As a Coalition, our work thrives on partnerships with other organizations and individuals. One of our closest partners is the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), specifically the Division of Injury & Violence Prevention and Obesity Prevention & Control. In partnership with Injury Prevention and Emergency Medical Services professionals at DHEC, we have created a fantastic program that provides helmets, blinkie lights, and reflective materials to those in need. We are in the second year of this program, and are delighted to report that we will be distributing the following to twelve partners organizations around the state:
- 1300 helmets (of various sizes)
- 600 rear blinkie lights
- 600 front blinkie lights
- 975 reflective ankle bands
- 150 reflective vests
The communities that have received these items include: Orangeburg, Anderson, Charleston, Rock Hill, Columbia, Lexington, Greenville, Spartanburg, Hilton Head, Summerville, and Aiken. Our partners in each community includes bicycle advocacy organizations and clubs, Department of Public Safety Officials, school teachers, public health officials, United Way and Salvation Army staff, other non-profit leaders, and boy scout leaders.
How exactly does this program work, with so many partners involved? Here’s the scoop. DHEC has access to the resources and funding to purchase the safety items, but does not have the connections to the communities in need. That’s where we, the PCC, comes into the picture. We coordinate with our local partners throughout the state to identify communities in need and determine quantities of each item to purchase. We provide DHEC with these requests, and they order the items. We then coordinate with our community partners to ensure that they receive the items and have the necessary tools and resources to effectively and thoughtfully distribute them to individuals with the most need.
We like to call this the power of partnerships. Although the PCC has neither the financial resources nor staff to single-handedly make this happen, we have partners on either end of the process who can help us.
|Trying on the helmet for size at a Hispanic Health Fair in Charleston.|
By early January, we will have all of the safety items in the hands of our capable community partners, who will be arranging events and opportunities to distribute the lights, helmets, reflectors and educational materials to those who do not have access to these resources. We will be updating our event calendar and blog with details of these opportunities as they occur.