COVID-19: Donate to State and Local Response Funds

Inspiring Generosity One Mask at a Time

At Central Carolina Community Foundation, we believe anyone can be a philanthropist.  Throughout the COVID pandemic, we have seen countless individuals step into philanthropy and use their time, talent, and treasure to help those in need.

One resident from Chapin, Nancy Williamson, began sewing masks for her family and friends after her husband thought he might have the virus. His test came back negative, but the experience helped Nancy identify a need in her community. Nancy wanted to help stop the virus’s spread and researched how to make masks that she could offer to family and friends. As word spread about her sewing talents, she began receiving requests from individuals wanting to purchase her masks.

“They wanted to pay me, and we would refuse,” says Nancy. “We would tell people to just wear their masks and stay healthy.”

The week before Midlands Gives Day 2020, Nancy had an idea. She had always been familiar with Midlands Gives and the value it provides to nonprofits. She had donated during Midlands Gives for years and had even assisted some local nonprofits with registering and creating their campaigns. As Nancy saw promotions ramping up for Midlands Gives, the idea came to her to ask for $10 donations in exchange for the masks.

 

Nancy selected Chapin We Care as the beneficiary of the donations. A long-term volunteer for the nonprofit, Nancy knew that the organization, like many nonprofits in the area, was feeling the effects of the pandemic – the donations coming in were not keeping pace with the high need of services from clients hurting from the pandemic.

The Midlands Gives event and platform allowed Nancy to quickly raise funds. It gave her a reason to ask for donations and a platform to do so easily. In addition, Dominion Energy, a Midlands Gives partner, matched the donations Nancy received due to her husband being an employee.

The result: Over $30,000 raised and counting! Nancy is now receiving requests for her masks from across the county. She has recruited a team of friends and family to help her make masks and has donated the masks to medical works and nonprofits across the county. In addition, Nancy, now known as the “Chapin Mask Lady,” has seen the project inspire others in the community, including her children.

“It’s been a great lesson for my children to see that if you know of people who need help, you jump in and help,” Nancy mentioned. “There is always something you can do to help others – you just need to dive in.”

Nancy’s story has been featured in many local news publications, including Chapin Neighbors, Chapin Magazine, WISTV, The Lexington Ledger, and a video by Dominion Energy.

Masks are still available for $10 each and Nancy offers “front porch pick up.” You can text Nancy your order at (803) 629-0101. You can also find the masks at Lake Murray Drug Company and The Classy Cruet in Chapin.