Volunteers from the Tiffany Grant Foundation gave away dozens of small heaters to seniors in need ahead of the holiday season.

The foundation director said the giveaway was “heart wrenching, yet fulfilling.”

The Tiffany Grant Foundation set up at the Orangeburg County Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, to give away heaters to seniors in need.

The foundation acquired 50 heaters to give away through donations and purchases, but half had already been given out for emergency cases before the scheduled giveaway event, foundation Director and Orangeburg County Council member Latisha Walker said.

A group of volunteers with the Tiffany Grant Foundation, including Director and Orangeburg County Council member Latisha Walker and Orangeburg…

“Yesterday was heart wrenching, yet fulfilling, because when we do projects, such as yesterday, you realize just how many more people are in need,” Walker said the day after the giveaway.

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The Tiffany Grant Foundation gave away 50 personal heaters to seniors in need from Orangeburg and Calhoun counties at a giveaway event on Nov. 26.

“It was fulfilling because we were able to help at least some of the population, but we are striving to continue to be able to make a change in our community,” she said.

The foundation decided to give away heaters in preparation for the colder winter months because they often give out fans to keep those in need cool in the summer, Walker said.

“Just knowing that they like fans in the summer, we knew that there was a great chance that they would like heaters in the winter months,” she said.

The giveaway targeted senior citizens in need. The foundation received names of local seniors who could use a heater from community members and the foundation’s regular community partners, before contacting the individuals and instructing them to come to the library to receive their heater, she said.

Walker personally contacted individuals who had received help from the Tiffany Grant Foundation in the past, she said. She also partnered with community members, including Orangeburg City Council member Jerry Hannah and Orangeburg County School District board member Mary Ulmer, to contact others.

The foundation has seen an increase in requests for help year-round, but the holidays especially highlight the need, Walker said. Seniors are often neglected when resources are given out, she said.

“We have a lot of people in need, but one of the reasons that I also wanted to target seniors is because we have a lot of seniors raising second- and third-generation children,” she said. “That plays a soft spot in my heart and I just wanted to make sure that they had what they needed.”

Seniors from communities across Orangeburg and Calhoun counties came to pick up heaters, she said. Some of the seniors who came to pick up heaters told volunteers that they had no heat in their homes, Walker said.

Volunteers participating included nurses, retired military and law enforcement and educators from the Columbia and Orangeburg areas, including Ulmer.

The foundation has additional giveaway projects scheduled for the future, including a clothing drive, Walker said.

“We all fall short sometimes,” Walker said. “And as a community, we’re supposed to be there to uplift one another in our times of need.”

Contact the writer: cbozard@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5553. Follow on Twitter: @bozardcaleb.

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