Lowcountry Orphan Relief sees many volunteers on a weekly basis. Many of these volunteers come from churches and a bevy of entities from the greater Charleston area. Some of these individuals are repeat volunteers, and LOR is always grateful and welcoming to those who wish to volunteer either regularly or even occasionally. However, the core volunteers, meaning individuals who are with LOR on a weekly basis, really keep the engine running for this Charleston-based nonprofit.

One core volunteer that has been with LOR for a long time is Mary. For 12 years, Mary has committed several hours a week to sorting and organizing donation items such as clothing, shoes, toiletries, along with a bevy of other tasks. Prior to becoming a core volunteer at LOR, Mary worked in the accounting department at Westvaco Paper Mill, where she was an employee for 32 years. “Right before I retired, Westvaco set up this thing where anybody who was interested in volunteering at various places, they would take us around…and this [LOR] was one of the places we went to. And when I saw what they did here, I just felt like I’m an organized person that likes to make things neat. So, I just decided this is what I wanted to do”, she said. Since her retirement from the then Westvaco Paper Mills, Mary has been volunteering at LOR on a weekly basis for the last 12 years, the longest by any core volunteer at LOR.

Regularly dedicating time as a volunteer to a nonprofit is a selfless act. Mary knows she is contributing to a great cause and making an impact as a volunteer, especially doing so at a nonprofit that serves abused and neglected children in South Carolina. The mission of providing hope to abused and neglected children is part of what makes LOR such a meaningful place to volunteer in Charleston. “I feel like I’m contributing in some way. These children have suffered a lot of traumas in their lives. They may not have anything except the clothes on their back, so I feel like I’m contributing to their wellbeing”, she said.

LOR’s mission and vision of serving abused and neglected children continues to have a tremendous impact on the state of South Carolina, with over 40,000 children served since the nonprofit’s inception back in 2003. However, the mission of this nonprofit has an impact on its volunteers as well. Volunteers like Mary, who feels strongly about what she and many other volunteers do on a weekly basis. “It makes me feel like I have a purpose in life. After you retire and you get old, your kids grow up, and your grandkids grow up, sometimes it hard to find a place where you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. I just feel like it’s a good cause”, she says.

A good cause indeed. LOR is grateful to have core volunteers like Mary, who so selflessly dedicate their time and energy to serving abused and neglected children. Volunteers like Mary allow LOR to continue to serve children in need. If you would like to become a volunteer or donate to a Charleston-based nonprofit, visit our volunteer page at Volunteer – Lowcountry Orphan Relief and our donate page at DONATE – Lowcountry Orphan Relief.