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Charleston WINGS helps kids soar on Giving Tuesday, and every day

Charleston WINGS organization helps kids on Giving Tuesday, and every day (WCIV)

Hundreds of organizations are participating in Giving Tuesday, hoping to better their communities.

That includes WINGS, which provides after school programs focusing on social and emotional learning in Title 1 Schools around the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.

“The first word that comes to mind is fulfilling,” said Cheryl Hollis, Director of Programs for WINGS. “It makes you feel like you're a kid. Even when you’re living in the big grown up world.”

WINGS works with 400 Lowcountry students at Burns, Chicora, and North Charleston elementary schools.

“They are under-served students,” Hollis said. “They all attend Title I schools and so they have a lot of challenges both socially and emotionally.”

WINGS has served kids for 23 years in Charleston. It provides after-school teaching, sports, and even field trips to students from low-income homes, hoping to teach them how to manage emotions and interactions with others.

“Our annual budget is about $5.5 million, so that’s a lot,” said Bridget Laird, the CEO of WINGS.

Laird says the Charleston division of WINGS operates on an annual budget around $1 million.

She says WINGS is the only program in the country focusing specifically on social and emotional teaching. She said Giving Tuesday could play a huge role in the program meeting its budget, which is entirely driven by donations.

“It’s hard to have to go back to the drawing board every year and fundraise. It’s a lot of money to need but it’s worth it,” Laird added.

“I like to say it’s why I wake up and do what I do every day,” Hollis said of her time teaching kids. She hopes that feeling rubs off and creates a safe place for the kids to succeed in school and in life.

“When I run across a name that I can recall and know I’ve met that child when I come across the program, those are all the things that really keep me going,” Hollis added.

WINGS is still about $400,000 short of its annual budget needs. To donate, CLICK HERE.

If you’d like to do your research on this or any non-profit before you give, you can go to guidestar.org.

You can search the non-profit and find their tax returns. It’s public information.

You will also find staff salaries—including the CEO’s and other information to make an informed giving decision.

The Group Charity Navigator gave Wings for Kids a score of 91.25 for financial accountability and transparency. Charity Navigator showed Wings for Kids spends 82.7% of its budget on program expenses and services it delivers.

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