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SPOTLIGHT: Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center

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Mission Statement:

To engage and serve people of all ages and backgrounds while promoting advancements in education, health, and economics and improving the quality of life for citizens of Lexington and Richland counties and the Midlands of South Carolina.

Name of organization: Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center

Year established locally: 2008

Top local executive:  Dr. Cindye Richburg Cotton, Executive Director

Contact information:  
1218 Batchelor St.
West Columbia, SC 29169
Phone: 803-744-7943

Corporate giving contacts:
Dr. Cindye Richburg Cotton, Executive Director
P.O. Box 3292 
West Columbia, SC 29171
Phone: 803-747-3519
E-mail: Cindye Richburg

Average number of volunteers in 2020: 242.

Total operating budget 2020-21: $349,657.69

Percent of revenue dedicated to program services: 65%

Geographic area or specific population served: The BLEC serves individuals and families in Lexington and Richland counties,  as well as other areas of the Midlands. The specific populations include youth and teens, senior citizens, adults and families.

Greatest need  
$2.5 million in matching funds for EDA Grant for development of a Small Business Incubator and Workforce Development Training Center at the BLEC. 

2021 Top achievements:

  • Recruited 42 new volunteers for various programs and services
  • Increase number of grant awards and donations for emergency repairs and major construction projects
  • Served over 230,000 healthy meals to children in Lexington and Richland counties between February and August 2021 to reduce child hunger and fill the nutrition gap  
  • Created 25 summer jobs in the Summer Feeding Program including many jobs for youth and teens
  • Former Lakeview Schools designated a historic site by the S.C. Department of Archives and History
  • Distributed approximately 1,300 senior supplemental and diabetic food boxes to underserved communities each week
  • Provided emergency relief resources and services through the Food and Clothing Bank

2022 Goals:

  • Human Service | Goal 1: To improve the quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Foster Community | Goal 2: To offer socio-economic opportunities that would enrich the lives of senior citizens, individuals and families.
  • Cultural Service | Goal 3: To provide a safe, inviting environment for seniors, adults, and youth to participate in physical and cultural activities that promote health and wellness.
  • Sustainability | Goal 4: To recapture the historic significance of the center and its important role in the community serving as a focal point of civic pride.
  • Sustainability | Goal 5: To meet the current needs of the community and anticipate future needs giving equal consideration to economic, social and environmental aspects.
  • Partnership | Goal 6: To cultivate collaborative relationships with community partners.

2022 Fundraising events:

Midlands Gives, presented by Central Carolina Community Foundation

2142 Boyce Street, Suite 402

Columbia, S.C. 29201

  • May 3, 2022 | Midlands Gives Day


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