The Exchange Club of Kiawah-Seabrook is proud to announce the recipient of the 2020 Angel Oak Award is Mary Hill of Seabrook Island

Mary and her husband, James moved to Seabrook Island in 2014 and they have both been passionate in supporting local charities. Mary is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. She subsequently received an MBA from the University of South Carolina and went on to a successful career in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. She worked for more than three decades as a Quality Systems and Regulatory Compliance management professional.

Mary is being recognized for her work with the Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation (SIHAF) and for her leadership in the mission and outreach ministry of the Wesley United Methodist Church on Johns Island. Mary became a member of the Board of Directors of SIHAF in 2016 and has served as Board Chairperson for the last two years. In that role she is responsible for overseeing the activities of SIHAF and ensuring compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements of this 501(c)3 organization that sponsors or supports over a dozen local charities and outreach programs. She also manages the annual collection of financial grant requests, organizes the Board review process, and oversees the allocation of funds to these programs. She is "labor" as well as "management" in that she plays a hands-on role in SIHAF fundraising activities, on-site program support and behind the scenes efforts to ensure the benefits to the community. Typical of her resourcefulness and leadership this year in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic, she managed to replace a major fundraiser, the Gullah Festival with a virtual on-line auction that raised a significant amount of money for those charities.

The members of the Wesley United Methodist Church on River Road on Johns Island are also the beneficiaries of Mary's expertise, energy and enthusiasm. Along with her husband James Hill, Mary is Co-Chair of the congregation's Temple Take-out Ministry which serves church members over the age of 65. Pre-covid, the Temple Take-out team, working under Mary's direction, purchased the necessary supplies to cook and deliver hot meals once a month to approximately 85 residents of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. While James was charged with acquiring the supplies and ingredients required, Mary created the menus, organized and managed the volunteers needed to prepare the meals, helped with the cooking herself, oversaw all of the distribution  and was responsible for fundraising and the financial management of the program. Due to Covid restrictions this program had to be modified and Mary was able to find a caterer to replace the home based cooking that was done previously. This outreach program continues to be successful because of her efforts. Since Covid put a temporary halt to in-church worship, she has made an effort to connect with the 85 members of her community through telephone calls and thus has been a lifeline to people who otherwise are missing the fellowship offered through communal worship.

Mary also actively participates in two other programs sponsored by Wesley United. One is Camp Hi Hope, which offers supplemental educational , recreational and nutritional services for neighborhood school age children during the summer months when schools are closed. The other is the Volunteers in Mission team, which Mary helps coordinate, to assist  church members with maintaining their homes and improving their living conditions.

Finally, Mary is a member of the Board of Directors and currently serves as the Secretary of the Sea Island Habitat for Humanity.

We are so proud and thankful to recognize the great work that she has done in support of all the people of our community!