Carol Moeller found her calling more than 20 years ago when she was involved in a civic club in Spartanburg.
The club was tasked with developing a program for children with cancer. But this was an international effort, and Carol saw the need here firsthand.
At the time, her best friend, a single mom, was taking her daughter to Atlanta up to three times a week for cancer treatment – and longer stays were required when the child received a bone marrow transplant.
“Cancer just doesn’t come and go, like you go in the hospital and you’re out and fine. It goes on for years. And these families struggle for years,” Carol says. “Their jobs are put on hold. Usually in a two-parent family, one is going to lose their job because they have to be there for the child.”
In this case, the child wasn’t able to communicate with her friend, so Carol was able to get the young woman a laptop to help with that.
In 2014, Carol retired and decided to launch Carol’s Hope, a charity to raise money through thrift store revenues and philanthropic contributions.
“Everybody said, ‘No way, thrift stores come and go, you’re not going to make it.’ And that just made me more determined to do it,” Carol says. “I didn’t want the families to just become a number. I wanted them to become a personal contact. Every family is different.”
Today, Carol’s Hope has four locations and plans to continue expanding.
Carol saw the need for direct assistance to families. Maybe that’s to help with a modest vacation, or to cover added food and hotel expenses; one woman received a used car to travel back and forth to school and work – anything to help provide relief.
“If we have the funds, they go directly to families,” Carol says.
Carol and her charity have helped many families in the Upstate over the years. Often, these families have become lifelong friends.
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