Helping Hands Inc. was one of the many community organizations that benefited from the United Way of Aiken County's Touching Hearts, Changing Lives campaign the past year.
At United Way's annual meeting Wednesday, groups and individuals who assisted the charity were recognized.
Carmen Landy, the executive director of Helping Hands, said the nonprofit provided services to about 170 children last year.
"Keep in mind that our children are coming to us in probably one of the darkest and most depressing periods of their young lives," Ms. Landy said. "A lot of our children will say after they come and stay with us (that) it's one of the most comfortable environments that they've been in.
Helping Hands also has been able to provide new experiences for children, such as a recent trip to the Augusta Ice Forum.
"When they come to us we try to make it as homelike as possible, knowing full well we can't take the place of their families - but (we try) to create a family atmosphere all the same," Ms. Landy said.
Before the event, Chris Slaughter, the director of marketing for the United Way of Aiken County, said the charity prospers because of its strong community partnership.
"We've been very fortunate in being able to exceed our goals every year and very fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers that support us in our efforts, whether it's campaign or outreach projects," Ms. Slaughter said.
Reach Nathan Dickinson at (803) 648-1395, ext. 109, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Way Awards
Volunteer Of The Year: Joseph J. Buggy
Stanley A. Quarles Community Spirit Award: Aiken Technical College, Aiken, Aiken County
Loaned Executives: Leo Brooker, Security Federal Bank; Pam Kennedy, Westinghouse; Beverly Mitchell, Wackenhut Services; Katrina Reid-Quinones, Parsons
First: Savannah River Site Partners - Washington Savannah River Co., Bechtel, Energy Solutions, BWXT
Second: Wackenhut Services
Third: Kimberly-ClarkFourth: Bridgestone/Firestone
Fifth: Shaw Industries - Savannah River Co., Bechtel, Energy Solutions, BWXTCorporate Achievement
First: Kimberly-ClarkSecond: Savannah River Site Partners - Washington Savannah River Co., Bechtel, Energy Solutions, BWXT
Third: Publix Supermarket Charities
Fourth: Wackenhut Services