As trial lawyers, we passionately advocate for the rights of those who have suffered an injury or loss, offering our support and guidance along the way. Beyond our legal work, we also seek to build healthier, safer communities through partnerships with organizations that create real and lasting change on the ground. One of those groups is WakeUp Carolina, an addiction and recovery support nonprofit in the Charleston area that has served a beacon of hope for young adults, individuals, and families struggling with substance use, misuse, and substance use disorder since 2016.
As 2022 came to a close, we had the pleasure of attending WakeUp Carolina’s annual fundraising breakfast, where the nonprofit sets the stage for the next year of operations and growth. This year, with the help of a matching gift from Yarborough Applegate, WakeUp Carolina was able to raise more than $50,000 for critical recovery support services for the greater Charleston area.
The funds meant the nonprofit was able to start 2023 with a full-time family program director on its staff—the first such a position in the state, notes Nanci Steadman Shipman founder and executive director. In her first week alone, WakeUp Carolina’s new family program director served some 25 families. “We saw there was a clear need,” Shipman says. “After a certain point, it became a question of, ‘If not us, then who?’”
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR RECOVERY
This recent support is the latest in Yarborough Applegate’s sustained partnership with WakeUp Carolina, and comes during a time of major growth for the young but driven nonprofit.
On the heels of celebrating its fifth year, WakeUp Carolina is “bursting at the seams,” and actively searching for a new space to operate out of, says Shipman. Through the “Give Hope a Home” campaign, WakeUp Carolina aims to find a location accessible to all corners of the greater Charleston area.
“It’s been nothing short of awe-inspiring to watch the ways WakeUp Carolina has stepped in and provided invaluable resources—and above all, support—for some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” says David Yarborough, founding partner of Yarborough Applegate. “Like WakeUp Carolina, we believe that substance disorders impact whole communities, and not just individuals. It’s our community, and it’s our recovery. We’re going to do this together.”
For Shipman, community donations weave together an incredible tapestry of support for the rapidly growing organization, and she’s grateful for each and every one.
“But it’s incredible to have witnessed the way Yarborough Applegate walks alongside us as we listen to the community’s need, gather research, and serve as a model for other organizations across the country,” she says. “We’re fortunate to have a donor have such faith in what we do.”
NO FAMILY SHOULD WALK ALONE
WakeUp Carolina aims to raise awareness and provide hope in recovery through advocacy and resources that include community education and outreach programs, peer-based support services, and ongoing organized activities.
The organization was founded out of heartbreak in 2016, when Shipman’s own teenage son, Creighton, overdosed just days after leaving rehab. As she wrestled with the devastating loss, she made a commitment to share her family’s story and affect change by doing everything in her power to help other families avoid such a tragedy.
“A family’s trauma and impact is real, and it’s something we need to share openly and with grace,” Shipman says. “Doing so demystifies stigma and helps us support and dignify those who are struggling. Because all too often, families feel like it’s their fault—and it absolutely is not.”To learn more about the important work WakeUp Carolina is doing across the Lowcountry, or to find out how you can get involved and offer support, click here.