2021 END OF YEAR REPORT
KNOW(2)’s donors, volunteers, partners, and friends made 2021 a memorable year. Even with Covid 19 always and ever present, this group made things happen. KNOW(2) continues to be a flexible, community-focused organization dedicated to its mission of helping Cherokee County residents be healthy, educated, and successful. You make this happen through your continued support, your can-do spirit, your volunteered time, and your public advocacy for KNOW(2) and its mission.
Here are some highlights of how you made a difference in 2021:
- Launched a public health project — FoodShare Cherokee — dedicated to helping residents eat better. FoodShare Cherokee launched in late April and provides fresh food boxes every two weeks. To date, the initiative has distributed over 20,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to over 300 different households.
- Partnered with multiple local agencies to host a free Health and Wellness event on October 23, 2021 with more than 150 people attending and receiving resource information and free health screenings.
- Worked with Wholespire Cherokee, formally Eat Smart, Move More Cherokee, and the SC Office of Rural Health to develop a comprehensive Vision for Health plan for the community.
- Supported, coached, housed and encouraged over 10 new and expanding businesses at our BGEN business generator.
- Completed the renovation of the back of the BGEN facility to make room for client-based businesses.
Support for At-Risk Families and Youth (Neighborhood Ambassadors):
- Provided free summer camp to 20 at-risk youth (rising grades 6-8) at Ola Copeland Academy in partnership with The Classic Society.
- Fed over 200 at-risk students daily during the summer months.
- Mentored first-generation college students attending Spartanburg Community College.
- Navigated the vaccination sign-up process to help over 400 elderly and at-risk individuals receive Covid-19 vaccines last spring.
- Provided resource information on job opportunities, rental assistance, educational opportunities, youth initiatives, and other critical information to our network of volunteers to share with their communities.
- Honored student leaders at Northwest Elementary, Gaffney High School, and Blacksburg High School during our annual Oscars Celebration.
- Interviewed local principals and administrative staff to prepare to launch a new Education Task Force in 2022.
- Worked with students at Ola Copeland Academy and the Cherokee County School District Staff training students in safe food handling and on-the-job skill building through our FoodShare Cherokee initiative.
- Provided Christmas gift baskets, bikes, and other gifts to at-risk students in our community during the Christmas of 2020.
- Supported Fit2gether and Thrive U. as student empowerment endeavors by serving as the fiscal agent for specific projects and grants.
- Honored 6 local volunteers including community leaders and future leaders in a virtual Oscars Celebration.
- Honorees included: Phil Orr, Oscar Fuller Legacy Award; Brandon Watkins, Best Supporting Actor for volunteer work as a part of KNOW(2); Libbie Cheek, Best Supporting Actress for volunteer work as a part of KNOW(2); Maryanna (Mya) Dawkins, Rising Star Awardee for Gaffney High School; Alia Smith, Rising Star Awardee for Blacksburg High School, and Krisjen Littlejohn, as the Shooting Star from Northwest Elementary School.
You are the key to continued success in 2022 and we look forward to being your partner in the coming year. KNOW(2) has big plans and dreams and we want you to dream big with us as together we build on the success of this year, host our first in-person events in the spring, launch our education task force and re-build successful past efforts. You are the key to changing mindsets and improving lives for so many in our community. We need you, so we thank you for all you have done in the past and invite you to envision what Cherokee County can become with our combined efforts.
Your investment of any amount will support our most at-risk families, continue efforts to develop new businesses downtown, encourage healthier eating and more active living, and provide the building blocks for personal and community prosperity in Cherokee County. Please consider making a gift to help us continue this valuable work.
Download and print a copy of our pledge sheet here: