Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fighting Child Abuse in Charleston, S.C.

Charleston, S.C., with its pristine beaches, historic homes, fine dining and southern hospitality, is considered a top tourist spot in the United States. However, the city is fighting a grave problem: Child abuse is on the rise in Charleston and surrounding areas. Regent University doctoral student Troy Hall is working to change that.

Hall, chief operating officer of South Carolina Federal Credit Union, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Lowcountry Orphan Relief (LOR). Since many abused and neglected children are removed from their homes without clothing and basic necessities, this nonprofit organization steps in to provide toiletries and school supplies. In just six years, LOR has offered immediate, practical assistance to more than 9,200 children.

Hall became aware of LOR's work through a presentation at his job by LOR founder Lynn Young. Hall says he and his wife were immediately drawn to the organization's mission and have volunteered there for several years. Now, as a member of the Board of Directors he hopes to inspire others in his community to move from awareness of the problem to taking action.

"It is not about learning another statistic," Hall says. "You do not need any more information than for me to tell you that there are children in your midst who are battered, neglected and left alone. If that does not call you into action there is not one more thing I can teach you. I want that to be enough to compel you to do something."

He desires to develop leaders within his community by drawing on principles he is learning through his doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership. "I hope, through LOR, to raise up folks who will lead themselves and someone next to them, then lead the organization in ways that can rid us of the problem," this man of vision shares. "We will not stop what we are doing until we can say that 100 percent of our children are taken care of."
  Though he has pursued studies at Harvard Business School, Wharton School of Business and Cornell University, Hall chose Regent for his doctoral studies because of the university's strong combination of rigorous academics and Christ-centered faith. He believes seeking higher education will put him a better place to make a difference.
"With my doctoral position, I will have a voice in the community that might be different than someone who just speaks up at a town meeting," Hall explains. "My intention is to be ready to use that voice when God calls me to use it."