Celebrating Mary Black Foundation’s History
Mary Black Foundation Becomes a Private Foundation
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Mary Black Foundation’s role as a private foundation in Spartanburg. However, the Mary Black Foundation has a legacy that extends beyond the last 25 years. In fact, the Foundation was originally formed in 1986 – 35 years ago – to support the Mary Black Memorial Hospital and related community programs.
The sale of the nonprofit hospital to a for profit company, in 1996, led to the reconfiguration of the Mary Black Foundation and its significant growth in assets. In the 25 years since the Mary Black Foundation separated from the hospital, it has provided over $62 million in grants to support health and wellness initiatives throughout Spartanburg County. During this same time, the assets have grown to over $75 million.
Early Childhood Development
Mary Black Foundation believes that children who are born healthy, grow up in stable families, have nurturing relationships with adults, and spend time in environments that provide stimulating experiences are more likely to succeed academically, socially, and economically.
Early childhood development is defined by the Foundation as the process of growth that occurs prenatally through the first five years of life. Improving the health and wellness of Spartanburg County through a focus on early childhood development will require efforts that address:
- Children’s relationships with families and other caregivers
- Children’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development
- Adolescent pregnancy and improving birth outcomes
PASOs helps build a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy, and leadership development. PASOs provides culturally responsive education on family health, early childhood, and positive parenting skills; individual guidance for participants in need of resources; and partnership with health care and social service providers to help them provide more effective services.
Founded in 2005, PASOs helps the Latino community and service providers work together for strong and healthy families.
PASOs in Spartanburg began in 2017 through a partnership with the Upstate Family Resource Center and funding from the Mary Black Foundation.
An initial investment of $91,000 was provided to Upstate Family Resource Center to bring PASOs to Spartanburg. Due to the success of the initial investment, in 2018, an additional $218,000 was awarded to continue support of PASOs in Spartanburg.
According to the most recent impact data reported to Mary Black Foundation, as a result of the funding received, PASOs has been able to:
- Provide information about early childhood development to over 3,500 people
- Screen over 250 children for developmental delays
- Help increase knowledge of over 250 parents/guardians about developmental milestones for children
However, the impact and reach of PASOs extends much further. In addition to the early childhood development work funded by the Foundation, they also:
- Refer families to critical needs services such as medical care, dental care, mental health care, and feed security services
- Help families enroll in WIC
- Refer families and young people to reproductive health services
- Provide financial assistance
- Provide fresh produce to families; and
- Refer families to preventative health services