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Constituent Board Member Kicks off Annual Flip Flop Campaign

Constituent Board Member Kicks off Annual Flip Flop Campaign
Posted on 05/20/2019
Flip Flop Campaign

If Dr. Helen Frazier sees a need, she does her best to fulfill it. Being of service is her calling, and she humbly obliges when she’s able.

The retired Charleston County School District (CCSD) counselor, social worker, and administrator now serves on the Constituent District 23 Board of Trustees.

Her service doesn’t end there. She is the CEO of a local non-profit organization, “It Takes a Village,” with a mission of providing educational and humanitarian outreach activities to individuals and communities here and abroad. As part of her humanitarian efforts, Dr. Frazier oversees what is called the "Flip Flop Campaign” in which she distributes flip flops and other donated clothing to remote villages in Liberia, West Africa.

Flip FlopsMany of the children and families endure a life without the bare necessities of clean water, clothing, and lights. She crafted the idea to partner with CCSD schools to help these families who have survived 15 years of civil war.

Most recently, Baptist Hill Middle High School, where the school culture is “service to the community,” took up a collection of over 500 hundred pairs of flip flops.

Staff and students of E. B. Ellington Elementary and Jane Edwards Elementary also participated in the campaign.

According to Dr. Frazier, students were ecstatic and eager to participate and wanted to know how they could take the voyage to distribute donated items.

The flip flops are being stored in a warehouse in Charlotte, NC where they will be shipped from the Port of Savannah. The voyage to Liberia will culminate with the delivery of the flip flops to the various villages by Dr. Frazier and her sister, who serves as a councilmember in Orangeburg County.

Although the school year is winding down, Frazier is gearing up for next year’s Flip Flop Campaign. Principals and district officials are encouraged to participate by challenging their students to donate either as a school-wide initiative or a classroom project.

More than just shoes

"It Takes A Village" has also agreed to oversee an early childhood program for the children of three villages in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia.

Frazier was responsible for implementing in South Carolina and the U.S. Army the first State sponsored early childhood development program. She will utilize that expertise to provide the template to develop the school in Liberia. Her upcoming visit in October will be her third pilgrimage and will not only be a visit of goodwill, but to develop the plans and needs for the school as well.

“During my visit in January of this year, I promised the villagers I would return in October to assist with implementing a school, obtaining clean water and healthcare,” said Dr. Frazier. “What started as a vacation somehow turned into a mission, journey, and passion for helping those less fortunate. I wanted to share that experience with others, especially our children.”

Water Missions International has agreed to donate pumps into the region to provide clean water.

Monetary donations, under the auspices of the “It Takes A Village” 501(C)3 charitable organization are tax deductible. Donations can be made by visiting the website at https://www.ittakesavillagesc.com/.

“With the myriad of problems facing the Liberian villagers, the people are unwavering, resilient and determined,” said Frazier. “They understand and appreciate the value of education and seek to improve their conditions with meager means of support. They are a proud people who lack available resources but possess the will to pursue their dreams of a better life for the children. Here in America, we take the small necessities like clean water and accessible roads for granted; something we rarely witnessed during our trip.”

​The success of the Baptist Hill, E. B. Ellington, and Jane B. Edwards Flip Flop Campaign was a result of the willingness of the teachers and administrators to teach the importance of giving back. Frazier hopes to see this type of participation throughout the district.

“It is important for our children to understand how fortunate we are as a people here in the United States and to teach them about unselfish giving and appreciation,” added Frazier.

For more information about “It Takes a Village” or the Flip Flop Campaign, contact Dr. Helen Frazier at 843-532-2111. Highlights of the trip can be viewed on the organizations' website at https://www.ittakesavillagesc.com/.



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