Starving for Support
James Island Outreach pull out all the stops for second-annual culinary compilation, awareness event, fundraiser
By Charlie Morrison
For all of James Island’s collective zeal, for all the passion Island residents so unabashedly put on display when it comes to roads, grand trees, bicycle safety, and intersections, for all of the credence residents here pay to “community,” that that the problem of hunger and malnutrition on James Island is but a blip on the collective community radar boggles the mind. Home to a diverse collection of residents, businesses, and community organizations, James Island is not without resources, and while James Island has much to offer, little has trickled down to essential, grassroots community support groups that so many on the island depend on. One such organization, James Island Outreach, led by the efforts of Executive Director, Pastor Joseph Barbour, however, is still smiling as the group’s Second Annual “Taste of James Island’s Churches” event set to go off this weekend, is a hopeful one.
More than a dozen churches will be in attendance for Saturday’s event, each serving up their respective culinary creations for all to taste. The event is one part cook-off, one part feast, and one part fundraiser, with Barbour and other Outreach representatives utilizing the opportunity to remind attendees that while their stomachs may be full, others’ on James Island are going hungry. There will be live music from a host of musicians and praise groups, activities organized for the kids, and easy parking at the James Island Christian Church.
“This is an opportunity for us to come together in fellowship as a community and also to try to raise funds, donations and awareness for Outreach,” says Barbour. “We are here for the community, we are here to help those in need, but we need help as well … and not just financially, with awareness. There are still a lot of people going through struggles that aren’t even aware we are here to assist them, even with things like food, minor home repairs … even utility bills, when we have the money.
“And of the folks that do know we’re here the need fluctuates … we may get 15 new clients in a month when we have gotten 15 to the point where they don’t need assistance anymore. It’s a fluctuating thing, but it’s a constant fluctuation like the ocean … the waves come in and the waves go out,” chuckles Barbour.
“And that’s a good thing … that people don’t look at it as a permanent fixture, especially when we’re dealing with seniors. Typically, our clients are in the position where they’re either going to buy medicine or they’re going to eat … and we’re a place where they can come get something to eat and help in getting James Island’s needy the medication they need,” he continues.
Next year will mark a quarter-century that James Island Outreach has served James Island and the greater region’s needy, but as the organization remains in dire need of business partnerships, sponsors, and financial assistance, the question remains if James Island has collectively returned the favor. For those looking to get involved, Saturday’s event would undoubtedly be a good place to start.
The “Taste of James Island Churches” event will be held rain or shine, at the James Island Christian Church, at 15 Crosscreek drive (behind the Folly Rd. McDonald’s). You can contact the organization through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JamesIslandOutreach, reach them by phone at 762-3653, or stop by the group’s headquarters, located at 1853 Maybank Hwy. from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
© 2013 Wiser Time Publishing, Inc.