Socastee (WBTW) – They call themselves 40 Friends, but there are many more than that in this group. Collectively they’ve helped out with hundreds of projects and have raised thousands of dollars. But numbers aside, a big part of all this is to have fun.
“People liked it to get together,” said Stan Parker, founder of 40 Friends. “We would all do it to get together. It was more of a social thing. A social thing that would help us do other things.”
Charity and fun are what make up 40 friends. This good time group was started in 2005 when Parker was asked by the coach of the Socastee High School Boys Basketball team to help raise money to send the squad to Hawaii. $12,000 later the Braves were in the Aloha State.
“So once he retired from coaching,” said Parker, “we decided we would do other charities.”
While they do help out other charities and sports teams, sometimes they just give money where it’s needed.
“We had a tornado victim in Loris we took and gave him $1,000 and also gave him our moving truck and gas card and all that to get him situated,” explained Parker. “We did a stem cell treatment for a girl who did it in Chicago. We raised about $4,000 to help her pay her expenses while she was there. We did 500 Easter baskets this year. With this group. That was a lot of fun. We bought the stuff and then we all put it together. It was a lot of fun. A week or so ago we did, we took the money out of our 40 Friends, and we bought 1,024 pieces of clothing, brand new clothing. And 650 pair of shoes.”
40 Friends does a lot with the charity Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies. Now a days, besides just giving money, they’re volunteering nearly every day.
“They do everything,” said Barb Mains, director of Help 4 Kids. “They help us at Christmas… Without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. They’re just wonderful. I keep saying now it’s 41 Friends. Me.”
While they call themselves 40 Friends there are many more members than that, and they’re looking to add even more. If you’re interested here’s a link to their Facebook page.