What is Project Cool Breeze? In 1999, while as a Councilman, Representative Wendell Gilliard began a project to provide new fans and air conditioners to elderly persons, sixty years of age or older, in the Tri-County area in response to a number of heat-related deaths.
With the growing number of seniors, particularly those on low fixed incomes; it is more important than ever that the community and local businesses support Project Cool Breeze.
II. Youth Task Force
The Charleston Youth Task force was founded in 2002 during a period when youth violence and a high number of youth deaths were occurring in the City of Charleston. As Councilman, Wendell G. Gilliard organized a forum at Burke High School to get input from the community on how to best address the critical issue. One of the suggestions from the youth at this form was the formation of a youth task force where the youth in the community could discuss issues in the community, and offer suggestions on how to address them. Since that founding, each year the Task Force has presented a panel of youth and adults in a forum to find out what issues the community feels need addressing. Some of the projects included writing a script each year addressing these issues, followed by staged readings, then a full staged production for the general public, but particularly for the students at Burke High School. Each year the productions are seen by at least 2500 students and parents. Their annual Block Party proves to be a hit with the community, and a great opportunity to share information about existing resources in the community that may meet many of their needs. The event is also supported by businesses in the community.
III. MLK Picture Awards
In Keeping the ideals and philosophies of Dr. King, Representative Wendell Gilliard annually presents the Picture Awards to members of the Charleston Community who strive to improve the quality of life for residents of our community. Individuals selected are recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating to all that they are keeping the dream of Dr. King alive. Some choosing to work in the background while others are up front, but all making a difference in the lives of our residents. Representative Gilliard states, “These are the unsung heroes and heroines in our community. We should pause, take note and be thankful for them. As stated in the Bible, ‘Those who are great among you shall be your servants.’ These recipients are truly great.”
The first awards were presented in 1998 after Representative Gilliard, was first elected to City Council. Recipients are selected the first part of January, for recognition before City Council during the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations. Burke High School was selected as the host location because of its uniqueness. It is the only public high school located on the Charleston Peninsula wedged between the Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina. Burke High School is a school where there are great students and great teachers, but seldom do we hear great stories about the school, though they are many.
IV. Westside Law Enforcement Unity Day
The Law Enforcement/Community Unity Day started when Representative Gilliard was first elected to
office on City Council. He saw the value of the city's police officers; knowing that every day these men
and women put their lives on the line to protect and to serve the community.
The celebration's main purpose is simply to show that the City of Charleston's various neighborhood
associations, churches, and business are involved in the life of the community; and that they do work
harmoniously with our police department to make it a place of which we can all be proud.
"Our goal is to keep building on having a sound and positive relationship with citizens in our community