Random acts of kindness aid those in financial need

Carol Mason knows how to pay it forward. Two years ago, Mason and a group of Daniel Island residents started Random Acts of Kindness of the Lowcountry – a grassroots organization that provides one-time financial gifts to those in need. 
Since August 2020, the group has grown from 10 to 50 members, helped more than 70 individuals and families and donated nearly $50,000. 
“We’re not going to change someone’s life, but we are going to give them a hand up during a difficult time,” Mason said.
RAKL serves residents in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties and works closely with nonprofits like Trident Literacy Association, East Cooper Community Outreach, Youth Advocate Program and other organizations to find people who need a helping hand.
“There’s a lot of need because there is a whole community of people even on Daniel Island that are low income,” Mason said. “We work with local churches, Cainhoy Elementary School, and Philip Simmons, where we have given kids money to get their graduation cap and gown.” 
Most gift amounts range between $500 and $750 and can help with rent, utilities, education, transportation, furnishings, computer equipment and medical expenses. 
A young graduate of Delancey Street Foundation, which helps people recover from addiction, was ready to re-enter society but needed funds for major dental work to increase his self-esteem. 
“One of our members found a dentist who would do the work,” Mason said. “We paid $624, and the rest was gratis. The man sent us a photo of himself and he looked terrific.”
A single mother of three on Daniel Island took in two more children after a family member died. What she wanted the most were bicycles for all the kids, so RAKL purchased and delivered six bikes; five for the children and one for the mother. The Daniel Island Rotary Club
heard about the story and decided to foot the bill.
According to Mason, the kindness can be contagious. She recently had RAKL promotional brochures printed at Qwik Pack and Ship on Seven Farms Drive and owner Tom Pomposelli wouldn’t let her pay for them.
“I handed him my credit card and he said, ‘you know what? Random Acts of Kindness just inspired me, so I’m going to give you this as a gift.’ It was very, very sweet and that’s what we’re all about,” Mason said.
In addition to donations from generous individuals and businesses, each Random Acts of Kindness member makes a $100 quarterly contribution. The group meets monthly to review cases and decide which ones to support. One of Mason’s goals for the future is to grow RAKL to 75 members and to assist more people around the Charleston area. 
“One of the hardest parts is finding people who really need our help,” Mason said. “I think as we get more well known in the community, people will come to us and that will make it a lot easier.”
To learn more about Random Acts of Kindness of the Lowcountry, visit raklowcountry.org. or email info.rakl2020@gmail.com

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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