. This group will meet on a regular basis to plan and develop events and on-going programs for members in the Upstate.

    Community Event Volunteers – Spend some time working events and representing AARP SC at community events, festivals, Movies for Grown Ups, Shred Events with the BBB of the Upstate, and Fraud presentations. Look for AARP SC on Fridays on Main beginning March 17.

    Advocacy Volunteers – Help track and advocated for issues that are important to older South Carolina residents. This includes state and federal officials. AARP is a fierce defender on issues that impact your wallet.

    2024 Presidential Primary Volunteers – Track ALL presidential candidates when they visit the area. AARP is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. Volunteers will be needed to help AARP hold the candidates accountable on issues that impact older voters.

    Sounds like fun. Click here to fill out an interest form. Look for an email or phone call from Patrick Cobb pcobb@aarp.org about a training and social event to learn more. It is all about having fun.

    AARP is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. With over 600,000 members here in the Palmetto state, AARP is making life better for its members. For other information on AARP programs, services and benefits call 1-866-389-5655 or aarp.org

    TATT x SCDHEC Behavioral Mental Health Discovery Meeting

    TATT x SCDHEC Behavioral Mental Health Discovery Meeting

    On February 23, Ten at the Top and the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (SC DHEC) brought together a group of mental and behavioral health care providers for an initial discussion of working regionally and collaboratively to address elements of the behavioral health crisis in the Upstate. The group analyzed current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in regional behavioral health care, and determined common themes and potential courses of action. The group agreed to form a regional task force to define and prioritize objectives, and determine strategies and action steps.
    TATT CHAT Recap – February 9, 2023

    TATT CHAT Recap – February 9, 2023

    Welcome and Introductions: David Feild, Chairman of the Board

    Local Public Health Strategies: Improving the Health of our Upstate Communities

    Dr. Kandi Fredere, Region Director of SCDHEC

    Click here to view a recording of the meeting

    Click here to view the presentation

    Resource Updates

    Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

    James Nelson shared updates and information on initiatives that focus on litter removal, and “Keeping Spartanburg Beautiful”. To learn more about Spartanburg County’s Environmental Enforcement Department, click the link above.

    Jasmine Road

    Jasmine Road provides help for women in need by providing safe housing, basic needs, life/job skills training, and more. To learn more about this incredible resource, click the link above.

     

    Jasmine Road – The Power of Love to Change a Life

    Jasmine Road – The Power of Love to Change a Life

    “I feel like Rooted in Love isn’t just a fake catchphrase here. You can really feel it,” said one Jasmine Road resident, smiling broadly from her chosen spot on the living room couch. “I can’t explain it, it’s just the love, the love.”

    We truly believe in the transformative power of love; and time and time again, the women of Jasmine Road tell us that love really makes the difference for them — and this difference can mean life or death for the women we serve.

    Love is truly at the heart of everything we do at Jasmine Road. The women here are offered unconditional love and the opportunity to flourish, and many, for the first time in their lives. Our program provides women with a sanctuary where they can start to heal, hope, and dream again, surrounded by a lifelong support network that is Rooted in Love.

    Our most recent survivor-made candle that was launched last year is focused on that same love. In naming the candle, the women wrote these words about their experience at Jasmine Road and what love means to them:

    “When I walked into this community, their arms were open and their hearts were free and there was no cost and no judgment. They are always like ‘let me love you until you see how to love yourself’. The women in this community have never given up on me and God never gave up on me, so I have no reason to give up on me.”

    Jasmine Road is South Carolina’s first long-term program designed specifically for adult women survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Our mission is to heal and employ women survivors, one life at a time. We do that by offering two years of safe housing, basic needs, mental and physical healthcare, therapy, time and space to heal, life and job skills training, and meaningful employment. More than 50 community partners join us in this work by providing much-needed trauma informed services to support each survivor’s comprehensive and individualized care plan.

    Our unique social enterprise component gives women a safe, nurturing environment to learn sustainable job skills and find independence and economic mobility. Since launching our program in 2018, residents and graduates have booked more than 15,000 hours working at Jasmine Road and Jasmine Kitchen, our social enterprise lunch cafe, and in our jewelry and candle businesses.

    To date, 100% of Jasmine Road graduates are in long-term sobriety, are safely housed, and are employed full-time. Many of the graduates are working in the Jasmine Road residential program and in the social enterprises, and several are employed by other organizations in the community.

    One recent 2022 graduate worked full-time for Jasmine Road’s social enterprise lunch cafe Jasmine Kitchen, after completing culinary school at Truist Culinary & Hospitality Innovation Center, and recently accepted another position in the community. After graduation from Jasmine Road, she took on the parenting of her teenage daughter who lives with her full-time in housing as part of Homes of Hope’s affordable housing program. With more than two years of sobriety under her belt, she says at 50 years old she’s never going back to the life she led before. During her time at Jasmine Road, she participated in a workforce development program with Goodwill Industries and United Ministries, where she also took financial wellness classes and took advantage of a savings match program through Jasmine Road social enterprises. With her savings, she was able to purchase a car after getting her driver’s license reinstated. Her time at Jasmine Road also provided her with free trauma-informed therapy and medical care including a mammogram and colonoscopy, as well as extensive dental work, which ultimately helped her become an advocate for her own healthcare. The network of support at Jasmine Road and Jasmine Kitchen along with her addiction recovery community has been a foundation for her success and accomplishments.

    By supporting our mission, you are helping us provide more women in our community with the opportunity for healing and real life change. The need is great for our program as we have received more than 300 applications for residency since Jasmine Road opened the doors of its first safe home in 2018.

    We invite you to join us – visit our website at jasmineroad.org to learn more and be our guest for lunch at Jasmine Kitchen (503 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29605). All of our social enterprise products are made by the residents and graduates of Jasmine Road with love and the hope that more women in our community will find their way home, are available online at jasminekitchen.org. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

    Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

    Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

    History/Creation of Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

    The Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department was formed in 2000.

    At that time, Animal Control and Litter Control were brought together for the purpose of being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars while also utilizing all available resources. Then, in 2006, four Property Maintenance Inspectors were moved from the Building Codes Division to our team. In 2018, the Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful Coordinator position was created, and, in 2020, a County employee Roadside Litter Crew was added.

    Our department strives every day to meet and accomplish the goals and the vision set by our County Council. Our staff has always had an unpublished mission statement of “Where do you need us to go, what do you need us to do?” This department has served as a model throughout the state for other counties to emulate and adjust to their needs.

    Property Maintenance Division

    Our Property Maintenance Division consists of one Senior Officer and five field officers. The current major focus of this division is a joint effort to remove blighted areas—mainly structures and blighted properties, while also focusing on cleaning up our county’s gateways.

    Spartanburg County’s leaders and elected officials understand that, to have growth, there must be reason for growth to happen. Areas with blight generally do not grow. Our leaders have never ignored the fact that we have blight in our county and removing that blight has always been at the forefront of their minds. In fact, removing blight has become a key part of our County’s most recent Strategic Vision Plan. In an effort to support this vision, we recently removed two large abandoned and nuisance commercial properties and are currently working to remove many other unsafe structures.

    Litter Control Division

    Our Litter Control Division consists of one frozen Senior Officer position and five field officers. Early on, our leaders understood the need to have resources addressing the crime of littering. These officers use many different tactics to address issues, such as field surveillance cameras, special details, community awareness programs, etc.

    The newest program is a joint effort with the City of Spartanburg, United Way of the Piedmont, SC Works, Hope Ministries, PalmettoPride and various private groups. It is called our “Litter Heroes” program. This is a 90-day program which currently employs up to four individuals, who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, to work in a litter crew as employees. These individuals will earn a wage of approximately $12 an hour and will work approximately 25 hours a week with their assigned agency. While going through the program, these individuals also receive case management and life skills training. The program has graduated nine individuals, with three of those individuals becoming officially employed with Spartanburg County.

    Animal Control Division

    Our Animal Control Division consists of one Senior Officer, a newly created Animal Cruelty Investigator position, and six field officers. Of all of our divisions, this division receives the most calls for service, on a daily average.

    Spartanburg County is currently in the process of building a Pet Resource Center. This would be the first of its kind in our County, as Spartanburg County has always contracted out the animal sheltering portion. Currently, we are partnered with Greenville County Animal Care and have been working with them for the past 11 years. The Greenville County staff has been and continues to be very helpful in this process. Greenville County helped us establish our feral cat program, in which we partner with Animal Allies, a low cost spay/neutering facility. This program is nearing 10,000 surgeries on outdoor community felines.

    As part of the planned Pet Resource Center’s team, Spartanburg County recently created our first Animal Cruelty Investigator to tackle the in-depth animal cruelty cases we face. We are also looking to hire a Director of Animal Welfare Services to head our Pet Resource Center. Our next steps will be to secure a site for the Center and begin putting safety net programs into place.

    Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful Division

    The Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful (KOSB) Division is new to our team and consists of the Coordinator position. In 2022, we hosted 45 events and collected 14,997 pounds of litter and 14,200 pounds of recycling from Spartanburg County. In 2023, we’re looking to double our hosted events.

    This year, we hope to expand our focus on educational projects and workshops. During the last week of January, we finished our Recycling into Art Mosaic Project with Woodland Heights Elementary School. KOSB and Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation District will seek design concepts from Spartanburg County artists to enhance selected storm drains along the Butterfly Creek Greenway on the Northside of Spartanburg, SC. Selected artists will turn their concepts into reality in the form of small-scale, semi-permanent, outdoor murals that will adorn Spartanburg County storm drains, raising awareness, and educating the public about the effects of stormwater runoff on water quality.

    Another exciting event that we will need everyone’s participation in is the Team-up to Clean-up Litter Competition. The Keep SC Beautiful affiliates in seven counties in the Upstate have organized the Team-up to Clean-up Litter Competition from April 1st – 22nd.

    TATT welcomes Anna-Elyse Lewis Abrams as Communications Coordinator

    TATT welcomes Anna-Elyse Lewis Abrams as Communications Coordinator

    Ten at the Top (TATT) is pleased to announce the addition of Anna-Elyse Lewis Abrams to the position of Communications Coordinator.
    Her role centers around TATT’s mission to increase collaborative capacity across the 10 counties
    of the upstate by highlighting the efforts and initiatives of the organization, as well as those of its
    partners and sponsors. Additionally, she will serve as the primary point of contact for media inquiries,
    coordinate outreach efforts, draft in-house publications, and devise strategic marketing campaigns that
    amplify and elevate TATT’s messaging.

    A graduate of USC Upstate, Anna-Elyse brings with her a background of communications and marketing
    in local government and community development, having served as the Communications Specialist for
    the City of Spartanburg. She is a lifelong resident of Spartanburg, and enjoys spending time with her
    family and friends, and performing with local community theatres.

    “We are pleased to have Anna-Elyse join the Ten at the Top team,” said TATT Executive Director Dean
    Hybl. “Her background in communications and familiarity with the region will be very valuable as we
    continue to build connections and the collective capacity of the Upstate.”
    “Ten at the Top is doing such great work to connect and strengthen the Upstate.” said Lewis Abrams, “I
    am so excited to join those efforts, and amplify the message of this organization’s inspiring mission
    alongside an incredible team.”

    Have a question for Anna-Elyse? Email her at aeabrams@tenatthetop.org 

    About Ten at the Top: Comprised of public, private, and civic leaders from across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina
    Region, Ten at the Top connects and encourages regional collaboration through data-driven research
    and regular gatherings of leaders and residents to address key regional issues. TATT works with local
    partners to foster collaboration and strategic planning that enhances the economic vitality and quality
    of life for Upstate residents today and as the region continues to grow.