Local non-profits help with virtual learning, relief funds


HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Local non-profits are providing recovery funds and free educational tools during COVID-19 to help provide free wifi and relief grants to people struggling in the community.   

A Georgetown Country non-profit organization, The Village Group, is providing a new learning program that offers wifi connection to families and students without access. As many students are asked to make the transition to virtual learning, Executive Director of The Village Group Ray Funnye says 30 to 40 percent of families in their area can’t afford wifi. 

“The connection now is very limited, we have to connect with them through letter-writing campaigns,” Ray C. Funnye, The Village Group Executive Director said. 

Today, HTC agreed to partner with The Village Group to add two additional sites in the Georgetown community where families can drive to these sites and access wifi connection. He hopes this will help the academic and social-based program to continue engaging students during the crisis.

“Communication we believe is key and for our young people to know that we are there listen, we are there to give advice, we are there to just be a friend during this difficult time,” Funnye said. 

The new Distant Learning Academic Enrichment Program provides families and teachers the resources to help students stay focused. The remote program plans to roll out next week at two available sites set up at Plantersville Community Center and Plantersville Cultural Center. Parents can access limited wifi from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

Waccamaw Community Foundation is giving back another way. Through multiple partnerships with nonprofits on the Grand Strand, a relief fund is supporting employees out of a job due to COVID-19. 

“We are seeing the nonprofits really being called on to step up and help our friends and neighbors with food, shelter, and utility assistance,” Angel Johnson-Brebner, Director of Waccamaw Community Foundation said. 

The Waccamaw Community Foundation is partnering with Coastal Community Foundation, Black River United Way, the Chapin Foundation, Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Trident United Way, United Way of Horry County and United Way of the Lowcountry to support communities along the coast. 

One of the first grants gives support to Horry County hospitality workers. Conway Downtown Alive received $15,000 in relief payments helping nearly 70 employees in downtown Conway.

The Waccamaw Community Foundation partnership has raised $430,000. With Horry County leading the number of applications for unemployment benefits in the state, the foundation has a goal to raise one million dollars. To donate, click here.

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