A Message from Hal Hanvey, JIO Board Chairman RE: New Location and Executive Director

All Past, Present, and Future Friends of James Island Outreach,

I am writing on behalf of James Island Outreach. We are a local charity which helps provide food, emergency medicine and utilities, and referrals for those in our James Island and Folly Beach community in need of assistance.

James Island Outreach was first created in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo when several churches banded together to provide crisis labor, food, and assistance for those devastated by the storm. Though our efforts to rebuild damaged homes are no longer necessary, James Island Outreach remains dedicated to helping support our neighbors in crisis. Our mission is to ensure that no one on James Island or Folly Beach goes without the food, medications, or information they need.  However, the past success of our over twenty-seven-year-old mission is not the focus of this communication.  With our eyes on the future we are turning a corner to a more vigorous and progressive ministry to our neighbors in need.

In pursuit of improving operations and providing a better experience for our precious clients, we considered how we could renovate our present location.  During these considerations, a tremendous opportunity was presented to us by James Island Christian School in the form of two donated mobile classroom buildings and offers by two churches of space on their campus for relocating the buildings.  On the surface it seemed as though this was a quicker way forward that would allow us in the end to have a larger, more flexible facility. We are still confident in this decision based on the size and flexibility. However, the quick part seemed more elusive.

After careful consideration of the two offered sites, we decided to choose to accept the offer from Saint James Church and gratefully decline the offer from Epworth United Methodist Church for our new location.  Our gratitude to Bethany United Methodist Church, our host from the beginning, is impossible to adequately express, but certainly cannot go unmentioned here.  It is also important to express gratitude to all the other churches, individuals, and organizations too numerous to mention which have sustained us through the years.

Without detailing the reasons for multiple and unavoidable delays, it is sufficient to say that huge challenges have been met one-by-one and overcome.  It has been well said that out of great adversity comes great opportunity.  We now have a very active, diverse, and committed group of supporters, who along with our equally well qualified and optimistic board of directors, see an even more productive future for this ministry than has ever been possible in the past.

With the increase in floor space, we have been blessed with the flexibility to make the space best serve our operational needs. It will also give our clients better choices and a more comfortable and welcoming environment in which to be served.  With the beautiful and spacious grounds surrounding the facility, we will be landscaping to present a most attractive view not only to those who pass by, but especially to our clients and those who choose to volunteer, visit and linger there.  The construction of the new roof and decking that connects the two units into one cohesive facility is now well under way, and all construction is very soon to be completed.

For the past 3 years we have been blessed to have the leadership of a very dedicated Executive Director, Mr. Cal Worthington.  Although he continues to lead the way through the challenges of making this move, Cal must resign upon the completion of the building due to the unavoidable needs of his family.  Though his leadership will be missed, we are confident that our dedicated search team will ensure that we are blessed with a new director with a clear vision forward.

As we move into this bright future we ask that all who have supported and served with us also assist in spreading the message of hope for our neighbors in need.  This message must also contain a plea for continued and expanded prayer and support.  In closing, I must add that we should all take pride in a ministry that has brought together, not only resources and those in desperate need of them, but also a community which puts aside all differences in the commitment to make the lives of all our neighbors better through cooperation.  Few if any communities do it better.

I am exceedingly blessed to be,

Hal Hanvey
Board Chairman
February 28, 2018