WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Wednesday, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced 39 groups that serve crime victims, will be receiving part of a $32 million grant. Each group helps victims of child abuse, human trafficking, social services, public and highway safety, health services, and other trauma.
There are three different types of grants: Victims of Crime Act, Violence Against Women Act, and State Victim Assistance Program. The funds are approximately 98% federally funded and the remaining portion is through the state.
Kimberly Cockrell is the victim services manager for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in South Carolina. She said she is dedicating her life to help those who stepped in during a traumatic time.
"In 1993, my best friend, Nancy Moore Thurmond was walking across the street in Five Points when a drunk driver ran her down in the street," Cockrell said. "Mothers Against Drunk Driving literally picked me up and helped me up and taught me how to fight -- not just for me, but for Nancy's family."
Cockrell said she was in Los Angeles when she head the news about Thurmond.
"I remember answering the phone, and I remember hearing my mom through sobs. I understood 'Nancy,' 'car wreck,' and 'you have to come home.' I had no idea that she passed until I landed, and as I got off the plane and ran down, ran into my daddy's arms and I said 'I want you to take me to the hospital' and my dad said 'she's gone, honey.' 28 years later, it's still here, and you don't get over these losses, you don't. And MADD understands that. MADD is, we serve through the lifespan."
MADD is one of dozens of organizations in the Midlands to receive part of the grant. Nearly 10 million dollars will go to groups in the Midlands.
"$9.2 million dollars will be coming here to the Midlands region," Wilson said. "Which include statewide agencies Aiken, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Richland Counties."
Cockrell said this funding is giving back to the very organization that helped her and will help many others.
"This is a wonderful event, not only for those of us who are receiving these funds, but for those that are going to receive these services that these funds are providing," Cockrell said.
She said with the grant, more South Carolinians in need of these life-supporting services can get the counseling and emotional support they need throughout their lifetime.