Community Foundation is “The Perfect Connector” for Philanthropists and Charities

Stacy Levinson and Perry Lancaster connect to their community through philanthropy

Stacy Levinson, owner of the iconic Columbia clothing store Brittons, has always been community minded. This is thanks, in large part, to the influence of her parents and grandparents, for whom acts of generosity were constant--and even courageous. Her paternal grandfather, Charles (who immigrated to the United States from Latvia at the age of seven), became one of the first merchants in Jim Crow era South Carolina to welcome African-American patrons into his store, to try on hats.

“My family has been part of the South Carolina community for close to a hundred years,” the third-generation clothier says. “We’ve always been fortunate to receive a lot from this state. It’s only right that we give back, and help make it a little better for the people who live here.” This mindset led Stacy and her husband, veteran Brittons salesman Perry Lancaster, to seek out the Community Foundation for guidance with their myriad philanthropic activities. “There are so many charities that we don’t know about out there, and the Foundation is the perfect connector,” Perry says. “That’s why we’re so excited to join forces with them, because they’re helping connect us with organizations we might have overlooked otherwise.”

Whether they’re hosting a fundraiser for the Free Medical Clinic of Columbia, or collecting donations for Harvest Hope during their annual “Christmas in July” celebration at Brittons, Stacy and Perry say partnering with the Community Foundation has widened the scope of their charitable giving considerably.

“Together we’re helping the bigger cause,” Stacy says. “That’s why we came to the Foundation in the first place--so they could help us build the community stronger than it is.”

By Luke Hodges

Stories of Philanthropy