On Old Highway 52 in Moncks Corner, stands an unassuming red-brick building bearing a sign with the name Berkeley Citizens Inc.
The signage bears the logo of three people, linked in a unifying embrace, an apt reminder of the organization’s beginnings.
As shared on their website, Berkeley Citizens Inc. “began with family,” when, in 1980, parents from Berkeley County opened the Mary K. Center for Special Children.
Originally, the center maintained an enrollment of 21 preschoolers – today, renamed Berkeley Citizens Inc., the organization provides services to more than 850.
Berkeley Citizens Inc. is a non-profit organization with a stated mission “to create and promote opportunities for people with lifelong developmental disabilities to be a part of, and participate in, the same valued experiences and life events as do other citizens of Berkeley County.”
Holly Frye, executive director of Berkeley Citizens Inc., explains that one way in which the organization accomplishes this mission is by providing residential services for more than 100 people with disabilities in 23 homes across Berkeley County.
They also do so through an early intervention program (which serves children ages up to 6), case management services, and a work program called Berkeley Industries.
Frye said that Berkeley Industries is a program that trains more than 220 people with disabilities in life skills, social skills, work skills, contract work, and other services they can perform for local businesses. If an employer has a need, they can call Berkeley Industries, and the organization will train the person(s) for that job, at no cost to the employer. The program is extremely successful, boasting an 89 percent employee retention rate, and providing these individuals an opportunity to be a part of and thrive within the community.
Though primarily funded by the state, Berkeley Citizens Inc. also relies on funding from other sources, such as the Berkeley Heritage Ornament Fundraiser. All donations made through this fundraiser goes back to Berkeley Citizens Inc., helping them achieve their mission goals.
Of course, the corporation is deeply grateful for donations received from private establishments and citizens like you. Your generous donations of monies, gift cards, personal hygiene items, and time help the patrons of Berkeley Citizens Inc. live productive and self-fulfilling lives.