This Is Carolina: Myrtle Beach charity helps people across the board

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 6:31 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Bernard Green doesn’t miss a Tuesday when he beats the lengthy line outside Myrtle Beach’s oldest independent charity.

“It’s always good for me to come in when I do come in, during the time that I do come in,” said Green.

He’s first in line for Ron Lane to cut his hair. The retired barber joined Associated Charities almost two years ago to volunteer his skills to anyone who needs a cut and a shave.

“Some of them haven’t had haircuts in months. So for 15 or 20 minutes of my time, I can help someone feel better,” said Lane. “Everybody is a volunteer and they’re just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and it’s neat to be around. It’s the perfect spot for me.”

Lane is one of 62 volunteers who dedicate their time to making sure folks are fed, clothed and given outreach as well as emergency services.

“Anyone who needs help is welcome to come,” said Cindy Dawsey, the organization’s executive director.

Dawsey is the woman behind the well-oiled machine which always starts with a group prayer. She then invites 20 people at a time to check in and to shop.

“On Tuesday, we have what we call Giveaway Day and anyone that meets the federal poverty guidelines, they come and shop for free clothes, free produce, all kinds of knick-knack items,” said Dawsey. “Just about anything you can think of except for furniture and large items.”

On Thursdays, folks can fill up a bag full of clothes and shoes for just $5 and shop in their new, colorful boutique for cosmetics and accessories.

The volunteers spend five days a week collecting donations, cleaning and restocking racks and shelves, on their own time and on their own dime.

“We don’t receive any federal funds. By the grace of God we just managed to survive for 70 years, which is absolutely amazing,” said Dawsey.

Dawsey believes it’s their tight-knit family of volunteers who really keeps this charity going.

“It’s a good place. I invite anybody to come,” she said. “We’ll be glad to give anyone a tour and you can see what we do. Just see the wonderful chaos that helps people.”

Green said he appreciates everything this charity has done for him over the years.

“I think I’ve been blessed by Ms. Cindy and the volunteers, and the rest of the helpers here,” said Green.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit Associated Charities. If you have good news to share, email or message Loren on Facebook.