The Spartanburg County Foundation Commits $75,000 to The Franklin School

In recognition of 75 years of impact, The Spartanburg County Foundation presented a $75,000 grant to the Northside Development Group Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at The Franklin School, 100 Franklin Street, Spartanburg.  The Franklin School is being built as part of the Northside Initiative and will serve approximately 200 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.  The grant from The Spartanburg County Foundation is being presented to fund the school garden and outdoor classroom.

“The 75 years currently being celebrated by the Foundation is full of exceptional commitments to the education of our citizens,” said Bill Barnet, CEO and Board Chair of Northside Development Group. “This visionary gift is yet another example of such focused support.  The Northside welcomes this investment in our cornerstone project, The Franklin School, and the important people it supports— our youngest learners.”

The Northside Initiative has been described as the most ambitious redevelopment in Spartanburg’s history.  The Franklin School, a unique community partnership, will provide the opportunity to demonstrate how high quality early learning experiences can strengthen brain development and provide children with a solid foundation for future success.  The school, set to open at the end of 2018, will be a full-day, full-year learning facility with state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor learning environments.

“We are pleased to present a grant of $75,000 to promote the wellbeing of children who will attend The Franklin School and the greater Northside community,” states Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation.  “As we reflect on the past 75 years, we see the tremendous progress that has been made throughout Spartanburg County.  This grant is an investment in our future that will benefit the next generation of Spartanburg residents.”

The Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas Delivers Check to The Spartanburg County Foundation

March 2, 2018

The Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas (CCP), formerly Children’s Security Blanket, gifted $150,000 to its Agency Endowment Fund held at The Spartanburg County Foundation.  These funds will be safeguarded and invested by the Foundation as a “Ready Reserve Fund” that the Spartanburg-based cancer organization can draw from as needed to ensure access to treatment for Carolina children.

“We make promises to brave children every day, and we are building our reserves so we can be certain of honoring those promises,” said CCP Executive Director Laura Allen.  “The organization’s growth in these past two years from a single county, Spartanburg, to the whole of South and North Carolina has required extraordinary changes and demanded the growth of endowed and reserve funds to ensure sustainability.  This is an important step in that direction.”

Children’s Cancer Partners has entrusted The Spartanburg County Foundation with its resources for nearly 15 years.  By establishing an Agency Endowment Fund, CCP has been able to meet current and future needs.  The Foundation handles all investment and administrative responsibilities in order for the organization to continue serving children and families affected by cancer.

“The Spartanburg County Foundation has done a fine job of stewarding other funds we have entrusted to it,” Allen said,” and this after all is where our organization began.”

“We are pleased The Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas has entrusted the Foundation with these funds,” states Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation.  “We value our meaningful partnerships with nonprofit agencies such as CCP and are honored to assist in their growth and meeting important needs in Spartanburg County.”

District Six at Cragmoor Farms Receives the Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Champion Award

The Farm to School efforts continue to be recognized across the state. On February 27, 2018, Spartanburg School District Six at Cragmoor Farms received the Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Award at the ForeverGreen Luncheon hosted by Upstate Forever.

District Six is grateful for the opportunity to provide their students with organically grown fruits and vegetables and for the partnerships that help make this project possible.  View the VIDEO for more information.

Foundation Engages Community Volunteers To Improve Lives In Spartanburg County

Standing Committee Members (L to R):  Ms. Dennis Chapman Hughes,  Mr. Horace Littlejohn, Mr. Todd Stephens, Judge Erika McJimpsey

The Spartanburg County Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of several community volunteers to both standing and advisory committees. The Foundation has benefited greatly from the assistance of volunteers throughout its 75 years, and for the first time in its history, has appointed four community volunteers to standing committees.

“Engaging community volunteers in our work is essential to fulfilling our mission of promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement, and responding to community needs. As the oldest community foundation in South Carolina, The Spartanburg County Foundation continually seeks innovative ways to involve diverse members throughout the community,” said Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “Including professional community leaders in our work has proven to greatly enhance our processes, maximize resources, and offer a fresh perspective on how we can improve lives in Spartanburg County. We trust the addition of community leaders on two of our standing committees will also prove beneficial as we look toward the Foundation’s next 75 years.”

The Foundation welcomes Dennis Chapman Hughes and Horace Littlejohn as community volunteers serving on the Philanthropic Services Committee. This committee is a standing, Trustee-led group that provides strategic direction on the Foundation’s marketing and communications, community outreach, and asset development. The Foundation also welcomes Judge Erika McJimpsey and Todd Stephens as community volunteers serving on the Community Leadership Committee. Judge McJimpsey and Mr. Stephens will work with Trustees to provide strategic direction for the Foundation’s comprehensive grantmaking program and community leadership work.

For more than a decade, the Foundation has worked with local financial professionals through the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) to oversee investment strategies, assess financial managers, and make policy recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Members of the IAC commit to a three year term of service. Members of the IAC include Jay Alexander (Class of 2020), Tom Arthur, Bert Barre (Chairman), Zim Cannon, Dr. Omar Daniels (Class of 2020), Jamie Fulmer, Julian Hankinson, Robin Leslie (Class of 2020), and Charles Shartle.

IAC (L to R): Mr. Jamie Fulmer, Mr. Zim Cannon, Mr. Jay Alexander, Mr. Tom Arthur, Mr. Bert Barre (Chairman), Mr. Charles Shartle, Mr. Julian Hankinson, Ms. Robin Leslie, Dr. Omar Daniels


The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at

The Spartanburg County Foundation Awards $109,837 to 14 Nonprofit Organizations

The Spartanburg County Foundation awarded $109,837 in capacity-building grants to 14 nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of Spartanburg County residents across all seven Spartanburg Community Indicator Areas: Civic Health, Cultural Vitality, Economy, Education, Natural Environment, Public Health, and Social Environment.

Each year, The Spartanburg County Foundation trustees set an unrestricted budget from The Community Fund and a partnership of other funds to award grants to nonprofit organizations serving Spartanburg County.

“We are very excited to be investing into these nonprofits by providing capacity-building grants,” said Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “While the purpose of each grant varies in scope, all of the grants will be used to help further the missions of these organizations and increase their charitable impact throughout the greater Spartanburg County community.”

The following organizations received funding as part of the Foundation’s Fall Responsive Grantmaking Program:

1. Angels Charge Ministry
Angels Charge Ministry is the recipient of a $4,250 grant to incorporate national best practices into its programming model. This includes an intensive workshop with Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN, a best practice in transitional programs for women, and a board retreat to create a programmatic logic model for change. Angels Charge Ministry offers a transitional housing program, case management, and advocacy to deter recidivism to facilitate a successful reentry into our community for women during and after incarceration.

2. Ballet Spartanburg, Inc.
Ballet Spartanburg, Inc., is the recipient of an $8,540 grant to redesign its website, which will contain a donation page and allow students to register for classes online. Ballet Spartanburg promotes dance and dance appreciation in Spartanburg County and surrounding areas by providing the highest quality of dance training, education, performance and outreach.

3. Carolina Miracle League, Inc.
Carolina Miracle League, Inc. is the recipient of a $ 2,047 grant to furnish a new public office space. The office will provide a venue to teach special needs parents about Carolina Miracle League programs and allow staff to connect with volunteers and the community. Carolina Miracle League provides individuals with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball on an organized team. Games are hosted at Miracle Park in Boiling Springs, SC.

FAVOR (Face and Voices of Recovery) is the recipient of a $4,000 grant to develop marketing materials for the FAVOR Family Support Group in Spartanburg County. FAVOR provides non-clinical recovery support services for individuals and families in the Upstate affected by substance abuse disorders. Its work is part of a national recovery advocacy movement to provide people affected by substance use disorders with access to the support they need to achieve and maintain long-term recovery.

HALTER is the recipient of a $12,000 grant to create a five-year strategic plan, update policies and procedures, provide board and volunteer training, and research fund development opportunities. Celebrating 30 years, HALTER provides equine-assisted activities and therapy for individuals with special needs and at-risk youth by helping them achieve their maximum potential.

6. Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg, Inc.
Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg, Inc., is the recipient of a $15,000 grant to purchase and implement a donor software program, and to complete and implement a fundraising and marketing plan. Healthy Smiles advocates and promotes the health of Spartanburg County children through free community dental health screenings and education, and free oral health services for qualified children.

7. New Day, Inc., of Spartanburg
New Day, Inc., of Spartanburg is the recipient of a $7,500 grant to purchase plastic/vinyl chairs for the facility and reupholster lobby area seating. New Day assists adults with varying levels of mental illness so that they may live as independently as possible within the community. Earlier this year, New Day opened its new facility on Church Street after the facility on Asheville Highway was destroyed by a fire in 2015.

8. Partners for Active Living
Partners for Active Living is the recipient of a $6,000 grant to implement a brand awareness marketing campaign. Celebrating 15 years of service, Partners for Active Living works to transform Spartanburg County into a vibrant, healthy, connected community.

9. South Carolina Hunters and Land Owners for the Hungry
South Carolina Hunters and Land Owners for the Hungry is the recipient of a $3,500 grant to redesign its website. South Carolina Hunters and Land Owners for the Hungry coordinate the distribution of venison and wild hog meat from hunters to individuals in need via an integrated network of meat processors and food banks. The organization also provides nonperishable items to families in need twice per month at its distribution center in Pacolet, SC.

10. Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is the recipient of a $10,000 challenge grant for programming and marketing OneSpartanburg’s Talent and Economic Inclusion Initiative. The Initiative will address a range of factors that influence a community’s economic competitiveness including: talent, education and training systems, business climate, infrastructure, quality of life, and quality of place.

11. Spartanburg Science Center
Spartanburg Science Center is the recipient of a $4,500 grant for marketing and signage. In 2018, the Spartanburg Science Center will celebrate 40 years of providing science education and enrichment for the students and adults of Spartanburg County.

12. TOTAL Ministries
TOTAL Ministries is the recipient of a $10,000 challenge grant to purchase a walk-in freezer. TOTAL Ministries provides assistance to Spartanburg County residents facing financial hardships through programs that: prevent loss of utility services, provide heating assistance during the winter, provide food, cover the cost of life-sustaining medication, assist with obtaining identification papers, and assist with traveler’s aid. The freezer will allow TOTAL Ministries to double the amount of food the organization is able to store so that it may provide more food to individuals and families in need.

13. Upstate Affiliate Organization
Upstate Affiliate Organization is the recipient of a $15,000 grant to establish clinical exam rooms at Hope Center for Children and Project Hope Foundation. The exam rooms will allow on-site medical care to be provided to foster children and autistic pediatric patients in Spartanburg County.

14. Upstate Warrior Solution
Upstate Warrior Solution is the recipient of a $7,500 challenge grant to research, produce, and market educational mental-health video modules for Spartanburg County veterans. The video modules are a component of a mobile app called Sharpen Warrior, which is aimed to address the immediate mental health needs of veterans as well as provide them with additional resources for continuing care. Upstate Warrior Solution connects warriors and their families to resources and opportunities, leads them through the process of self-empowerment, and inspires the community to embrace warriors and their families as valued neighbors and friends.

These grants are made possible in partnership with The Spartanburg County Foundation Community Fund; Jim D. and Johnnie G. Adams Trustee Initiated Fund; Arkwright Foundation, Inc. Trustee Initiated Fund; Rose and Vic Bailey, Jr. Trustee Initiated Fund; Bain Foundation Trustee Initiated Fund; The Barnet Foundation Trust, Inc. Trustee Initiated Fund; A.K. and Lois H. Caughman Fund; The Martha C. Chapman Trustee Initiated Fund; Stanley W. Converse Fund; Erwin N. Darrin Fund; Miller Foster Family Trustee Initiated Fund ; Robert E. Gregory, Jr. and Marie H. Gregory Trustee Initiated Fund; Tracy and Thomas E. Hannah Trustee Initiated Fund; Harriet Smith Harris, Philip Guy Harris, and Philip Guy Harris, Jr. Memorial Fund; Inman-Riverdale Foundation Trustee Initiated Fund; Betty and George Dean Johnson Trustee Initiated Fund; The Donald C. Johnston, Jr. and Ann M. Johnston Trustee Initiated Fund; The R.E. and Marion Littlejohn P Trustee Initiated Fund; Betty James and Walter S. Montgomery, Jr. Trustee Initiated Fund; John and Lynne Poole Trustee Initiated Fund; The Powell Family Fund; Virginia U. Russell Fund; Harry W. Sanders Fund; Shepherd Johnston Memorial Fund; The Reverend Clay and Jane Turner Trustee Initiated Fund; The Emery L. Williams Memorial Fund; Arthur Frederick Willis Children’s Fund; and Zimmerli Foundation, Inc. Trustee Initiated Fund.

Spartanburg County Selected to Participate in MDC’s Network for Southern Economic Mobility

October 6, 2017

Spartanburg County is one of four Southern communities that are taking on the challenge of improving economic mobility for youth and young adults.  The Spartanburg County Foundation has been selected to participate in the second cohort of MDC’s Network for Southern Economic Mobility that is focused on creating opportunities for youth and young adults in the lowest income bracket.  MDC, an organization that has worked for more than 50 years to help communities across the south close the gaps that separate people from opportunity, is facilitating this network for four communities in the region.

In addition to Spartanburg County, Fayetteville, N.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Savannah, Ga., will receive customized coaching and technical assistance, and hear from experts in institutional and governmental systems change. They will have the opportunity to work together and share their insights into what works—and what doesn’t—as they strive to eliminate the barriers that keep a high percentage of low-income young people from rising into the middle class. The new communities join Athens, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Greenville, S.C.; and Jacksonville, Fla., which are entering their second year in the network.

“The first cohort of cities has made great strides in lifting up the economic mobility imperative, grappling with difficult data, and identifying key intervention points in their local talent development systems,” said David Dodson, president of MDC. “Like their predecessors, this new cohort has shown the desire and capacity to do the work and address the challenge.”

“The Spartanburg County Foundation is excited to serve as the lead convener and facilitator for Spartanburg County,” states Troy Hanna, President and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation.  “There are many strong collaborative initiatives in our community, and it will be imperative to partner with those initiatives and to serve as the common thread that ties each one back to this issue of economic mobility.”

The Spartanburg County Foundation has established a leadership team to participate in the cohort and will be forming a larger team of diverse community leaders to assist with the overall project.

The problem, as spelled out in MDC’s State of the South Report “Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity for the next generation,” is that it is harder in the South than anywhere in the U.S. for young people in the poorest households to move up the economic ladder as adults. Southern communities that are top-rated as places to do business also are among the places with the highest ratings of inequality and lowest rankings for economic mobility, the report found. While education beyond high school is the best indicator for getting a job that pays family-sustaining wages, fewer

unities in the Network for Southern Economic Mobility have shown a commitment to helping marginalized young people, a foundation of promising programs on which to build, the presence of industries with career potential for young people, and top leaders who see the connection between economic mobility and the long-term health of their economy.

Core support for the Network is provided by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and other philanthropic investors. Communities are contributing a participation fee to support a portion of on-site technical assistance, coaching visits, and annual conferences.
“Across the South, our experiences have shown us people and organizations who align their efforts make greater and more enduring progress toward shared goals like creating opportunity and fostering economic mobility,” said Gladys Washington, deputy director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

Network communities bring together leaders from each community in business, government, education, nonprofits, and philanthropy to examine how well their existing systems are reaching those young people facing the most difficult barriers to advancement; analyze the policies, systems, and culture that impede their progression; and adapt or build the pathways that connect institutions and social supports, from school to rewarding employment. At the end of their initial two-year commitment, network communities will be expected to have:
• detailed systems and data analyses of those youth in the lowest income brackets and a clear understanding of the principal barriers to their economic mobility
• a diverse leadership group equipped to challenge institutional inequities and implement an action plan that leverages changes in the local talent development system so that it better serves the needs of both young people and employers, and so that it accelerates youth mobility efforts
• a set of priorities to build stronger organizations with the capacity to refine existing programs, aggregate and realign resources, and spur innovation
• a cross-region peer group of leaders working together on a cutting edge issue of national significance
“We can’t have a society where only exceptions succeed or where so much is left to the luck of the draw—especially when the deck is so often stacked against those who need the uplift of mobility the most,” Dodson said. “We must be about changing the odds, not expecting people to beat the odds.”

About The Spartanburg County Foundation
The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at

About MDC
MDC brings together foundations, nonprofits, and leaders from government, business, and the grassroots to illuminate data that highlight deeply rooted Southern challenges and help them find systemic, community solutions. Our approach, developed over 50 years, uses research, consensus-building, and programs that connect education, employment, and economic security to help communities foster prosperity by creating an “Infrastructure of Opportunity”—the aligned systems and supports that can boost everyone, particularly those who’ve been left behind, to higher rungs on the economic ladder.

Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance

Interfaith Alliance Logo Final
The Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service has provided an annual opportunity for people of faith to gather together in celebration and gratitude for over fifteen years. Following the 2013 Service, a group of Foundation staff and clergy met to discuss how the faith community could come together more than once a year. The group researched various faith community networks and formed the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance in 2014.

The Purpose
The Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance is a network of clergy, lay leaders, and faith communities joining together for the purpose of contributing to the common good. The Alliance was formed as a partnership between area clergy and The Spartanburg County Foundation. In 2016, the Alliance began hosting an annual program of events focused on different community issues and opportunities to connect and serve together. A schedule of Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance Meetings is listed below.

The Goal
The central goal of The Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance is to serve as a resource hub for community engagement and create a network to leverage the faith community and its many assets to meet the needs of the greater Spartanburg County community.

The Compassion Fund
In 2014, the Alliance established The Kirk H. Neely Spartanburg County Compassion Fund to honor the Reverend Dr. Kirk H. Neely for his instrumental work in uniting the faith community to charitably and collectively meet the needs of worthy causes through the offerings collected each year at the Spartanburg Community Thanksgiving Service. The Alliance is currently working to build this fund and has not yet reached the point of awarding grants. Once fully funded, The Compassion Fund will award grants to faith-based and community-based organizations meeting the immediate needs of the poor in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. This access to additional resources will provide the Alliance the opportunity to come together to meet needs in the Spartanburg community. If you would like to contribute to the Compassion Fund, click “Give Now” on the left side of the screen and type in “Compassion Fund.” All contributions are tax-deductible.


Are you interested in becoming a part of the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance?

Join us at any of the 2017 Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance Meetings!  Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance 2017 Schedule


Please click here to download a partnership form and mail it to “Attention: Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance, The Spartanburg County Foundation, 424 E. Kennedy Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.”  Please call The Spartanburg County Foundation office if you have any questions at (864) 582.0138.

Grassroots Leaders Embark on Journey to Create Community Change

Grassroots Leaders Embark on Journey to Create Community Change

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute (GLDI) graduated twenty-five new community leaders during a ceremony held at The Piedmont Club Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Graduates, their family members, and community leaders were in attendance during the celebratory event. Since its inception in 2004, nearly 350 individuals have graduated from the Institute and currently serve the community in various leadership roles.

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is a seven-month leadership development program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set, and resources to be effective in leading change throughout the greater Spartanburg County community and beyond. Participants meet one Saturday a month, for seven months, to increase their ability to make a positive difference on the local, regional, and national levels. For the past eleven years, the City of Spartanburg has joined the Foundation as a sponsor by sending several of the City’s local neighborhood leaders through the Institute, thereby increasing their ability to bring about significant change in their neighborhoods.

“This leadership program continues to attract so many quality individuals from across Spartanburg County who have a passion to make Spartanburg better,” said Mary Thomas, chief operating officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “The Institute prepares County leaders to take on more roles of responsibility in achieving our goals as a community.”

The 2017 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute graduates are Kim Atchley; Larry Easler; Dr. Gerard Edwards; Joseph Foster; Zaina Greene; April Hepperman; Cartia Higgins; Krystina Hunter; Angela Lindsey; Kenna McLarty-Wilson; Darrell McNeill; Jamie Means; Kirsten Miller; Rita Mims; Aisha Nickerson; Tamika Oden; Miguel Pastrana; Tamika Pollard; Luke Quillen; Lisa Cooley Scott; Natalie Smith; Veronica Taylor; Summer Tebalt; Rhonda Webster; and Christina Wilson.

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is now accepting applications for its 2018 session. Individuals can apply online at The deadline for applications is Friday, October 13, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. For more information regarding the Institute, please contact Tara Weese, director of grants and initiatives at The Spartanburg County Foundation, at (864) 582.0138.

The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at

New Website Maps Local Waterways

A new website is offering outdoor enthusiasts information on how to better navigate waterways across South Carolina.

Upstate Forever has launched Paddle SC, The website will be updated with additional content on a regular basis and currently includes descriptions of 63 waterways, 108 trip listings, 390 points of interest and 612 river accesses, along with resources to help paddlers navigate coastal tides and river flow gauges.

The nonprofit organization also released new waterproof maps for the Broad and Twelve Mile rivers on Wednesday. The maps are available free of charge at Upstate Forever’s Greenville and Spartanburg offices, local bookstores and local outdoor outfitters. Downloadable maps are also available at and the Paddle SC website.

The Paddle SC website is a part of Upstate Forever’s four-year “Reconnecting People to Rivers” initiative and was developed in partnership with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the S.C. National Heritage Corridor and Palmetto Conservation.

New tech hub to provide resources for Highland residents

New tech hub to provide resources for Highland residents
Alyssa Mulliger Staff Writer @AMulligerSHJ

A plan to provide residents in Spartanburg’s Highland community with life skills, job training and other resources became a reality Wednesday.

The new “Innovation Village” technology hub has launched at the Bethlehem Center on Highland Avenue, giving residents access to more than two dozen computer workstations for workforce readiness and academic enrichment.

“In the Highland community, we’re looking for opportunities to help people with upward mobility, self-sufficiency and to earn a livable wage,” said Patrena Mims, executive director of the Bethlehem Center. “In order to do that, you need skills to move that needle to the next phase.”

Area organizations behind the Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light “Video Village” art installation, including White Elephant Enterprises and hub-ology, were able to create the new technology hub with help from a Spartanburg County Foundation grant.

White Elephant Enterprises repurposed the small Raspberry Pi computers and equipment when the Video Village ended at Cammie Clagett Courts.

The city of Spartanburg will be using state funds to demolish some of the vacant apartments this year.

Of the 52 computers, 25 are in the Innovation Village, three are in the Bethlehem Center’s media arts laboratory and five were given to the Thornton Activity Center, also located in Highland. The remaining computers will be assembled into a fast supercomputer at the Bethlehem Center.

“We’re going to offer workshops on coding, technology, web design and how to use computers,” said Robyn Hussa Farrell, co-founder of White Elephant Enterprises. “It’s just a testament to the power of the community and the strength of this community in Spartanburg.”

The Innovation Village is aimed to not only benefit adults, but also teenagers and young children, many of whom helped assemble the computer workstations with the help of Spartanburg-based Hub City Bees on Wednesday.

“It feels like I’m some type of tech genius,” said Sonny Cheeks, 16, a student at Spartanburg High School who helped put one of the computers together. “I’ve never felt this way before with a computer and it’s nice to see everything new. I’ll probably use the computers for school research.”

Khailk Harris, 10, a student at Pine Street Elementary, helped Cheeks assemble the computer and said he likes coming to the Bethlehem Center for after-school activities.

“I can use (the computers) to look up stuff for school,” Harris said.

Leroy Jeter, president of the Highland Neighborhood Association, who was instrumental in compiling interviews and videos for the Video Village project, said the new technology hub will help further the mission of bringing the community together through ongoing training at the Bethlehem Center.

“We’re going to start with the neighborhood association and learn all we can about the computers and how to program things so we can then teach other people,” Jeter said. “For me, I think there’s a possibility that this can help lead to better jobs for people.”