Sumter Fireside Fund vital for mom of sick daughters

Sumter Item’s annual fundraiser for Sumter ministry helps with heating bills for community

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 12/5/18

"We are so grateful for the Fireside Fund," Sumter United Ministries Executive Director Mark Champagne said, "and I know a client we will call Gloria who would echo."

Gloria is a mother separated from her husband who cares for four children, two …

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Sumter Fireside Fund vital for mom of sick daughters

Sumter Item’s annual fundraiser for Sumter ministry helps with heating bills for community

Posted

"We are so grateful for the Fireside Fund," Sumter United Ministries Executive Director Mark Champagne said, "and I know a client we will call Gloria who would echo."

Gloria is a mother separated from her husband who cares for four children, two of them grandchildren, he said. She is now the most recent person to benefit from The Sumter Item's annual Fireside Fund, a wintertime fundraiser that funnels money to SUM so it can help the increased amount of people who need heating assistance in cold months.

Each year, the fund is dedicated to a different late member of the community who exemplified the spirit of the fundraiser and of the giving season. This year's Fireside Fund is in honor of Roger Ackerman, a philanthropist who was active in cultural organizations throughout Sumter, the CART Fund and was instrumental in the establishment of the Sumter County Museum's Jewish History Center at Temple Sinai.

Gloria's husband helps financially, Champagne said, and she receives a disability check for two daughters.

As difficult as it sounds, he said, it gets even more complicated because Gloria is currently unemployed, making her unable to meet her expenses.

Gloria had stable employment for 15 years working in a nursing home, but her attendance was not consistent because her two daughters have sickle cell disease, he said. Frequent medical appointments and illnesses kept her from work sometimes with little or no notice.

"Our volunteer intaker was concerned and at a loss about what to suggest for Gloria to do," he said.

One of SUM's interview questions is, "What is your plan for the future?" and Gloria said her plan is to find part-time work, he said.

However, it was easily recognized that Gloria was not very confident because she could likely become unreliable again with her attendance and lose yet another job, Champagne said, continuing the cycle.

"We did provide advice that may help, and for now her heat will remain on. I'm sure that Gloria is grateful for The Sumter Item's effort in administering the Fireside Fund, and we are grateful to share that love with Gloria, our neighbor."

Donations received the week ending Tuesday, Dec. 4:

Robert Fisette, in memory of Nancy Fisette, $5,000; Susan Wollmann, $100; Joann McIntosh, $100; Andrena Ray, $100; Louise L. Brabham, in memory of John M. Brabham Sr. and John M. Brabham III, $100; Sumter County Master Gardeners Assn., $500; Dan and Dotty Lyles, $250; Susan Heimbigner, $40; Harold Tuttle, $250; Robert Gibbs, $300; and Janette Sisk, $50.