St. Patrick's Day was a special one in the Tri-County, as Mike and Beverly Smith announced their commitment to the Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) and Trident United Way in the form of a $500,000 multi-year gift.
The joint gift announcement was made at the LCFB, where Mr. Smith serves on the Board of Directors. The food bank named its volunteer center in honor of the Smiths, The Mike & Beverly Smith Volunteer Center. The donation will go to renovate space used by food bank volunteers and serve the needs of the hungry throughout the Tri-County.
“Beverly and I are honored and humbled to make this gift as a thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to help end hunger in our region,” Mike Smith said. “We truly love serving here, working in the warehouse and knowing we are giving people the basic building block of life, which is nutrition. Since arriving here five years ago, we are truly astounded by the giving nature of this community and invite others to help out their favorite causes both financially and with their time.”
At the announcement, Mr. Smith added: “There is no place that our types of contributions better be utilized than at the Lowcountry Food Bank and through its partnership with the United Way.”
The Smiths have a long history of volunteering and giving, dating back to their 23 years in Philadelphia where Mr. Smith served as an executive at FMC Corporation. Since arriving in Charleston in 2015, they have continued their commitment to the community as supporters of the Lowcountry Food Bank and Trident United Way.
“Mike and Beverly’s dedication to our community goes far beyond dollars and cents: their leadership and partnership across the community is remarkable,” said Trident United Way CEO Chloe Knight Tonney. “They are doing this because they truly care about the well-being of others. The partnership between the Smiths, Trident United Way and the Lowcountry Foodbank is a terrific example of a partnership that truly works. Our collective hope is that this will serve as an inspiration and model for other philanthropists to accelerate their investments in our community. We have so many generous people in our community and the fact is we need more. We need more generosity and we must accelerate philanthropy in this region.”
“We are so appreciative of the Smiths’ gift and their support of the LCFB,” said Pat Walker, LCFB President and CEO. “Mike not only serves as a member of our Board of Directors, but he and Beverly understand, first-hand, how our volunteers make it possible for us to carry out our mission to lead the fight against hunger. In 2019 alone, more than 7,600 volunteers contributed more than 51,000 hours to ensure that nutritious food reached people who needed it most.
“This gift will create an enhanced experience for volunteers, will also serve to educate our volunteers about hunger issues and thank them for the impact they truly make for those who struggle to feed themselves. The new Mike and Beverly Smith Volunteer Center reinforces how deeply the Smiths value our work. We greatly appreciate the confidence they have placed in us. We cannot thank them enough.”
Mr. Smith is the executive vice president and president, Performance Chemicals at Ingevity. He joined Ingevity in 2016 from working with FMC Corporation for 23 years. He serves on the board of directors for the Lowcountry Food Bank and is a strong Trident United Way supporter.
Mrs. Smith is an accomplished artist and involved in supporting several local non-profit organizations.
Trident United Way is a catalyst for measurable community transformation through collective impact in education, financial stability and health.
Lowcountry Food Bank serves 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributed more than 32 million pounds of product in 2019, coordinating with nearly 300 partner agencies.