The following was presented to North Myrtle Beach City Council on September 19, 2022.
Good evening Mayor Hatley and members of the City Council.
On behalf of Linda Ort and Maureen O’Callaghan, the Co-Chairpersons of the Barefoot Caring Council, thank you for allowing me to speak with you tonight about this neighborhood organization.
The Barefoot Caring Council has been quietly helping the NMB community for about 10 years. We are a group of Barefoot residents who identify and implement fundraising events to support NMB charities and non-profit organizations.
We do a food Drive to benefit North Strand Helping Hand in the spring and fall. Barefoot residents donate an average of about 3,000 pounds of food each drive.
We participate in Mobile Meals. Barefoot residents volunteer to deliver meals every 8 weeks. They deliver approximately 30-40 meals.
We collect books for NMB elementary school children to enjoy over summer break. We collaborate with the schools who supply us with titles of books they would like to see the children read.
We collect school supplies for NMB elementary school children.
We collaborate with the American Red Cross to sponsor blood drives. The blood mobile comes to Barefoot twice a year. Since 2018, the Barefoot Blood Drives have collected over 230 pints of blood for the American Red Cross. Our blood drives in 2023 are scheduled for January and June.
During the holiday season, we participate in several fundraising events.
In early November, we put on our annual holiday bazaar to benefit Teen Angels. In 2019 caring council donated $10,000 to Teen Angels. The Bazaar was canceled in 2020 due to Covid. In 2021 the council chairs still did not feel comfortable enough to have an in-person bazaar. Caring council members Marilyn and Ann who run the silent auction part of the bazaar were determined to find a way to have the bazaar so that we could continue to help Teen Angels. They found a way to do a virtual fundraiser using the Biddingowl.com website. It was a huge success and we were able to donate $6,500 to Teen Angels in 2021. Because of the success of the on-line bazaar, we plan to continue with this format in the future. Over the last 10 years, Barefoot residents have donated almost $100,000 to Teen Angels.
We also collect Christmas gifts for needy NMB elementary school children who have been identified by the school’s guidance counselors.
We also collect clothes and toys, individually wrapped desserts and water bottles for the Annual Community Christmas dinner at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox church.
Up until Covid, Barefoot residents organized a holiday party for the Residents of Summit Place of NMB, which is an assisted and memory care facility.
Two of our newest initiatives are geared towards servicemen and women. The Quilts of Valor Foundation awards quilts to service members and veterans touched by war. We volunteer at ceremonies; our residents cut and sew the quilts. The ladies of Barefoot have made over 100 quilts.
Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers is our newest initiative. Started in 2017 by a mom from Easley, SC whose son was deployed overseas. To date, they have sent over 32,000 shirts overseas to active service men and women.
We collected Hawaiian shirts at the our Annual Barefoot Golf Cart Parade on July 3. This year’s theme was “Barefoot Resort Salutes our Troops and Veterans.” We were honored to have Mayor Hatley, Councilwoman Fontana and Councilmen J.O. Baldwin and Trey Skidmore participate in this year’s parade. We truly appreciated your support. We collected over 90 shirts at the Golf Cart Parade, and since working with the Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Shirts organization in 2020, we have collected almost 200 shirts for this worthwhile cause.
Barefoot is a very caring and generous community. Our residents love living here and want to do anything we can to make it a better community for all of us.
We are always looking for additional opportunities to help our community. If you are aware of a specific need, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.