FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - At her beauty salon in Downtown Winnsboro, Catie Brigman can feel her community's pain.
"Our community is hurting over the things that have happened in the last few weeks," she said.
She was referring to the sudden abandonment of a nuclear expansion project – a sudden abandonment that cost the area thousands of jobs.
"I think it's very important for our community to come together much more now than in the past," Brigman said.
Right now, there's a golden opportunity to do just that. Dr. J.R. Green needs school supplies.
"Obviously, you know, the basics of pencils and paper and notebooks. Obviously, book bags and glue sticks," said Dr. Green, the superintendent of the Fairfield County School District.
He said the sudden abandonment is having a trickle-down impact on the district.
In the past, companies at V.C. Summer pooled together to collect boxes full of supplies for the district's more disadvantaged students. Former workers tell WIS some of the efforts to collect supplies were seemingly abandoned along with construction.
"We anticipate probably won't be as robust as it has been in the past," Green said.
On top of that, there's another complication. Layoffs could translate into a larger need in Fairfield County classrooms.
"This year, in particular, we realize that there will be an increased number of students that are coming from homes that simply do not have the financial wherewithal to provide the kind of support that's necessary for our students to be prepared when they arrive at our doors," the superintendent said.
The Fairfield County Chamber and United Way have partnered together to pick up the slack with d rop-off locations county-wide – even one in Columbia. Brigman hopes those boxes will soon fill up.
"I can't even imagine what that child would feel like if they had to enter the classroom not having what they need," she said.
There are a number of places supplies can be d ropped off: at the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce headquarters on Congress Street in Winnsboro, at Winnsboro's Park Sterling Bank, at Ruff Hardware in Ridgeway, or at the United Way on Blanding Street in Columbia.