New volunteer program launched by Crisis Ministries

Roper St. Francis executives and physicians volunteering in soup kitchen (Isaac McEntyre/WCIV)

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- Feeding the homeless, that's how some Roper St. Francis executives and physicians spent their lunch break on Monday.

"I don't very often do a hands-on in the community activity and I came to learn and I came to be educated and to a tiny degree to serve," said Stanley Wilson, local physician and president of the Medical Society of South Carolina. "I think it is important for it and to have awareness in the community that we live in."

Wilson and the rest of Monday's volunteers helped launch the Crisis Ministries' new VIP Volunteer Program, which was designed to encourage business leaders from the community to help out at the shelter.

"Our hope is that executives at all kinds of different industries, people from all levels within companies in the local community will view volunteering in this way as a real way not just to give back to the community, but also to strengthen their own organization," said Stacey Denaux, CEO of Crisis Ministries.

Individuals with The Medical Society of South Carolina and Roper St. Francis Healthcare also wanted to volunteer as a way to celebrate the 500 hundred thousand dollars that the two organizations raised for the Crisis Ministries' new health clinic.

"We are glad to participate personally and financially and help the growth of this very important service in our community," said Wilson.

Crisis Ministries hopes that their new VIP program will encourage more people to give back to the community.

"I think people who volunteer at Crisis Ministries feel like they are part of something bigger," said Denaux, Crisis Ministries' CEO. "It's important to provide someone with a meal, but it's also important to be part of an organization that is addressing much more than simply feeding someone who is hungry. It's really about trying to put a dent in poverty and trying to put an end to homelessness one person at a time."

The organization's new health clinic will be much bigger, have more up-to-date equipment, feature a dental chair, and create more privacy for the patients. The facility along with other additions to the property should be completed no later than the end of 2013.

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