Collaboration results in better communities

By: 

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood, 16th Century English writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs

“If everyone does a little, no one will have to do a lot.” – Ferlecia Cuthbertson, President of the W-E CommUNITY Coalition in Williston

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – quote from J.K. Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” – quote from Alexandre Dumas’ book, The Three Musketeers

“Working Together Works” – Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce’s motto

These quotes come from different centuries and contexts, but the message is the same: It’s better to work together.

As we’ve seen time after time, Barnwell County is a generous and caring community. From helping neighbors during the 2014 ice storm to helping strangers in Columbia during the 2015 flood, we’ve reported on a number of the countless ways our community has come together.

Recently, the importance of unity has been evident in our community several times.

On Tuesday morning, local, state and federal officials joined together to break ground on a new 24/7 freestanding emergency department that will primarily serve residents of Barnwell and Bamberg counties. It is meant to help fill a void in rural healthcare left by the closure of the hospitals in those counties in recent years.

While leaders from both counties have worked to find a long-term healthcare solution since the loss of their respective hospitals, this emergency department required teamwork from several parties. Officials from Barnwell, Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties all played some part in bringing the idea for a regional facility to fruition. Lawmakers at the state and federal levels also played a part, including helping to secure funding for the multi-million dollar project.

We thank all of those parties for their help in bettering the healthcare outlook of our community.

We also thank the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg for taking a leap of faith to sponsor and operate the new facility. They see the need for the facility and the potential it has to help local residents during emergencies where every second counts. We hope residents will support the facility, which is expected to open next summer.

Read more about the new facility and the groundbreaking on the front page.

The power of collaboration and unity was also evident Sunday afternoon in Williston as the W-E CommUNITY Coalition held its 4th Annual Back-to-School Bash.

However, the coalition could not have put on the event, which drew an estimated 700 students, without the assistance of dozens of partners. These included businesses, organizations, town leaders, sororities, and churches.

The partners funded school supplies and also manned tables to distribute the items to local students at the event.

We appreciate the commitment of each partner, every volunteer and the members of the W-E CommUNITY Coalition for ensuring students start the school year off with the supplies they need to become academic achievers.

Leaders and residents in the Town of Kline also came together over the weekend to distribute 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to area students.

Details about these events can be found on page 5B.

Folks in Blackville will also unite this weekend for a back-to-school bash on Saturday, August 12. Turn to page 6B (Community Calendar) for details on this event and others.

We encourage residents to look for ways to work together to make Barnwell County the best it can be.

After all, “unity” is necessary to complete our “commUNITY”!