Supporting our Community: Here's How You Can Help

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dear Heathwood Families,

Heathwood volunteers helped families clean up today, and we revisited our hardest hit families to reassess their needs. The Cross Country team worked with families to move furniture and goods, while the football team volunteered at Harvest Hope.

Over 300 emails have poured in with offers of assistance, and we are responding to these emails as soon as we can. If you have emailed with specific offers or items, please know that we have created a document with these listings to deliver to our families most in need.

Here’s how you can help right now:

GIFT CARDS- Many families have expressed a need for gift cards. —Walmart, Target, department stores, grocery stores, Restaurants, Lowes, Home Depot, sporting goods stores

Drop –off Locations:

 —Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th—Gift cards may be dropped off at Shandon Presbyterian (607 Woodrow Street).  Please enter off the Devine Street entrance and go to the Information Desk. Amy, the receptionist, will place your donation in the Heathwood donation box. Please clearly mark this for Heathwood on an envelope. The information desk will be open between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. 

 —Starting Monday, October 12th – Gift cards may be dropped off at Heathwood with Julie Horton, the Heathwood receptionist, in the front portable building.


Help requests will be posted as they come in.  Please call the contact number listed to offer assistance. 

The Facebook page is viewable to all even if you do not have a Facebook account. The Facebook link is at the bottom the Heathwood webpage.

I have some good news to report about campus. The water has receded by more than a foot, and we are hopeful that another 48 hours of sunny weather will expedite the drying out.  SCE&G will check our power situation when the Heathwood Road is clear for civilian vehicles.

The Heathwood community’s generosity has been overwhelming.  Tomorrow, I will send information about more ways that you can help our greater Columbia community.  Lastly, Jenny Holder (School Counselor), has posted on the HHESFacebook page some links to suggestions for helping children cope with this disaster.

Thank you for all that you are doing for our families and others in need.

Best regards,

Chris Hinchey
Head of School


Dear Heathwood Families,

So many of you have asked how you can help those who have been impacted by the flood that we’ve compiled a list of ways to give and/or volunteer to help people throughout the Midlands. The need for volunteers tends to be fluid right now, so our list is probably only reliable through Friday. But the donation opportunities listed here are likely to be ongoing.

We also continue to assess the needs of members of the Heathwood community. We’ll post pressing needs to our Facebook page as they come in and will be in touch with those who have already volunteered their assistance about more long-term ways to help. You can let us know if you need help or if you want to volunteer at   

Here’s how you can help:

To donate:

Central Carolina Community Foundation is serving as a clearinghouse for monetary donations:

Harvest Hope is accepting donations of food and money:

They are currently focused on helping flood victims who are not in shelters.

Key needs include canned meat, fruit and vegetables, baby items like diapers and wipes (no baby food), 100% fruit juice, shelf-stable milk

Dreher High School (intersection of Millwood and Devine) is accepting donations of any kind Thursday and Friday from 10-2. Flood victims will be able to come to Dreher and pick up items they need. What’s needed most now are cleaning supplies, toiletries, linens, and toys.


To volunteer:

Harvest Hope reports that people who want to volunteer can come to the Olympia Armory (551 Granby Ln., Columbia, 29201—just off Bluff Rd.) and will be sent from there to where help is needed.

Members of the hard-hit Forest Acres and Lake Katherine communities have started a Facebook page that’s serving as a clearinghouse for people who want to help with flood recovery:  Lake Katherine/Forest Acres Debris Cleanup Volunteers:


They are regularly posting specific volunteer opportunities ranging from preparing meals for flood victims to doing heavy cleanup and debris removal.

Harvest Hope also needs volunteers. Their Shop Rd. location is open from 9-3. Note that as of Wednesday, part of South Beltline was closed between Midlands Tech and Shop Rd, so those coming from in town would need to access Shop Rd from Assembly St.

Dreher High School (intersection of Millwood and Devine) can use volunteers from 10-2 on Thursday and Friday to help collect and sort donations.

United Way of the Midlands serves as a clearing house for volunteers. You can sign up on their website:

Lake Katherine/Forest Acres Debris Cleanup Volunteers:


They are regularly posting specific volunteer opportunities ranging from preparing meals for flood victims to doing heavy cleanup and debris removal. is looking for people to help foster animals.

And other local organizations such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters may have a higher-than-usual need for support as resources and manpower are diverted to flood relief. 

The Heathwood community’s concern, compassion, and drive to help have been a source of inspiration at this difficult time. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and your willingness to volunteer your time, talents, and resources to help make our community whole again.

Best regards,

Chris Hinchey
Head of School



Dear Heathwood Hall Families:

I want to share an important message with you about our relief efforts.

Today, a group of faculty and I were transported to campus by helpful SLEDofficers in a military transport vehicle.  While Heathwood Road is still covered by 1-3 ft of water – all the way through the gates – the majority of campus is dry.  Even though the campus has no power, there is no damage to any of the buildings.  I was so grateful to see that the campus stands ready – when the flood waters recede – to greet our students.

This morning, an early organizational team of “Heathwood Helping Hands” parents mobilized to help Heathwood families in need.  After they identified close to 50+ families in the affected areas, the list was pared down to approximately 15 families with significant needs.  Today’s efforts were fruitful, and moving forward many of our families will not need large groups of helping hands, as we had initially expected. Rather, they need professional services and very specific resources.  Many of their early volunteer labor needs were met by Heathwood volunteers, close friends and family.

So many families have reached out to the “HeathwoodHelpingHands” email that we have been unable to respond to everyone. Please know that your emails have been received and read. This outpouring is truly humbling.  HH Helping Hands plans to visit families individually tomorrow and will then post a more significant list of needs in addition to instructions for drop-offs or locations for work crews.  As specific needs and locations for work crews are identified, they will reach out to those who have emailed and get this effort coordinated.

At the moment, the most pressing needs appear to be the following:

  • Temporary housing for 3-6 months
  • Gift cards: Target, Lowes, Walmart, Publix, and restaurants.
  • Climate controlled storage units
  • Transportation or use of cars
  • Pick-up trucks to haul
  • Business contacts for cleaning, restoration and/or rebuilding
  • People interested in providing childcare so other people can volunteer labor or skilled work

It would be helpful to know now who has resources such as trucks, housing, etc. Please email if you have housing, storage, etc., by indicating such in the subject line (ie. HOUSING, STORAGE)  We are also starting to collect gift cards, and we will provide an address to mail or drop off gift cards tomorrow.

Please check Heathwood Hall’s website, Facebook, or Instagram mid-day tomorrow (Wed., 10/7) for an up-to-date list of needs and for more information about how to best help our families recover in the months to come.


Chris Hinchey
Head of School