As attorneys for victims of drunk and drugged driving, we are all too familiar with the devastating outcomes of substance abuse. It’s just one of the many reasons we are driven to support the Charleston-area addiction and recovery support nonprofit WakeUp Carolina, which provides critical resources, education, and outreach programs to individuals and families facing addiction and substance use disorder.
Our team recently had the pleasure of attending WakeUp Carolina’s seventh annual Giving Breakfast, where the organization raised over $78,000, including a donation from Yarborough Applegate. Founding partner David Yarborough participated as one of the program’s guest speakers, stressing the importance of WakeUp Carolina’s much-needed programs and services to the Lowcountry.
“We are so grateful to David and Yarborough Applegate for being an integral part of WakeUp Carolina’s local support system since our founding,” says Founder and Executive Director Nanci Steadman Shipman. “Their steadfast and fundamental belief in our mission from day one has directly enabled us to better meet the needs of our community, and has made all the difference in our fight to break through addiction and promote recovery.”
This year’s Giving Breakfast was cast as a celebration of the heart of WakeUp Carolina’s work: community, hope, and family. The keynote speaker was Jeff Jay, a clinical interventionist, trainer, and writer who has been guiding families into recovery for more than 30 years. The president and co-founder of Love First Intervention, his work has appeared on CNN, the Jane Pauley Show, PBS, Forbes Online, and in many professional journals.
A YEAR OF GROWTH AND IMPACT
This year brought great growth to WakeUp Carolina, with even more in store for the first months of 2024. In October, the organization tripled the space of its headquarters when it moved to a new home in Mount Pleasant. There, the team can easily hold two support meetings simultaneously. WakeUp Carolina’s first satellite office on Main Street in Moncks Corner will be next to open its doors, significantly increasing accessibility for many individuals and families the group serves. Amid the expansions, the nonprofit is also preparing to add three new roles to its team.
These developments—and, in turn, WakeUp Carolina’s ability to meet the community’s evolving needs—are made possible in large part due to the success of its annual fundraisers. In fact, last year’s Giving Breakfast, with a match from Yarborough Applegate, raised enough money for WakeUp Carolina to hire a full-time family program director—a first for South Carolina. “When we hired Brenda Nikic for that position, we were the first organization in the state to dedicate a role to acknowledging family’s role in substance use disorder,” Shipman says.
Nikic’s impact has been immediate. Since February, she has worked with 18,500 people in various formats, including leading 146 group meetings, 202 outreaches, six community overdose prevention trainings, and three community events. “This impact is amazing—and truly made possible by Yarborough Applegate’s support,” Shipman notes.
We’re thrilled to have witnessed WakeUp Carolina’s growth, and the team’s undeniable impact on our local community. If you’d like to learn more about how WakeUp Carolina is empowering young people, individuals, and families battling substance use in the Charleston area, click here.
Image by Kolbi Media