This past Saturday afternoon Carrie and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Dancing with the Southern Stars event at Waycross Middle School. The annual event is a fundraiser to support The Magnolia House Shelter for the Abused and Hospice Satilla. 

The event raised $188,026.30 for the two organizations this year topping last years’ event that raised a total of $143,000.

Several Pierce County residents were participants or judged this years’ event. Everyone did a fantastic job in raising funds and dancing. 

The highlight of the night was the reveal of the total funds that were raised. You could feel the passion and love those who work at the organizations have and the appreciation for those who donated and supported the event.

Domestic violence has been an ongoing issue the Magnolia House has been working to combat and in 2018 they provided shelter for 177 women and children while providing 15,996 meals. They also have a hotline that answered 401 calls and served 66 new outreach clients last year. 

Hospice Satilla is also a great organization that helps provide care to individuals with life-limiting illness when aggressive treatment is no longer beneficial. The organization is non-profit and provides care in several counties including Pierce County.

I discovered the importance of hospice care when my grandmother, Helen Gardner, needed care before she passed. The hospice nurses were very kind and supportive to not only my grandmother but to our entire family. The nurses made the circumstances of the difficult situation easier to handle due to their kindness and generosity. 

Hospice care and support care homes are two of several groups and organizations that help those in need in Pierce County. Let us do our part in supporting them by donating either money or time or sending a kind message or letter. No act of kindness is ever too small and would be appreciated.

•Matt Gardner is the Publisher of The Blackshear Times. Email him at