HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – April 15, 2020 - As the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact families and businesses across the Southeast, Hargray has pledged $50,000 to support the Help 4 Hope Fund to provide free meals to families affected by the crisis, support local restaurants and help save jobs. 

The Help 4 Hope Fund is powered by the Watterson Family Foundation, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry in partnership with the Deep Well Project, Bluffton Self Help, and the Campbell Chapel A.M.E Church.  Donations are distributed in the form of $50 Community Investment cards given to families in need at various locations throughout the community; the cards can be redeemed at participating restaurants for a family meal that serves four.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of community partners, like Hargray, who are taking an active role in restoring hope, connecting the community, and rejuvenating our local economy,” said Billy Watterson of the Watterson Family Foundation.

Bill Miles, president and CEO of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, added, “We believe that if we stimulate the economy with integrated initiatives like Help 4 Hope, we will be much better off when the pandemic passes.  It’s good to know that we can count on community anchors, like Hargray, to provide much-needed support when it matters most.”

Hargray is also providing free Internet service for 60 days to more than 1,800 households with students in grades K-12 or college that responded to its offer that was announced on March 16, 2020.  In addition, Hargray is offering free Internet speed upgrades to its more than 80,000 residential customers and complimentary Hargray Smart Office video conferencing and collaboration tools to help small businesses support a remote workforce.  Hargray is also waiving late fees and not terminating service to residential or small business customers that are unable to pay their bills due to economic circumstances related to COVID-19.

To learn more about Help 4 Hope, visit help4hopenow.org, and for more information about Hargray’s response to COVID-19, visit  hargray.com/covid19.

About Hargray

Founded in 1947, Hargray is a regional telecommunications company providing advanced communications and entertainment services in a growing set of markets in the southeastern United States. Hargray delivers advanced fiber-optic technology and service to residential and business customers and is active in the communities it serves by supporting a wide range of local charities, organizations, projects, and events. For more information, please visit www.hargray.com

About Help 4 Hope

As this global pandemic continues to unfold, we find ourselves experiencing various stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, and depression. The effects on our economy are unprecedented. So many lives have been turned upside down, jobs lost, businesses closed, families destitute, with no clear end in sight. The feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming, but it isn’t until we travel through these stages of grief that we are able to move toward hope.

It is in this spirit of hope that the Watterson Family Foundation has partnered with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and a team of local leaders to create a stimulus program to help stabilize our local economy. People of the Lowcountry are known for their generosity, and we know they will rise to the occasion, but what makes this initiative different is its inclusivity. We have taken a collective approach to afford everyone the opportunity to participate in the rejuvenation of our economy. We are all in this together, and together we will rise.