LAKE CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — A group of people who attended a local high school separated by race decades ago used the holidays to bring their community together.
The Carver High School Alumni Association aimed to help families and keep their history alive with a Christmas food giveaway. Cars lined the block Monday afternoon outside the Greater St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church as people waited to get a free turkey or ham.
“Carver High was something that molded us as students,” Joseph Wilson, a graduate and former circuit judge said. “We wanted to keep that vision alive and remember it. But more than that we wanted to touch others with our lives and what we have been blessed with as a result of the Carver experience.”
Wilson said he started organizing a yearly gift-basket giveaway for the alumni association 15 years ago. This year was the first time they have given out meals instead.
“There is a need out here to have that kind of assistance,” Wilson said. “Prices are high, things are more expensive and so forth.”
Gloria Tisdale, president of the alumni association, said it was important to make sure families had something to eat ahead of Christmas.
“Hopefully, we will be able to make this an annual event so we can be more visible in the community as the alumni association and as citizens of Lake City,” Tisdale said.
Mayor Lovith Anderson also helped out. He said he graduated in 1971 and was part of the first class to combine with the students of J. Paul Truluck High School after integration.
“We need to know each other, we need to love each other, we need to care for each other,” Anderson said. “That’s one thing that they taught us in school. You learn, you give back to your community, and you do the things you can to help other people.”
Carver High School is now Dr. Ronald E. McNair Middle School. Wilson said the giveaway fed about 40 families.