Giving back to those in need!
Giving It Forward Together - GIFT
Mike previously was a teacher for nine years at the elementary level for Horry County schools. During this time he thoroughly enjoyed working with and helping so many children grow. After just a few years of teaching, Mike discovered that the most important thing was that children learned to love and care for one another. "It felt great to be passing this along to so many students." Mike now has a daughter, and wants to inspire her and raise her to realize that we are all responsible for giving our love away. "GIFT is exactly this! When the opportunity to be part of GIFT presented itself, I recognized immediately how it connects to what I believe in, and I look forward to sharing it with others."
Brooks who is originally from the great state of Nebraska moved to the beach nearly eight years ago. He had never been to the Grand Stand before but immediately fell in love with the area! He found himself a southern bell and recently tied the knot! Brooks and his wife have a beautiful daughter who is nearly 3 years old. He has always been one to try and lend a hand to those in need and was raised to give more than he received. "I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that one of the reasons of me moving to this area was to be a part of this amazing group of people with like minded dreams and the desire to give back to those in need. We can all make a difference if we just decide to. We don't know how far the ripples of our decisions go. All we can do is decide to take that first step."
Who We Are
The mission of GIFT is to unite the local community by giving forward, creating awareness, and raising money for charitable endeavors that directly impact those close to us.
"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving."
It’s a difficult task to explain how GIFT (Giving It Forward Together) started and the people behind it. So please bear with me as I will do my best. You see, I’m two things wrapped up into one. Firs,t I’m the world’s greatest sinner. Susie, my wife doesn’t like it when I say this. But it’s exactly how I feel, why hide from it? Secondly, I’m also the most blessed person in the world. I’m blessed to have a wonderful wife who has managed to put up with me for over twenty-five years, although I still don’t know why. Two children that I could not begin to explain how much I love them and have enjoyed watching them grow every single day. I’m blessed to have two wonderful parents that taught me so many things. Two siblings that I know when things are at their worst would still be standing beside me ready to do anything I needed, even if I’m in the wrong. I cannot nor will I take the time to even try to explain how many Grandmothers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Neighbors, and Friends love me. You see? I am the most blessed person in this world. And after all of this I still WASN’T GIVING TO OTHERS THE WAY I SHOULD!!!
The Gathering of the Giving Army:
I’ve had this charity idea and a fundraising event in my head for a couple of years. I’ve discussed it with a couple friends, but never did anything about it. Then, I was telling my friend, Brooks, that it’s like I’m on a high dive with my toes over the edge and I’m scared to jump. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t jumping. Finally, Brooks looked at me and said, “Let’s do it.” So, we just jumped off the high dive right then and there. I asked Amanda at my work if she may be interested in doing this charity and fundraiser, to my surprise she agreed. Then I asked Margaret and she agreed. Another friend, Mike heard what we were talking about and said anything he could do to help he would. And then Willie, another friend heard about the idea and offered his services.
I think all of us realize that we were NOT put on this earth to be selfish. We were put here to give to others. To give to those who are in need. To bring awareness and raise money for different charities. You see, again, I’m so blessed that these people have been put in my life and have the same thinking and wanted to get GIFT started.
Now the Real Work Begins:
So here we are, several after work meetings later, emails, texts, web surfing, and what seems like ten thousand phone calls seeking guidance from anyone we thought could help. The charity has been created. The fundraising event is being planned as we speak. George Allen, former head coach of the Washington Redskins once said “forty men working together for one goal can’t be stopped.” Well, I can promise you we will not be stopped either. GIFT is here and it’s not going away.
Join us in the giving,
The self-proclaimed “world’s greatest sinner”, Matt has lived in South Carolina for over twenty years. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, reading at the beach, cookouts with good friends, and watching his beloved Redskins. REDSKINS?......that explains all we need to know about Matt.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Amanda moved to Myrtle Beach in January 2014 after her boyfriend, Chad, got a position as a firefighter / EMT in Georgetown County. Amanda works at the Georgetown County Water & Sewer District as a Staff Engineer. She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and fur-babies, a paint horse named Spirit and a black lab named Maverick, in her spare time. Growing up in the northern country, she enjoys anything outdoors and has always wanted to give back the many blessings she has received. "I've always enjoyed being able to help others, but I know there is so much more that we can do to help people in our everyday lives."
Margaret, a California transplant, has lived in Pawleys Island for decade. As a business owner she has found herself welcomed in a small town and embraced as a local. She believes that none of us has escaped a time when a friend or relative had fight with disease, disaster, or unfortunate turn of circumstance. Most of us do not hesitate to offer assistance, so why not broaden that circle, include those whom we touch daily or even rarely, those who share our own patch of life.
Rick lives in the Pawleys Island Community with his wife, Holly, and two beautiful daughters, Maggie and Hope. They attend Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church in Georgetown where Rick serves as his congregation's Lay Leader. Rick became involved in GIFT after reading its mission "to unite the local community in giving back." GIFT presented a vehicle for helping Rick realize his own personal mission of changing lives through solid support and meaningful giving