College pals turning temp
jobs into lifeline for homeless
By PETE DeMARCO
Vice president, In Every Story
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
13, 2010 -- It started with a still, small voice -- the kind we
so often ignore -- telling recent Furman graduate and Mount Pleasant
native Derek Snook to draw closer to the homeless. Derek had returned
to Charleston after four months of volunteering at Christ Gift Academy
in Mbita, Kenya. He felt a call to serve his home community, and,
in June 2009, he voluntarily became a resident of the Star Gospel
Mission, a transitional housing facility for formerly homeless men,
located on Meeting Street.
moving into the mission, Derek discovered that many of the homeless
and near-homeless members of this community work as day laborers.
The men he was living with would arrive at a day labor agency by
6 a.m. Some days they would receive work. Some days they would wait
for hours in vain. The low wages, agency fees, and severe job instability
which characterize day labor made it nearly impossible to escape
poverty no matter how hard they worked. They were trapped.
decided to work day labor himself. He noticed that the agencies'
lax vetting procedures and the workers' low morale meant that local
businesses' demands for high-quality temporary employees were not
being satisfied. He saw an opportunity. In Every Story was incorporated
Sept. 25, 2009.
was at this point that Derek dared me, his roommate at Furman, to
join him at the mission, not expecting that I would take him up
on the offer. Now we're in it together.
Snook during a recent presentation.
is a temporary labor agency that demonstrates the love of Christ
as it partners with the homeless and near-homeless on their paths
to self-sufficiency. Once it is operational, IES (under the d.b.a.
IES Professional Labor) will provide its clients with consistent
temporary employment. It will offer employers that use day labor
a superior quality product at a competitive price.
is how it will work: Potential clients will be referred through
the Star Gospel Mission, Crisis Ministries, and other community
partners. IES will only accept workers motivated to attain self-sufficiency.
IES will offer clients consistent work and help connect them to
wrap-around services. The biggest difference, however, between IES
and other temp agencies will be the Hope Fund.
ever setting foot on a job site, clients and IES officers will identify
a goal that will increase the client's self-sufficiency. It may
be the first month's rent on an apartment, a used car, or additional
education. Once the goal is set and the initial drug screening is
passed, the client will be sent out to work. For every hour that
a client works, a sum of $1.50 (IES will increase this figure as
it grows) will be deposited into the Hope Fund. If the client works
the agreed-upon number of hours, and if he or she has showed up
and stayed clean, IES will write a check directly to the apartment
complex, used car lot, or educational institution corresponding
with the client's goal.
only high performers will be eligible for the Hope Fund, all clients
will have an incentive to become high performers. The contractors,
municipal and county authorities, and other businesses that use
our day laborers will notice the difference that investing in these
workers can make.
it expands to forty clients in its second year, IES will be a self-sustaining
social enterprise. The model lends itself to replication in cities
throughout South Carolina and beyond.
Every Story is currently raising the start-up funds necessary to
open its doors and put five homeless and near-homeless individuals
to work. To donate or obtain more information, contact Derek Snook
at 327-8456, e-mail us at email@example.com,
or write to 474 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29403.
local and state specialty foods on the front burner
ANN THRASH, editor
13, 2010 -- In the past few weeks we've gotten word of several new
Lowcountry or Palmetto State food products that you might want to
haven't sampled them all -- yet -- but we've been impressed with
what we've tried so far. Be on the lookout for these local brands
in stores and restaurants near you.
Sugar-Free Cocktail Mixes: A Mount Pleasant couple, Scott and
Stephanie Meadows, have developed a line of really delicious cocktail
mixes that are low in calories and have no carbs and no sugar. Scales
Cocktail Mixer varieties include a margarita mix, sweet-'n'-sour
mix, strawberry daiquiri mix and, soon, a Bloody Mary mix. According
to the company's Facebook
fan page, the Bloody Mary mix will be out in about two weeks
and will be co-branded with Texas Pete hot sauce.
name "Scales" refers both to the scaly sea creatures on
the bottles' labels and the fact that you can "Scale Back the
Calories, Not the Taste," as the company's
Web site says. After sampling the margarita mix recently, we
can vouch for that claim: This is good stuff, and it's great to
be able enjoy some of those popular cocktails without the sickly-sweet
aftertaste, calories and carbs that come with the sugary versions
of the drinks.
Scales mixes can be found in Lowcountry Piggly Wiggly stores and
a growing number of restaurants and other locations. You'll find
a full list of retailers at the company Web site.
Sweet Tea Lemonade and Southern Lemonade: The Firefly empire
just keeps on growing. The newest products to hit store shelves-
- just in time for another hot, humid, Lowcountry summer -- are
Firefly Sweet Tea Lemonade and Southern Lemonade. The Sweet Tea
Lemonade is a blend of original Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade,
and the Southern Lemonade blends Firefly's straight vodka with lemonade.
The cocktails come in 1.75-liter and single-serving four-packs and
are ready to pour over ice and enjoy.
Firefly is now the largest distillery in the state. In addition
to the two lemonades, it also produces Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka,
four Sweet Tea Vodka flavors (lemon, raspberry, mint and peach),
Handcrafted Vodka, Sweet Tea Bourbon and Sea Island Rums.
Sweet Onions: We've heard about these but haven't gotten our
hands on any just yet- - and we can't wait to try them. The S.C.
Department of Agriculture and a group of growers introduced these
South Carolina sweet onions a few weeks ago up in Lexington County.
The hope is that they'll rival Georgia's Vidalia onions in taste
- and in sales and marketing, too.
onions will have a "Certified SC Grown" label and will
be available initially at Piggly Wiggly and IGA stores. (Here's
a shout out to the Pig for being a longtime supporter of state-produced
the onions were introduced to the press at the end of April, the
harvest was set to begin in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled
for them - and, hopefully, your eyes will be as free of tears with
Palmetto Sweets as they are with Vidalias.
Thrash is the editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on the South
Carolina Aquarium, the #1 attraction in Charleston. The aquarium
offers interactive excitement and value for visitors of all ages.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the South Carolina Aquarium
aims to inspire conservation of the natural world by exhibiting
and caring for animals, by excelling in education and research,
and by providing an exceptional visitor experience. Guests can explore
new exhibits such as a rare albino alligator, Penguin Planet with
four Magellanic penguins, the Touch Tank featuring Atlantic stingrays,
the 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank featuring sharks and moray eels
as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at the extraordinary
care that is provided to rescued sea turtles in the Sea Turtle Hospital.
Check out the daily educational programs with animal feedings and
dive shows. Start planning a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium
today at www.scaquarium.org.
Charleston introduces first no-cost incubator space
PETER LUCASH, contributing editor
13, 2010 -- Spark
Charleston, a small group of diverse local professionals dedicated
to the development of high-potential startups in the Charleston
region, unveiled its first incubator space at an open house on May
3. This first Spark Charleston facility is located at 480 East Bay
St., Suite E, and will provide desk space, basic office amenities
and strategic support at no cost for 12 to 16 ambitious people representing
high-potential companies from all industries.
group emphasizes that the Spark Charleston facility is an altruistic
venture and, while there may eventually be a way to monetize the
effort, there are no immediate plans to generate a profit. Selected
businesses will be given six-month tenancies, must define a measurable
goal to accomplish during their stay and must provide a midway progress
report. Interested? The Spark application is available at http://bit.ly/91IK1p.
record-setting year for the Fourth Annual i5K
Charleston Digital Corridor's Fourth Annual iFive:K, held on April
22, was a rousing success, with perfect weather and a record 640
registered runners, walkers and shufflers. Neville Miller broke
through the finish line with a record-breaking time, followed by
female first-place winner Anne Clinton.
Digital Corridor will donate a portion of the race proceeds to the
Burke Scholarship Fund. This donation will be earmarked for a student
seeking higher education in a technology-related field.
@ the Corridor: Innovation in Charleston
May "Fridays @ the Corridor" series, hosted by the Charleston
Digital Corridor, will feature three of Charleston's most innovative
companies - eThority, Peoplematter and BoomTown. This showcase of
Digital Corridor companies will be held on May 21 from 8:30 a.m.
to 9:30 a.m. at the Flagship, 475-A East Bay St. If you would like
to attend this event, please contact Kimberly Taylor or call 814-8075
The nonmember fee is $20.
Media Club plans networking happy hour
Social Media Club will be hosting a low-key event on Thursday, May
20. The club has held some great meetings over the past few months,
so members decided to slow it down a bit to enjoy an evening outside
and have a networking happy hour. Join them at Taco Boy (downtown)
from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 20.
Lucash is a Charleston-based businessman who runs Digital
CPE, a training, consulting and information media company that
works to improve the business management of organizations. You can
read and subscribe to the full edition of the Business
Indigo blog here.
site hopes to create online village for local moms
a new arrival in the Lowcountry: NewbyMom.com,
which bills itself as "Charleston's only local mom-driven Web
site." A kickoff party to celebrate the new site will be held
at noon May 21 at Founders Hall at Charles Towne Landing, and it's
open to the public.
by seven "professional moms," the online subscription-based
Web site will offer a network of online resources for mothers, including
chat rooms for mom-to-mom Q&As; reviews of childcare centers,
pediatricians and educational facilities; a Consigning Corner to
recycle children's clothing; a bulletin board for child care needs;
beauty tips for moms on the go; interactive health and wellness
videos; and a community calendar with family-friendly events
will include local moms Cathy O'Hara and Angela May, both former
Charleston television anchors. The site's creator and editor-in-chief
is Katie Newingham, who has more than 10 years of new-media management
I was pregnant with my daughter, I had so many questions about local
resources. I scoured the Internet to find a place where I could
connect with other local moms and get advice on doctors, child care
and other new-mom-related questions. When I couldn't find what I
was looking for, I decided then and there to devote my skills and
abilities to creating an online network to help other new local
moms," says Newingham. "It takes a village to raise a
child, and I want to help moms find their village."
McCrady's chef to
open new restaurant, Sazerac, this fall
ingredients and classic cocktails will be the mainstays when national
award-winning chef Sean Brock of McCrady's opens a new restaurant
this fall in downtown Charleston. The restaurant, to be named Sazerac,
is expected to open in late fall at 76 Queen St. It will only feature
food that's indigenous to the South. "If it ain't Southern,
it ain't walkin' in the door," says Brock, who earlier this
month won a prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef in the Southeast.
menu will include plenty of items grown, raised and prepared by
local farmers, fisherman and food artisans, including items from
the restaurant's own Thornhill Farm, a 100-acre site in McClellanville.
Brock says he drew on memories of the food he grew up with, as well
as recipes from 19th-century cookbooks, in developing the menu.
His modern interpretations of Southern classics will feature dishes
such as Wood-Fired Young Chicken with Black Pepper Dumplings and
"Reverend Taylor" Butter Beans; Smoky Mississippi Catfish
with Choppee Indian Okra and Preserved Garden Tomatoes; and Sarsparilla-Glazed
Crossabaw Pork Ribs with Pickled Peaches - all served with a cast-iron
skillet of cornbread and homemade preserves.
who grew up in rural Virginia, has been executive chef at McCrady's
since 2005. He worked previously at Peninsula Grill and several
other acclaimed Southern restaurants. He has recently worked on
a seed-saving project to help reintroduce pre-Civil War crops to
which gets its name from a classic cocktail of New Orleans, will
offer dinner seven days a week and lunch six days a week, with brunch
on Sunday. For ongoing updates on the progress of the restaurant,
County's 'Living Green'
TV show to look at water conservation
you know the source of your tap water? Do you know the real differences
between tap and bottled water? This month, "Living Green,"
the 30-minute green lifestyles TV show produced by Charleston County
government, looks at those questions and more in an episode titled
"Water Conservation and Charleston Water System." The
show will air Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on WTAT Fox 24
(Comcast channel 6) and 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on My TV Charleston
(WMMP, Comcast channel 13).
show is funded through a $236,498 U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant
given for Charleston County's continuing participation in its Project
Impact Partnership Program, which aims to reduce local air and water
pollution through public education programs.
TV show is part of an extensive educational campaign that we have
taken on in order to provide information and assistance to our citizens
on ways to reduce pollution and improve our air and water quality
in order to protect the environment for future generations,"
says Carl Simmons, Charleston County's Building Inspections Director
who oversees the County's Project Impact program.
us your reviews
If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Ann Thrash.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
John P. Grace
(Second of two parts)
to United States involvement in World War I, John Patrick Grace
edited the Charleston American from 1916 to 1917. Pro-German and
anti-British, the newspaper attacked President Woodrow Wilson and
Governor Manning on the war issue and eventually lost its bulk mail
rate. To save the paper, Grace resigned as editor.
old bridge named for the late John P. Grace
1919 Grace was again elected mayor of Charleston with one campaign
theme-control of the docks. During this administration (1919-1923),
Grace bought the decaying wharves from the Terminal Company and
waged a tenacious battle to create the Ports Utility Commission-the
forerunner of the State Ports Authority-to manage the docks. Also,
Grace provided free education at Charleston High School and the
College of Charleston and promoted downtown development through
the construction of the Fort Sumter and Francis Marion hotels.
1923 Thomas P. Stoney defeated Grace in another bitterly contested
election. Out of office, Grace still continued his interest in Charleston's
development. He made perhaps his greatest contribution to the city
with the opening of the Cooper River Bridge in 1929. Grace was president
of Cooper River Bridge, Inc., which built the bridge connecting
Charleston with Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's Island, and the Isle
of Palms. Grace's dream was to make the Isle of Palms a tourist
destination that rivaled Miami, Florida. The bridge was a financial
failure, however, and Charleston County bought it in 1941 and soon
sold it to the state.
died in Charleston on June 25, 1940, and was buried in St. Lawrence
Cemetery. In 1943 the Cooper River Bridge was renamed the Grace
Memorial Bridge in his honor.
Excerpted from the entry by Alexia Jones Helsley and Terry Lynn
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always been a great way to keep fit and flexible, and in recent
months hip-hop classes have been getting lots of attention around
town as a fun way to work out.
who teaches "peacelovehiphop classes" on Daniel Island
for grownups and kids, says the buzz about the classes spread so
quickly that she was asked to establish James Island, West Ashley
and Hanahan classes as well. No wonder: In addition to the dancing,
her classes include T-shirts, CDs with songs from the routines,
eucalyptus towels at the end of class, and e-mailed tips on nutrition
and living a positive life. Here are Angel's "top five songs
that you're likely to learn a booty-shakin' routine to at a peacelovehiphop
Out," by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland
"My Chick Bad," by Ludacris
"Rude Boy," by Rihanna
"Boom, Boom, Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas
Ladies," by Beyonce
To learn more,
go to PeaceLoveHipHop.com,
become a Facebook
fan or follow the program on Twitter @chashiphop.
of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain
alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid
of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big
things, and happy in small ways."
Wharton, American novelist (1862-1937)
VS. BRACK CONTEST
to adopt a duck
To adopt a
duck in the Charleston Duck Race and have a chance to win part of
$30,000 in cash and prizes -- and maybe $1 million -- go
to this Web site. Then complete these steps:
- Click on
the registration link and fill out the online form to adopt a
duck of your own.
- In the drop-down
menu beside "Name of Rotary Club," select "East
Cooper Breakfast" if you want to help editor Ann Thrash's
club or "Rotary Club of Charleston" for publisher Andy
- Then fill
in Ann's or Andy's name as the "Rotarian to Be Credited."
Book Signings: 7 p.m. May 14, Joe Riley Park, and 11
a.m. to 1 p.m. May 15, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St.,
downtown. Joseph Wallace will sign copies of his novel "Diamond
Ruby" at a RiverDogs game May 14 and the bookstore on May 15.
The novel is about a female baseball pitcher in Prohibition-era
New York who moves from being a sideshow act on Coney Island to
attracting the attention of gangsters, the Klan, a young Babe Ruth
and boxer Jack Dempsey. More
of the Fleet: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 16, Waterfront
Memorial Park, foot of the Ravenel Bridge, Mount Pleasant. The 23rd
Annual Blessing the Fleet and Seafood Festival has been rescheduled
for this date; originally planned for April 25, it was cancelled
because of inclement weather. Although the fleet has already been
blessed and has started the season, the festival will still feature
local restaurants serving samples of their seafood dishes, music
by the East Coast Party Band, shrimp-eating and shag-dancing contests,
children's activities and a craft show. More
Affair: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 16, Charleston City Marina,
17 Lockwood Drive. Benefit for Communities In Schools (dropout prevention
programs) features tours of exclusive yachts, a silent auction,
entertainment and food by some top local chefs. Tickets: before
May 10, $85 per person or $150 per couple; at the door, $95 per
person or $170 per couple. To purchase: 740-6793 or go
ONGOING AND SOON
Scholars Academy Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. May 19, SCRA MUSC
Innovation Center, 645 Meeting St., downtown. The Charleston Regional
Development Alliance, Charleston Defense Contractors Association,
and Charleston Digital Corridor will host a business breakfast to
introduce the community to Palmetto Scholars Academy, South Carolina's
first public charter school for gifted and talented students. Dr.
Shelagh Gallagher, a nationally recognized expert on curricula for
gifted students who is developing the curriculum plan for the academy,
will be the speaker. Her topic will be "National Excellence:
Averting the Quiet Crisis in Gifted Education." Cost: $25 per
Cruise Meeting: 5 p.m. May 20, the Harbour Club, 35 Prioleau
St., downtown. Women are invited to a get-together to discuss "Cruise
to a More Exciting Life," a Carnival cruise that will depart
from Charleston on Jan. 7 and will offer a series of workshops for
women to help them discover what they would like to change or add
to their lives. A percentage of proceeds from the May 20 event will
to go to the Charleston Breast Center and Pet Helpers. Cost: $5
buffet, $3 drinks (cash only). RSVP by today (May 13) to Diana Bogart,
Friday Family Fest: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 21, Children's
Museum of the Lowcountry, 25 Ann St., downtown. The final Free Friday
Family Fest of the 2009-10 school year. Includes free admission
to the museum, healthy dinner provided by Fazoli's, live music,
games and craft activities and Ms. Jingles the clown. First 150
guests get a free summer-themed book and a return pass to the museum.
Beer Tasting: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 22, Joe Riley Stadium.
A craft beer tasting dubbed "America's Favorite CraftTime"
will be presented by Henry J. Lee Distributors in conjunction with
a RiverDogs game. Sample fine beers from across the country, including
Lagunitas' Undercover Shutdown Ale and Pyramid Brewery's Haywire.
Must be 21 or older. Tickets: $25 each, which includes entry to
the tasting, sampling tickets and a seat for the 7:05 p.m. RiverDogs
game against the Savannah Sand Gnats. More info/tickets: http://www.riverdogs.com.
Skin Cancer Screening: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 12, Whirlin'
Waters Adventure Waterpark, Wannamaker County Park, North Charleston.
The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and MUSC will
man a fully equipped mobile doctor's office to offer free skin cancer
screenings. The mobile unit will also visit the Isle of Palms on
July 10; it will be set up on the front beach from 9 a.m. until
1 p.m. that day. No appointments necessary. More info: 792-1414.
Maritime Archaeology: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 25,
Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St., downtown. Presenters
Ashley Deming, maritime archaeologist, and author/technician Carl
Naylor will feature educational programs offered by the Sport Diver
Archaeology Management Program and highlight projects conducted
at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Artifacts found in South Carolina waters will be shown and discussed.
Free. More info: 805-6930.
Art Tour: 4 p.m. each Thursday, May 28 through June 24,
Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church St., downtown. Explore the art
of portraiture and satirical engravings popular with wealthy colonial
Charlestonians. The Charleston Museum's art collection at the house
features portraits by Jeremiah Theus, Samuel F.B. Morse and Henry
Benbridge; later copies by Johann Stolle and George Whiting Flagg;
and original, irreverent engravings of William Hogarth. Cost: $10
adults, $5 ages 3-12; free for Charleston Museum members. Reservations
not required. More info: 722-2996, ext. 235.
Annual Meeting: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 3, Charleston
Area Convention Center. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's
annual meeting will feature a keynote address from Marco Cavazzoni,
vice president/general manager of Boeing Charleston. Updates on
the past year and the presentation of the 1773 Awards and Workplace
Flexibility Awards included as well. Cost: $55 chamber members,
$85 nonmembers. Registration/more
Growth in down market
Picky Eaters Group
On Jim Fisher
Rural Mission's needs
Fish to buy
to do on 4th
to nab skeeters
the Pump, more
to do locally
guide book for kids
looks at success
SC poll flummoxes
should be state meat
to new grads
veto cigarette tax
weekend of fun
counted in Census
economy is recovering
whips up support
all of the cuts
look at summer camps
should get out
at White House
fair, CED venture
on working with Boeing
library text questions
+ Food fest