we welcome all of you, our family



we welcome all of you, our family
Grand Opening celebrates major
major donors
2011 milestones
upcoming events
We welcome all of you, our family
of supporters, donors and volunteers, to
...honors major donors
AND honors Ms. Ida
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Lili Coleman journals about
Ms. Ida’s visit to the White House
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
Peter Bromley
President, Board of Directors
Ida Martin
“Our new building is truly YOUR new building
and reflects an unprecedented community
response to help our neighbors in need.”
his letter comes to you loaded with
donors and foundations, local businesses, staff,
extreme pride and gratitude now
volunteers, board members, our contractors
that the dream of a new building for
and architect, the media and the Town of
Bluffton Self Help is a reality. Just
Bluffton - for this support. Our new building
Peter Bromley
vice president
John Orth
Linda Kaufman
Gene Brown
seven months after announcing the need
is truly YOUR new building and reflects an
to find a new alternative for our building
unprecedented community response to help
Building Chair
Tray Hunter
project, we are fully operational in our new
your neighbors in need.
Tony Ciervo
location at 39 Sheridan Park Circle – ahead of
schedule and on-budget! We are of course
still adjusting and fine-tuning our operating
procedures in the new building, and we thank
you for your patience and understanding as
we do this.
this fall, one of the true highlights has been the
national recognition given to our founder, Miss
Ida Martin who was one of only 13 recipients
of the “Presidential Citizens Medal” which she
received from President Obama at a White
House Ceremony. We are extremely proud of
Impossible” was instead achieved because of
Ida and forever grateful for the legacy she has
the truly remarkable outpouring and rallying
established in the community.
What IS a “Mission Impossible” however is the
task of adequately thanking all of you – our
Sandra Graves
While the new building has been a key focus
What seemed initially to be a “Mission
of support from so many in the community.
Courtney Hampson
Peter Bromley giving toys to children
at the 2011 Bluffton Christmas Parade
services, we need your support more than
ever in order to continue serving so many.
Currently, we are only $150,000 shy of our
$1.0 million building campaign goal; every
contribution, no matter how small, will make a
difference. And as always, we depend on your
food and clothing donations as well as your
As 2011 comes to a close, and BSH rises to
financial donations for our general operating
a whole new level of providing local social
Walt Hollis
Allen Kupfer
Christine Loeffler
Debbie Lowman
Allyne Mitchell
Cindy Taulbee
executive director
Lili Coleman
asst director
Julie Del Guercio
Nancy Meyer
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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Lili Coleman
Executive Director
Bluffton Self Help
“Our volunteers accepted the challenge to embrace CHANGE
and to “step up to the plate” to staff the new building with all
of its new ever-changing policies and procedures.”
We are particularly
mindful this holiday
season of the world
ow, what a first six months on
of the Presidential Citizens Medal. Ms. Ida
I relished the opportunity to accompany Mrs.
a new job! The phrase “hit the
was one of thirteen recipients of the award,
Ida Martin to Washington D.C. Not only was
road running” now has a whole
selected from 6,000 nominees.
it a great experience to share that special
around us, and
new meaning. I wasn’t through the interview
this community so
process completely when word came that
dear to our hearts.
Bluffton Self Help had changed direction from
In these pages
constructing to purchasing a new building.
we celebrate the
of this year, and
most of all, our
appreciation to you
for the opportunity
to share the gift of
caring and hope
The good news. I didn’t have to raise
thousands of dollars. The cost of relocation
had just been reduced by half. The challenge.
What was going to be a two-year process
had just been accelerated to a six-month
Because we have an outstanding “working
board” of directors, a dedicated staff assistant,
a patient and hard working volunteer
coordinator, and many caring and helpful
volunteers, we met the challenge.
I continue to be amazed each day by the
dedication that the entire board has to
the mission of this organization. They are
conscientious of not only the client needs but
also the need to operate in the most efficient
We were all up to the challenge.
manner possible.
In six months time, we made an offer on an
Our volunteers at Bluffton Self Help accepted
existing building, raised funds to purchase
the challenge to embrace CHANGE and to
the building outright, renovated the building,
“step up to the plate” to staff the new building
collected materials and equipment to furnish
with all of its new ever-changing policies
the building, moved into the building, hosted
and procedures. They even raised money
a grand opening for major building donors
themselves with the “$39 Letter Campaign” by
with record attendance AND celebrated Ida
soliciting friends and neighbors to contribute
Martin’s national recognition as the recipient
$39 each to represent our new address.
to our neighbors in
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moment with Mrs. Martin, but also, and more
importantly, we got to know each other better.
What a remarkable woman. I felt so privileged
to be there with her and her wonderful family.
So, even though this six-month ride has been
a whirlwind that is indefinable, it has been a
rewarding experience! What a pleasure it has
been to represent this organization and I look
forward to getting to know each of our donors
and volunteers better as we all work toward
the same goal: to eradicate hunger in our
community through service, education and a
big heart!
Oh, and what a big heart you all have!
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
The Presidential Citizens Medal
is the second highest honor a US civilian
can receive. Only 13 such medals were
awarded in 2011.
Ida Gets Up Close and Personal with the President
Back in June, after reading the description of the
Presidential Citizens Medal and the call from the
President for nominations we knew we had the perfect
candidate. With strong board approval the nomination
was submitted. The first indication that Mrs. Martin
was in the running arrived in July, when a call came to
the agency from the White House. They were following
up! We cheered with excitement whispering amongst
ourselves that she had a chance. Ida martin was
advised by the staff in a phone call that if she received
a call from them... it was a legitimate call! After a few
more phone calls during the summer, we didn’t hear
anything again until late September. More questions
and information about Bluffton Self Help was provided
to the White House staff. In October, while planning
the grand opening, we emailed the White House for
an update. Within hours, a short email from the White
House contact read, “call me.” With bated breathe, we
called. She was one of the recipients and she was on
her way to the White House!
10:00 PM Ida Martin and her family arrived at
Dulles Airport at approximately the same time, all
traveling on different airline carriers. Ida was so
happy that they were able to join up and travel
together in the taxi to the Washington Plaza
Hotel. Everyone was so excited. Ida’s daughter
Constance Atkins, turned on a video camera and
interviewed Ida and her family members in the
lobby. Ida said, “She is documenting every step
to share with family and friends. Everyone thinks
I’m some kind of celebrity. She keeps turning on
that camera and videotaping me everywhere we
go.” Guests included Constance, her daughter
Latisha Martin, her eight year old great grandson
Belise Kosoko , her great granddaughter Mikisha
Middlebrook and grandson Christopher Martin.
“If I do not
stop to help
this man,
what will
happen to
Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.
10:15 pm We agreed we would all meet
around 8 am for breakfast. The White House
would bring a car for us at 10:15 am in the
morning. Ida said, “I need to get to bed
8:10 am Ida was completely dressed in her
new lovely Donaster red suit and accessories and
continued on page 18
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Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
With New Building
More than 200 donors and dignitaries
including Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, Beaufort
County Council Chairman W. Weston Newton,
and HHI-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO Bill Miles, helped dedicate
Bluffton Self Help’s new building on
November 10.
The building was dedicated to Ida Martin, one
of 13 Americans recently honored with the
Presidential Citizens Medal. Martin founded
BSH in 1987, working out of the trunk of her
car and her garage. For a number of years BSH
called the old Bluffton town jail home, serving
as many as 22,000 people annually from a
woefully inadequate 1,000-square foot facility.
Also honored was BSH Board President Peter
Bromley, who spearheaded the drive for
the new building and was instrumental in its
acquisition and the fund raising to buy it. The
Executive Director’s office in the new building
was named for Bromley, who has served as
BSH president for the past two years.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony
Bromley thanked the many organizations and
individuals who made the dream a reality.
BSH now not only owns the building outright,
but also is establishing an endowment fund
to help cover increased operating costs so
that the vast majority of donations can be put
directly to use for clients.
The 6800-square foot building, located at 39
Sheridan Park Circle, features a loading dock
with three bays to facilitate food delivery, a
large area for clothing distribution, a much
larger food pantry, adequate office space
and private interview rooms, and a multipurpose community/training room. It also is
large enough to allow clients to wait inside
instead of being stuck in inclement weather
and offers much better parking for clients
and volunteers. ■
39 Sheridan Park Circle is filled to the brim
with free clothes for adults and children.
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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When HOPE grows...
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This is the second year that the Island Packet has
published our “Stories of HOPE”. Here is a sample of
those stories, while others are available by visiting
our website. (The the names have been changed to
protect their identity.)
Lara had accumulated major medical
Beatrice has lived in Bluffton
Martina’s daughter Johanna
expenses after contracting cellulitis on
almost all of her life. She is a senior on a
was pregnant. Martina had already
her foot. She had been in and out of the
fixed income, living in a mobile home that
informed her employer that she would
hospital as the doctors tried to control the
is paid for - on family owned land. One
use her vacation time, after the baby was
infection. Unsure when she could return
afternoon, Beatrice’s water heater started
born, to help with her first grandchild.
to work, Lara had to quit her job. She was
to leak uncontrollably. The water was
Complications developed and Johanna
not used to not working and was scared
flooding the kitchen floor. She could not
was rushed to the emergency room
of the bills that were piling up. After
stop the leak and did not know what to
several weeks before her due date. The
receiving the treatment she required, and
do. She called Bluffton Self Help and told
baby was born premature weighing
getting the infection under control, Lara
us of her situation. We knew the leakage
in at two pounds and was in critical
found a new job in a position where she
would destroy the floors in her home. We
condition. Martina rushed to Medical
would not be on her feet. She was happy
found a company that would not only
University of South Carolina. She stayed
to be well again, but the bills were still
deliver and install the new water heater
at the Ronald McDonald House and spent
piling up. She started paying some of the
quickly, but would remove the old leaking
every possible minute with her daughter
hospital bills so that her credit would not
unit as well. Beatrice’s friends came over
and her newborn grandchild, who was
be affected. That, in combination with
to help clean up the mess. A few weeks
hooked up to machines and tubes.
missed time from work, left Lara short on
later, Ms. Beatrice came in to BSH. She had
Martina’s employer contacted her to send
her rent that month. She came to Bluffton
had a friend drive her to our building, just
best wishes, but had to inform her, that
Self Help, where we listened to her story,
so she could personally say thank you.
although her job was secure when she
reviewed her documents, congratulated
returned, the extra time will exceed her
her on her new employment and helped
allotted vacation days and she would not
pay the balance of her rent for that month.
be paid. Martina was worried about her
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
bills and she contacted Bluffton Self Help.
y is
e or
We paidsince
a partial mortgage payment to
family get through this time.
he was a young
Wanting todaughter and baby girl,
life, after her grandmother, are
all doing well at
local grocery store
where he bagged
with physical issues
He could
homebound and
strapped on fixed incomes. Did
weight and
of Bluffton Self Help provides
you know that
food for 22 home bound seniors every
Thursday? Our volunteers bag up 22 bags
of food (taking special notice of specific
dietary needs) that is donated from
Second Helpings and members of our
community. With the help of volunteers
from a local church, this precious food is
lived in one of the apartments that suffered
didn’t want them to start in a new school and be
a huge brunt of the destruction. The water
singled out for not being able to afford uniforms.
damage caused by efforts to put out the
She wanted them to start the school year off on
fire was extensive in their apartment. The
the right foot. She asked for help. The social worker
management company didn’t know how
was able to give the mother vouchers for a limited
long it would take to clean up. They weren’t
number of uniform tops and bottoms. Bluffton Self
even sure if they would be able to move into
Help would cover the expenses and these children
the same apartment or have to relocate to a
would begin the school year on a positive note.
vacant apartment. They said it would take
another week or two, but the vouchers they
received only allowed for two more nights
of temporary housing. Where were they
going to go? Bluffton Self Help provided
the family with groceries, free clothing and
also paid for another week of lodging so the
family would have a roof over their heads,
while the management company resolved
their housing situation.
delivered to these seniors with a smile
every week!
EMERGENCY lodging became
a huge issue for a local family when a
Bluffton apartment building was struck
by lightning! Four apartments suffered
extensive damage. Many of these folks
received vouchers for food, clothing and
temporary housing from government
assistance. One family, Mr. and Mrs. Kruse
Every dollar counts and this statement rang
true when one of the clients of Bluffton Self Help
warmly hugged staff in genuine gratitude when
she learned she would be receiving an additional
$16 per month from the Elderly Simplified
Application Program. A senior cancer patient, this
client comes to Bluffton Self Help for a supply of
Ensure, an important diet supplement. During one
of her visits to BSH, she was asked if she would be
interested to learn if she qualified for additional
A social worker from the
benefits. A QuikCheck in Benefit Bank, a national
Bluffton School system called, on behalf
benefit application program, said she was! As a
of one of her students. The family had just
Benefit Bank Counselor, a staff member at Bluffton
moved to the area, days before the start of
Self Help helps low-and moderate income people
the school year. They were unaware of the
apply for benefits offered through the county
uniform policy. The mother revealed to the
and state, thus eliminating the need to find
social worker that she had spent the last of
transportation to Beaufort to apply. Although for
her savings on moving expenses, rental and
most of us that $16 might represent one lunch at
utility deposits. She would be working soon
our favorite restaurant, for this client it means milk
and able to afford the uniforms shortly, but
and eggs for a month, two items not often available
she was concerned for her children. She
during food distribution at Bluffton Self Help. ■
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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One of our happy
volunteers offers
appetizers at the recent
Grand Opening.
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Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
Caring & Committed Volunteers...
One innocent phone call to inquire about
volunteering at Bluffton Self Help, led to
almost a full time commitment for Bob
Hodges, a retired retailer who asked at an
opportune time. His help was desperately
needed to set up the food and clothing
distribution areas in Bluffton Self Help’s new
“I feel like I am in work mode and the greatest part
is the service we provide to the community,” said
Hodges. What a trooper! Hodges has spent countless
hours in the past six weeks to make sure all the
donated clothing was sorted, hung by size and gender,
and displayed properly. He has sorted canned goods,
handed out turkeys, unloaded the Second Helpings
truck, and most importantly, headed the “Move
With sweat on his brow more than not, he can often
be seen breaking down boxes and lugging them to
the recycling center or working his way through the
numerous clothing and food donations for this holiday
Hodges said he learned about Bluffton Self Help
at the Bluffton Farmers Market. He was moved by
Old Navy’s loss
is our gain.
Bob Hodges
“caught in the
act” of hauling
one of hundreds
of boxes of
into the new
the mission and wanted to volunteer in his new
community. He and his wife have owned a home in
Bluffton since 2007 and moved here permanently in
July of 2010.
Ideal for the job, Hodges has had a 25-year retail career
in which he worked with leading companies in retail
including Gap, Gap Kids, Banana Republic, Old Navy,
Sprint and Forever 21. He had positions ranging from
manager positions in the field to vice president of
corporate facilities. He opened over 650 locations in
his career.
“I have also been responsible for many aspects of
field and corporate operations including customer
service, store operations, visual merchandising,
point of sale operations, store design, new store
opening procedures, personnel management and
development/financial operations,” explained Hodges.
How lucky for Bluffton Self Help! Hodges’ energy
keeps going strong as he helps Bluffton Self Help
adjust to its new size and facility. Despite the hours he
has already given, he has signed on as a volunteer floor
manager, willing to work five days a week, to assure
things go smoothly and volunteers understand the
policies and procedures in the new building.
“I am so impressed with the past accomplishments
and future mission of Bluffton Self Help,” said Hodges.
“I am amazed at the resources we make available to
clients.” He went on to say that he has lived in major
metropolitan areas that don’t offer the level of services
that Bluffton charities do for this community.
Hodges advice to anyone interested in volunteering at
Bluffton Self Help, “Treat every client with respect and
never turn anyone away who is in real need.”
When he isn’t at Bluffton Self Help, he is promoting
one of his dearest possessions. His dog Tiki is the
cover girl for the calendar being printed by the Hilton
Head Island Packet to benefit the local animal shelters.
Ask the staff, Hodges is a manly man with a real heart! ■
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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Grand Opening guests
get a sneak peek of
the Donor Wall, which
honors major donors
who gave to the Building
HOPE Campaign.
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Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
Once a Boy Scout ... Always a Boy Scout
ith a big smile and a “can do”
attitude Tray Hunter gets the
job done. That’s why he was
the perfect choice to head up
the Building Committee for Bluffton Self Help.
That was no small job. Hunter spent countless
hours soliciting donations for the building,
meeting with contractors to lead the
renovation process, discussing needs with
potential donors and even physically picking
up and storing furniture, kitchen sinks and the
array of equipment donations
It got to the point that Peter Bromley, board
president, John Orth, vice president and
Hunter joked about starting their own moving
Tray Hunter, a board member since 2009, has a
real daytime job as a marketing representative
with Palmetto Electric Coöperative. Prior to
Palmetto, he worked as community relations
manager with Hargray and as a senior district
executive with the Boy Scouts of America. He is
a graduate of The Citadel.
Hunter has served on various boards in the
Lowcountry including Greater Beaufort
Chamber of Commerce, Low­country
United Way, Coastal Empire Council and
the Lowcountry Young Professionals.He
was selected for the “40 under 40” Business
Achiever for the Savannah Business Report
and the Lowcountry Young Professional
CIVITAS Award. He is an Eagle Scout and
graduate of the Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber
Leadership program.
Tray currently serves as a member of the
Greater Bluffton Business Council and the
Bluffton Rotary Club. He first became aware
of Bluffton Self Help when he worked for the
Boy Scouts. They coordinated food drives for
Bluffton Self Help. “Bluffton Self Help is where
the ‘rubber meets the road’ in providing food,
clothing and shelter,” explained Hunter when
asked why this agency. “What better place to
put your efforts.
Hunter describes himself as a brick and mortar
type guy. He doesn’t mind getting dirty.
When the staff hears pounding and drilling,
you can count on it being Hunter fixing
something that needs fixing.
This is what attracted Hunter to head the
building committee. He likes taking the ideas
of many and settling on one and delivering it
beyond everyone’s expectations. His favorite
quote is “Nothing can be accomplished
without labor proportionate to its
importance,” by General Charles P. Summerall.
When asked what his biggest achievement
was with the building campaign, he said
fundraising. That was only one of many.
One of his biggest fundraising successes was
recruiting Hargray Communications as the
sponsor of the Community Room, including
state-of-the-art conference equipment and
the ability to offer the room to outside groups,
as well as workshops to the clients.
Hunter did much more. He offered his personal
‘blood, sweat and tears,’ puts in long hours in
meetings and adjusted plans continuously to
meet the needs of the agency. “No matter how
much room you think you will have,” Hunter
said, “you can always use more.” Hunter’s work
on behalf of Bluffton Self Help is not done, not
by a long shot. He is chairman of the operations
committee and will continue to oversee the
ongoing maintenance and building needs.
Besides, Bluffton Self Help always needs brains
and “brawn” oh, we mean muscle.! ■
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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Amazed by so much space
already filled
People who visited BSH at the former “jail”
and now at 39 Sheridan Park Circle are
truly amazed. They remember the tiny
1000 sf building now dwarfed by 6800sf of
organized and efficient space. Even more
astounding is that “39” is already filled!
How did we do it, you might ask?
Simple! The jail had long been out of space.
We had to store furniture, clothing, and
even food at SIX different locations. The
new building allowed us to consolidate all
of that under one roof.
The generosity of so many individuals
and businesses throughout the area was
reaffirmed during this time. They heard
about our impending move and called
to offer items that they were replacing or
getting rid of. Almost miraculously, when
we voiced our legitmate need,
help immediately followed.
Our new donor board shows over
30 businesses and individuals who
came to our rescue. If you tour
the new building, you’ll see over
$100,000 of donated furnishings!
Miraculously, the only item we
had to purchase was a used
kitchen sink! Everything else was
provided by generous donors.
Clothing, shoe racks, desks,
chairs and numerous tables
from Saks Fifth Avenue and
Shelter Cove Mall when Saks
moved from Shelter Cove to
Food shelving, stainless steel
food tables, a refrigeration
unit and other items from
Harris Teeter as they close
their Sea Pines store and open
a new store in March;
State-of-the-art conference
equipment including
WiFi from Hargray
Badly needed chairs for our
Office furniture from Tanger
and The Beaufort Gazette as
they updated their offices;
Cabinets from Lowe’s that
could be used throughout the
Computer and phone systems
from Sourcecode LLC;
New refrigeration units from
Long Cove Club Community
Endowment Fund and Friends
of Callawassie;
And a painted mural in the
new Children’s area painted by
Betty Luntley.
And so much more! This would
not have been possible without
the countless trips by All My
Sons Moving and Storage to pick
these things up, store them and
then bring them to us at our new
So when you come to visit, please
take some time to look at our
donor board and notice all of the
“in kind” donations we received
from this generous community! ■
new community room from
Temple Beth Yam;
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Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
Thank you 2011 Building HOPE Campaign Major Supporters
We have so many people to thank for bringing our building to life.
Below are the individuals, organizations and foundations who
The “39” Campaign
gave $5,000 or more in cash, in-kind donations or grants to the
Walter Aerni
2011 Building HOPE campaign. Each has been honored by having
a portion of the building named for them. They are as follows:
Janet Benway & Keith
Peter & Sue Bromley
Eugene & Rita Brown
Bette & Ray Caffrey
A Gift of:
Children’s Area
Carol Siddall
Clothing Distribution
“Secret Santa”
Clothing Preparation
Rotary Club of Bluffton
Food Distribution
The Wiebe Family Foundation
Larry & Tressa Clark
Michael & Cathy Corey
David Weekley Homes
Mark & Bernadette DeVoe
Bob & Jan Fierick
Denise & Rick Frame
Michael & Laura Marks
Sevens for Hope Moss
McNair Law Firm, P. A.
Nix Construction Co.
Carl & Peggy Sewell
Palmetto Electric Cooperative
Carol M. Siddall
Lynn Castner & Deonne Parker
Deke Summers
Piggly Wiggly
Anthony & Susan Ying
Reeves Outdoor Catering
Tony & Wendy Schlegel
Sherwin Williams Company
Accurate Lithography
Sign D’ Sign
All My Sons Moving &
Sourcecode LLC
Tanger Outlets
Jim & Lili Coleman
The Island Packet
Congregation Beth Yam
Ward Edwards
Court Atkins Architects
Espy Lumber Company
Sevens for Hope Belfair
Grants & Foundations
Communications Room Sourcecode LLC
Hampton Lake
Michael & Teresa Gannon
Randy & Brenda Jeffcoat
Interview Room #2
Denise & Rick Frame Interview Room #3
David Weekley Homes
Linda Kaufman
The Warehouse Area
All My Sons Moving & Storage
Bill & Christine Loeffler
The Community Room Hargray Communications
Markels Card & Gift Shop
Mark & Diane Cain
The Pantry Community Foundation of the Lowcountry
Interview Room #1 St. Andrew-By-The-Sea United Methodist Church
Joel & Rhonda Rudicil
Jill Jones
Dan & Debbie Lowman
Paul & Margaret Norris
The Volunteer Room
Palmetto Electric Trust
Michael & Joan Orth
The Copy Center
Accurate Lithography
John & Pam Orth
Ex Director’s Office
Peter and Sue Bromley
Todd & Lesli Pitts
Gary & Jacqueline Rosen
Community Association
Hargray Communications
Harris Teeter
Horizon Inc. Plumbing &
JKH Architect LLC
Keenan Development LLC
Low Country Garage
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Mall at Shelter Cove
Berkeley Hall Charity Cup
The Rotary Club of Bluffton
Community Foundation of the Low Country
Friends of Callawassee
La Junta White Stovall Memorial Fund
Long Cove Club Community Endowment
Palmetto Electric Trust
St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist
Church Endowment Fund
While over
400 people
contributed to
our building
campaign, this
list represents
only those
and foundations
who designated
$1,000 or more
in cash, in-kind
or grants to
the capital
Many long
time supporters
continue to give
to our General
operating fund.
In the last year,
over 350 people
gave food,
clothing, diapers,
toys and easter
baskets. We
thank you all!
The “Secret Santa” Anonymous Foundation
The Wiebe Family Foundation
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
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BSH began in 1987
when Mrs. Ida
Martin, a Bluffton
resident, recognized
a great need that
was not being met
for working families
and senior citizens
of Bluffton. At
that time, nearby
Hilton Head Island
had a wonderful
organization whose
mission was to
provide assistance to
islanders in need, but
nothing was available
to help Bluffton
residents when they
had a financial crisis.
Initially working out
of her garage, Mrs.
Martin obtained
resources from
family and friends
and sometimes
went door to
door. Clothing was
donated and food
was obtained by
driving to the grocery
stores on Hilton Head
Island and picking up
outdated food items.
Over the years, the
agency’s location
changed four times.
Prior to our recent
move, Bluffton Self
Help was located in
the former police
station in downtown
Bluffton with a
lease at the cost
of $1 per year. As
of November, the
agency moved to a
new building at 39
Sheridan Park Circle
in Sheridan Park, in
The new space
offers over 6,800
square feet of space.
Bluffton Self Help has
grown to provide a
variety of services
that include shortterm emergency
financial assistance
to working families in
a documented crisis
with past due rents
to prevent eviction
and utility bills
including electricity,
propane gas and
water to prevent
disconnection of
services, medications,
children’s program
and minor home
Launch of alternative new
building project and start of
the $1.0 million “Building Hope
BSH “Extreme Makeover” coat
collection and distribution of
over 600 coats.
u 14
3rd Annual “BASH at the Lake”
fundraiser most successful event
Ida Martin receives
Citizens Medal” from
President Obama at a
special White House
Lili Coleman
named Bluffton
Self Help’s new
Executive Director
and Julie Del
Guercio named
Assistant Director.
2011... significant milestones
BSH’s dream for a new
building becomes reality
as operations begin at 39
Sheridan Park
Ida Martin Scholarship and
Education Assistance program
debuts on a test basis
repairs to working
families and seniors
on fixed incomes.
In 2010, Bluffton
Self Help provided
62,000 items of food
to 11,600 people and
provided clothing to
almost 9,000 people.
Additionally, Bluffton
Self Help provided
$128,000 to 513
families for shortterm emergency
assistance towards
housing/utility bills,
medical assistance or
children’s programs
assistance. Bluffton
Self Help staff and
volunteers coordinate
Thanksgiving dinners
to families in need,
as well as toys at
Christmas to children
of families that could
not afford Christmas
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
2011 in Review
BSH is the only non-profit organization in the Bluffton area that
provides short-term emergency financial assistance to clients who
are in a crisis situation, as well as free food and free donated clothing.
Increase the number of individuals we
“End hunger
and foster selfsufficiency within
our community.”
“Founded in 1987
to help Bluffton
neighbors in
critical need
of short term
assistance, food
and clothing,
while supporting
them to become
more self-reliant.”
Increase both the number of
are able to serve and help, especially in
clients we serve and the amount
our ever-growing Financial Assistance
of food, clothing and financial
support we provide them.
Without impact on the donations and
Enhance BSH’s identity and image
grants needed to support our core
as a compassionate, responsive
missions, conduct a new Building
and easy-to-work-with leader and
Campaign, including an operations
provider of social services to those
endowment fund, in order to more safely,
in need regardless of race, creed
effectively and efficiently serve our ever-
or color.
increasing client base.
To always provide our services to clients
in a consistent, compassionate, and
responsive way and in a setting and
location that is not degrading to them.
Strive for “best practices” with our staff,
volunteers and board.
Sustain BSH’s role as the major provider of
basic social services in our community to
anyone in need of them.
Successfully implement our new
building project and campaign,
targeting occupancy January 2013.
Achieve at least a 10% increase
in contributions and donations
for our Financial Assistance
Program. Improve our operational
excellence without sacrificing our
unique character.
Continue to become more proactive
and visible within the business, public
and religious sectors of Bluffton in
order to generate more community
awareness and support of our
organization and its programs and
Strengthen our partnerships with other
non-profits to best serve our clients
with synergistic support while avoiding
duplication of efforts and client abuse.
Sustain our strong alliances and
effective networking with local officials,
agencies, churches, and schools in
order aid us in meeting our goals and
Conduct more aggressive fund raising
with more focus on grant submissions.
Continue to “upgrade” the board
of directors with high-profile and
experienced members who will be
fully engaged and committed to
the activities, vision and goals of the
Utilize our new non-paid position
of Volunteer Coordinator and board
support to attract, train, and sustain a
quality and compassionate volunteer base.
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
15 u
2011 in Review
BSH is fully integrated and highly visible both within the
United Way Agency network and with related community
Bargain Box for our excess clothing that we do not
have space to store
Referrals to/from the Red Cross, the Salvation
groups including the following:
Army, the Pregnancy Center and the Off Island
“Second Helpings” who delivers food three days a
Cancer Thrift Store for assistance in their treatment
week. These critical deliveries constitute the majority
of what we distribute during our Tuesday, Wednesday
and Friday food distribution mornings to nearly 300
people each week.
A major collaboration with our “sister” organization
Deep Well
Close cooperation and support to and / from various
religious centers including St. Gregory the Great,
Church of the Cross, Lowcountry Community Church,
St. Francis by the Sea (CS&J), Holy Family Church
(St. Vincent de Paul), Congregation Beth Yam,
Lowcountry Presbyterian Church, Live Oak Christian
Church, Lord of the Life Lutheran Church, Campbell
Chapel AME Church, First Baptist Church and others
Beaufort County Alliance for Human Services
Literacy Foundation of the Lowcountry
Department of Social Services
Lowcountry Legal Aid for client legal issues
Med 1 Assist for our clients without health insurance
Habitat for Humanity when a homeowner is having
trouble paying a mortgage or may qualify for their
Family Promise for our families facing eviction
u 16
medical bills
CODA “outpatients” who need help getting started
with food, linens, blankets and toiletries
The Boys and Girls Club for special needs and
tuition assistance
The Bluffton School District and their social workers
for providing uniforms and back-to-school supplies.
We continue to enjoy the experience and commitment
of our Assistant Director, Julie Del Guercio.
Board leadership & commitment
Bluffton Self Help has an exceptionally active, hard
working and “hands-on” board of directors from the
president down. During the past 18 months, the
executive leadership has recruited high-level former
business executives onto the board, whom have
dramatically evolved Bluffton Self Help into a highlyrespected agency. All board members participate in
the food distribution days, event planning, building
fundraising and other committee assignments. They
BSH also works closely on a daily basis with the area’s
are very committed to making sure proceeds from all
gas, water and electric utilities in negotiating lower
fundraising efforts benefit the clients and support
payments for our clients, extended payment periods,
the mission. In the upcoming months, the board
elimination of service and penalty charges, delaying
will be investigating planned giving programs and
shut off and reducing the bills to those we provide
creating a gift acceptance policy. In the 2011 United
Way proposal, the board committed to creating a
scholarship program.
Bluffton Self Help now employs two full time
employees. We have hired Lili Coleman as executive
As of November 30th, BSH has achieved 85% of its $1.0
director. Lili holds both a bachelor and master degree
million capital building campaign goal which covers
in marketing, advertising and journalism and eight
the purchase and renovation of the new building and
years of previous nonprofit and fundraising experience.
establishment of a 10-year operational endowment
She also comes with 12 years of retail marketing and
fund. Bluffton Self Help is confident this goal will be
sponsorship generating experience.
reached within the next 90 days. ■
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
We are partnering with WSAV TV
this year to collect unwrapped
toys for needy kids this year. Nine
drop off locations throughout the area make your
support convenient and hassle free.
FOR MORE INFO: www.blufftonselfhelp.org
PNONE: 843 757 8000
The May River Theater group is
really spreading the holiday cheer
this Christmas season by staging
a special theater event called
CHRISTMAS, A MUSICAL REVIEW. Written and directed
by Kelly Alcorn, Christine Grefe, Adam Rich and Pete
Zeleznik. The admission fee includes a toy collection for
BSH’s Holiday for Hope program.
Theater at 843 815 5581
Jack­ets, coats and sweaters can be
dropped off at local
col­lec­tion sites through
Decem­ber 31. Bluffton
Self Help will then dis­
trib­ute the dona­tions to
fam­i­lies in need. FOR
PNONE: 843 757 8000
It’s official. Bluffton Self Help will host
a regional sanctioned chili cookoff
on Saturday, February 25 at Tanger
2. The call for cooks will be issued in
early December with a cut off for
registration on January 30.
call 843 757 8000
to benefit BSH! Join us for a special
showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on
the big screen and under the stars.
Bring your beach chairs & blankets.
Enjoy hot toddies and movie snacks!
COST: $20 per car with 100% of
proceeds going to BSH. Bring an
un–wrapped toy to help Christmas
dreams come true for the children in the
Bluffton community.
BASH 2012
4th annual GALA and fundraiser.
The 2012 event is sure to be our
best ever! To find our more, or
become an event volunteer,
please contact Linda Kaufman, our
BASH chairperson.
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
17 u
Ida Martin
continued from page 4
waiting outside the dining area for the rest
of us. She had wakened at 6 am, showered
and relaxed a bit before dressing and coming
down for breakfast. She looked so chic and
ready to start her day. Her new shoes were
already creating a problem, so as soon as she
sat down for breakfast, she called her daughter,
Constance, to bring her comfortable shoes.
She wasn’t risking any detail to interfere with
her day with the President. Ida ate a hearty
breakfast. We went into the lobby to await the
reporter from Scripps Howard, scheduled to
meet with us at 9:30 am.
9:30 am: The reporter, Ariana Stone,
was seated in the lobby and waiting for us.
Constance had the video camera pointed to
Ida, documenting the interview. We drew the
attention of other hotel guests and one came
over to ask who Ida was. The man introduced
himself as Author Ray Arsenault, of “Freedom
Riders.” After a brief introduction of Arsenault
to Ida Martin and a photo, with video camera
running, the media interview proceeded. Also
in the lobby we were pleased to meet another
recipient, Camilla Bloomquest, the oldest of
the recipients, accompanied by her daughter.
At the youthful age of 94, Bloomquest was
being recognized for creating “Millie’s Place” an
agency much like Bluffton Self Help, located in
the Finger Lakes of New York.
10:15 am We were to finally meet Andy
Parker, our White House contact these past
few weeks. Andy walked into the lobby and
immediately put faces with names. He was
patient and understanding as the five award
u 18
recipients gathered up their belongings and
slowly filed into the van to be transported to
the White House. Ida was the first person in
the van. She was seated and waiting for the
rest to board.
10:45 am We pulled through three security
points, handing over passports and drivers
licenses necessary to enter the White House.
At the first check point, a K9 team, circled
the van with their bomb-smelling large dog,
checking out the vehicle. The driver, one of
the official transporters for the White House,
was among those checked thoroughly. The
next check point was a smooth pass through
and we exited the van to enter the third
This was the direct access into the White
House. We were greeted by young, polite
and gracious White House aides who gave us
instructions on how to pass through the final
security screen. All gifts from the recipients
including baseball hat, the two RED aprons
from Bluffton Self Help and a variety of other
items, were collected by White House staff
and not permitted to go any further with the
recipients. The security check at this point
was similar to airport security screening. Once
through security, the walkway led us up and
to the left to enter the East Wing of the White
House building. On the left of the two door
entrance, people touring the White House
entered. On the right side was the door for
guests with appointments and that was us.
Passing by the tour groups, you could see the
curiosity in their eyes as they searched our
faces, trying to identify those of us being
ushered into a reception room.
11:15 am We were directed to enter
the first room on the right, just prior to
the reception desk. This receiving room
was graced by a large beautiful chandelier
centering the room with overstuffed chairs
circling the perimeter of the room. On
the walls were portraits of past first ladies.
Ida choked up at this point and broke
into tears. She was so overwhelmed with
feelings of wonderment and excitement.
She said she couldn’t help but cry. As she
tried to compose herself, she wanted to
know whose portrait was hanging behind
her and I told her it was “Bessie” Truman.
Painted by Greta Kempton, she served as
the White House artist during the Truman
administration. Constance was busy walking,
counterclockwise, around the room with her
video camera, calling out the names of the
other portraits on the walls. All the recipients
were now together, awaiting instructions.
12:05 pm We followed the White House
aides as they led us up a ramp, into the
Garden Room, through the Colonnade and
Visitors Foyer, past the White House tours.
In the hallway, leading out of this first room
were family pictures hanging on the walls of
the President, first lady and their daughters.
Some pictures included young visitors
playing croquet and planting the Kennedy
garden. We were led to the Diplomatic
Room. It is located on the ground floor and is
used as an entrance from the South Lawn. It
is a reception room for foreign ambassadors
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000
(L) Lili Coleman with Ida
Martin. (R) President
Obama addresses the
Citizens Medal winners
in the White House Blue
to present their credentials. Upon entering,
above the doorway was the Presidential Seal.
On the center left hand side of the room
was a fireplace. Ida found a comfortable
antique chair to relax in as we waited again for
instructions. Recipients mingled around the
room, explored the passage to the South Lawn
and introduced themselves, sharing stories
on how they learned they were a recipient of
this medal. The walls of this room are painted
with murals depicting panoramic Zuber et
Cie wallpaper “Scenes of North America.” The
Diplomatic Room is one of three oval rooms in
the residence of the White House.
12:45 pm It was now time for the
debriefing. We were led to the second floor.
As soon as we reached the top of the-second
floor, the room where the ceremony was
to take place was directly in front of you.
The recipients were assigned their seats on
the stage, and the guests took a seat in the
audience section. The debriefing began.
The staff instructed where the President will
stand and how they were to stand to the right
of the President. They were told what stairs
they would use to enter the stage, and what
stairs to use to exit the stage. A member
of the military would read the citations and
when their name is announced, they would
take their place next to the President. The
President would hand them their medal and
when the citation ended, they were to return
to their seat.
1:00 pm We were ushered to the Blue Room
to await the beginning of the ceremony. The
Blue Room is the center of the State Floor
of the White House, and a customary place
for Presidents to formally receive guests. In
the center of the room on marble-top table
purchased by James Monroe in 1917 was the
traditional decorative flower arrangement.
Near the arrangement were apples and
cookies for the recipients and their guests.
While seated in the Blue Room, I learned
more about the selection process from one of
the White House staff members. The entire
White House staff was invited to preview
the nominations and choose those to be
further considered. Narrowed down to 200
candidates, those nominations were further
reviewed. The final candidates were sent to
the President, and he selected the 13 finalists.
Recipients and their guests wandered
into the adjacent room, The Green Room,
exploring the surroundings and grasping this
rare chance to see the rooms in the White
House. The Green Room is a small parlor for
hosting guests and encouraging informal
conversations. Completely refurbished in 1971,
the room features delicate green watered
silk fabric, coral and gilt ornamental cornices
surmounted by a pair of hand-carved gilded
American eagles with outspread wings. The
eagle, patriotic symbol of the United States,
was one of the favorite decorative motifs of
the federal period and appears in many forms
in this room.
1:15 pm We just learned that there would be
a delay of about an hour. Outside in the foyer,
the orchestra was setting up, along with high
tables and a bar. The other guests allowed by
each recipient were starting to arrive and the
excitement was mounting. We moved out to
the Cross Hall to enjoy a reception. Ida’s family
members surrounded her for a group toast,
documented again on video. Ida laughed,
held her water glass high and welcomed the
1:45 pm The White House media
representative found Ida on the only couch
in Cross Hall, sitting under George H Bush
portrait. It was time for her interview that
would appear on the White House website
for a year. She was led to the Red Room. On
camera, she described the work of the agency.
www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011
19 u
“Oh my, this is one day I will always remember.”
The Red Room received its name in the 1840s
from its vivid color scheme, made all the more
striking by its small size. The room serves as
a state parlor and has long been a favorite of
presidents and their families due to its intimate
scale and distinctive décor.
1:50 pm Candace informed Ida she had
placed a bottle of water near her chair on
stage and handed her a throat tablet to use if
Ida started to cough and needed relief.
2:00 pm Recipients were directed back into
the Blue Room to meet the President. The rest
of us were directed to the ceremonial room.
The wait was over.
2:05 PM We all moved with eager anticipation
into the presentation room to claim our
“saved seats” marked by my personal items.
Ida’s family members found their seats minus
one that was taken by another guest. We
were one chair short. Ida’s 8 year old great
grandson, Belize was strategically seated on
the end aisle to assure he had an opportunity
to shake the President’s hand. We spotted a
no-show next to Candace in the front row and
Ida’s granddaughter quickly claimed the seat
solving the seating issue. Lining the entire
back wall, the working press was prepped for
the ceremony, with cameras armed with lights,
u 20
illuminating the scene. Secret service agents
lined the mid aisle in preparation for the
President’s entrance.
2:15 PM One by one the recipient’s names
were called and they were escorted to the
stage. On the arm of a uniformed Marine, Ida
made her way to her designated seat.
2:20 pm The President was announced. He
entered the room and everyone applauded
and stood up. You could hear the clicks
and see the flashes of hundreds of cameras
dancing in his direction He quickly took
his place behind the podium. You can only
imagine the excitement and exchange of
surprise looks by our little group of guests
when, after a short introduction, he started
the recipients’ stories with “In 1987…..” We
knew it was Ida’s story and we exchanged
knowing smiles between us in the second
row. What a feeling, to be there and witness
this amazing tribute to Ida Martin. One by one
the honorees started to receive their medals.
It was Ida’s turn. She gracefully rose from her
chair and made her way to the right of the
President, with the assistance of her ceramic
white, rose-flowered walking stick. She stood
humbly by his side, looking shyly out at the
audience. In one brief moment, Ida slowly
By clicking on the picture above, you can see videos of all of
the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal honorees.
looked up as he looked down, exchanging a warm smile
of acknowledgement as the words of her 24-year deeds
were read, meriting the Presidential Citizens Medal. Then,
as hoped, Ida made her move. She turned toward Obama,
outstretched her arms and embraced her President in a
huge, warm hug and he hugged her back.The silence of
the special moment was followed, much to everyone’s
surprise, by cheers from the media, the first after the
individual presentations. We were, again, very proud of our
2:35 pm At the conclusion, the President walked the front
row of the audience, stretching out to shake the hands of
the guests. He made a special effort to reach out to the
children, and yes, Belize did shake the President’s hand.
The recipients, one by one, were ushered out of the room,
followed by their guests to enjoy champagne, wine, soft
drinks and delicious appetizers in the South Portico. “Oh
my, this is one day I will always remember,” Ida said. Ida
Martin had lived her dream. She had gotten up close and
personal with Barack Obama.. ■
Credits: Layout & Design by Christine Loeffler [www.sinclairloeffler.com] / Photography by Rob Kaufman [www.kaufmanphotography.com]
Ms. Ida Martin:
Help Matters | HOLIDAY 2011 www.blufftonselfhelp.org | 843 757 8000