For current information and upcoming volunteer opportunities, Click Here for the CRO webpage.
Early in the development of the Cliffs Communities, there was a recognition by its generous residents of the significant needs in the communities "beyond our gates". This led to the establishment of a non-profit, 501(c)3, Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO), as a way to focus efforts to give back to the broader community. Since 2007, The Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO), has been committed to the mission of “Providing resources to regional children that promote opportunities for lifelong success.” While we support a wide variety of student programs, our focus centers on funding initiatives that relate to education and human services.
CRO is comprised of five branches which represent the Cliffs’ Communities of the Vineyards, Glassy, Valley/Mt. Park, Falls and Springs. The branches, including CRO-Vineyards, work independently to support the needs of their local schools through fundraising and volunteering, all aligning with one consistent message – kids first.
For the Vineyards' CRO volunteers, their efforts initially began by supporting Holly Springs Elementary School. When this school was closed at the end of the 2015 school year and consolidated with other Pickens elementary schools, CRO-V transitioned its support to Pickens Elementary School. Beginning in 2018, CRO-V extended its support to include Hagood Elementary School. Today, CRO provides funding for programs at the two elementary schools, Pickens Middle School, Pickens High School, Pickens Career & Technical Center and programs that serve children like Youth Appalachian Musicians and the Pickens County Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which CRO Vineyards initiated in the county in 2022.
To understand the needs and opportunities of the students we support, a quick look at the demographics of the elementary school's student body is helpful:
Pickens Elementary School:
- 556 students in Pre-K4 through 5th Grade
- 70% living below the poverty line
- 25:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
- 16.2% of students have a disability
- 7.7% of students are in gifted and talented programs
Hagood Elementary School:
- 485 students in Pre-K3 through 5th Grade
- 75% of the students living below the poverty line
- 20:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
- 6.5% of students are in gifted and talented programs
A very large number of students get two of their meals each day from the schools, including during the summer. Additionally the schools facilitate aid and services for their students, from housing, to doctor/dental appointments, to emergency assistance to families, scholarships for field trips etc.
Despite these obstacles, the schools have created an environment full of opportunities that engage students, staff, parents and volunteers focused on achieving the full academic potential of each individual learner.
CRO-V steps in and provides support to the schools, often because the school's parents or family members simply don't have the means:
- CRO-V has provided tutoring to supplement and reinforce a student's learning, especially after the pandemic
- CRO-V has provided emergency assistance to families who suddenly struggle to meet their most basic needs, from temporary housing to monthly electric bills
- CRO-V has provided supplies for hygiene and health kits, like lice kits and pest control treatments at student's houses
- CRO-V has provided volunteers to proctor statewide standardized testing
- CRO-V has provided funding for Camp iRock, a summer academic camp to help students achieve grade level reading before the start of the next school year
- CRO-V has provided funding to YAMS, an instrumental music program for chidlren beginning in 3rd grade. The funding has been used to maintain the instruments (strings, repairs) and tuition scholarships
- CRO-V has purchased Robotics kits for the Pickens Middle and High School Robotics team; CRO-V helped a team of 7th grade girls reach the World Competition
- CRO-V has purchased equipment for the Pickens Career & Technical Center which serves 1,700 high school students who supplemen their education with additional classes in technical studies from medical to automotive.
Vineyards' volunteers are always welcome, always needed and ALWAYS APPRECIATED.
If you would like to donate or volunteer, please reach out directly to Rebecca McNichols, Chairman of the Vineyards CRO Advisory Council.
To donate by check, mail your check to:
P.O. Box 93
Sunset, SC 29685-0093
To donate online by credit card or Pay Pal, click on the CRO website:
Select Donate and select CRO Vineyards Online Donation