Thank you for your compassion and assistance to your fellow South Carolinians!

I have often wondered what the victims of Hurricane Katrina must have felt like three weeks after the levies broke. Probably much like you felt three weeks after losing that loved one or friend. The trauma was over, but the consequences remained. The cards and letters and checks stop coming, but the pain or the bills continue to pile up.

As October is now in its final days, that dark place of 21 Days After is where many of our state’s citizens find themselves—left to finish the job and deal with the new normal when everyone else has moved on to college football and trick or treat.

Several days after the flood had done its worst, Dominion Resources took a few state leaders up in a helicopter to see what was actually happening in each community. Here are some of the photos I snapped during that flyover. (There is also a photo provided by a deacon while in the midst of assisting a family in the target area of dam failure.)

I have saved these images until now as a way to make another plea for help.

Here at Palmetto Family, we know personally those who swam to safety. In one case, it was the cry of a restless newborn who woke a family just in time to get out. We also know families who will be making payments for years on cars and even houses that are long gone. We know of families who lost everything except the clothes on their backs. Neither homeowners nor flood insurance indemnified their loss.

So, here nearly a month after, the need is still there.

*89 roads and 36 bridges remain closed

*Churches all over the state are examining their accounts looking for available funds that can be used to help make their communities whole.

*Gracious neighbors continue to house guests whose homes are still uninhabitable.

While the state was being flooded, you may have answered our request for help.

If you weren’t able to help then, we hope you will consider making a donation now. This additional request comes at a tough time for Palmetto Family as we are entering our most important season for fundraising (and you will be hearing of our own needs later), but today we are asking you to support those who are in danger of being forgotten.

You may have a favorite charity, an organization you trust. If so, please direct your support there. If not, we recommend you examine the following listing of churches who will spend your funds wisely with no “carrying charges”:

Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia

First Presbyterian Church, Columbia

South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief

Thank you for your compassion and assistance to your fellow South Carolinians!

Dr. Oran Smith

Former President & CEO

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