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Former Sisters of Charity Foundation of SC President Receives The Order of the Palmetto

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Tom Keith, the long-time president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina (SCFSC) was awarded with the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor. 

Senator Katrina Shealy surprised Keith with the honor during a retirement party to celebrate Keith’s service to the state. The Order of the Palmetto is awarded to citizens for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance

“The Order of the Palmetto was the perfect way to cap off an incredible career or service,” incoming President Donna Waites said. “Under Keith’s leadership, more than $82 million in grants has been disbursed to over 3,200 organizations across South Carolina,” Waites said.

Keith is the founding president of Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina which began in May 1996 and he has served in that role for nearly 26 years. Keith previously led the Providence Hospital Foundation from 1993-96. In addition to his work within the Foundation, Keith also helped found the SC Center for Fathers and Families, the South Carolina Grantmakers Network, and the Collaboration for Ministry Initiative for women religious across the state.

Keith’s career in the non-profit sector spans more than 45 years. He began his nonprofit journey three months out of college in August of 1976. His community work includes serving on the boards of Columbia College, The Columbia Free Medical Clinic, Healthy Learners, and the SC Center for Fathers and Families.

“Tom has been a loyal and dedicated servant leader to the foundation and the Sisters of Charity for parts of four decades,” said Sister Judith Ann Karam, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. “His commitment to and passion for alleviating poverty in South Carolina has been extraordinary and while we will miss him very much, we are so very proud of his service,” Karam said.

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