Once Homeless. Forever Philanthropist.February 11, 2016
On Veterans Day, last year, we wrote a piece involving a veteran named Charles. Charles was one of our clients, many years ago, who left a very unique legacy behind.
Charles' story, "Once Homeless, Always Philanthropist," was featured in our winter 2015 newsletter. It gives a great example of the awesome character of the people that we serve. Check out his story below.
"Allow us to introduce one of our many clients. Meet Charles. Charles was honorably discharged from the Navy. He left the service from Charleston on a lonely bus to Columbia. Lacking employment opportunities, he became a statistic we commonly see at the food bank. As it is for many veterans, transition back to civilian life seemed impossible. Charles spent 3 years homeless.
Through just a few visits to Harvest Hope Food Bank and with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was able to get back on his feet. Charles was able to make a good living, obtain housing and made connections with people in the community that accepted him as family. Charles overcame his circumstances and his amazing comeback became a great success story for Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Many years later, Charles was diagnosed with cancer. In a hospital bed clinging to his last moments, he never forgot the support that he received when times were tough. Upon his passing in June of 2015, it was discovered that Charles left his fortune along with his pick-up truck to Harvest Hope Food Bank as a way of giving back to the organization that provided him so much support during his moment of despair. His generous gift provided over 40,000 meals for those in need. Harvest Hope Food Bank salutes you, Charles. Thank you for your service to our country and our battle against hunger.
Harvest Hope continues to serve people in the community, like Charles, by providing critical hunger relief through our network of 450+ member agencies across 20 South Carolina counties. Our member agencies include local food pantries, emergency shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. Last year, donations provided food to serve more than 20 million meals in the Pee Dee, Midlands and Greater Greenville areas."
Charles' story has gained some notoriety, lately. Our winter 2015 story made it to the pages of South Carolina's top newspaper. We are very pleased that The State Newspaper featured Charles, reaching 240,000 people!
For more information about donating and/or volunteer opportunities, please visit our website: www.harvesthope.org.