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Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of SOS Care, a non-profit serving children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities, Sarah has spent her life making use of every opportunity to better serve the community.
She has previously served as a group home manager, lead ABA Therapist, Job Coach, Camp Counselor, Rehabilitation and Supports Coordinator for Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs, Director of Parent Educator Resource Services for Horry County Schools, as well as a foster parent.
Sarah uses her 35+ years of experience working with individuals with disabilities to be the creative mind behind SOS’s programs and services. Over the years, Sarah has expanded SOS’s programs, client base, and areas served throughout South Carolina all in service of empowering individuals and families throughout our community.
SOS has partnered with numerous local organizations to bring Project SEARCH to Horry County, a program providing competitive employment for people with disabilities, and she is overseeing the creation and development of an affordable housing community for adults with autism and related disabilities, the first of its kind in South Carolina.
Sarah is also the mother of two young men with autism, and is relentless in her advocacy for fulfilling the needs of individuals with disabilities in our community.
Program Coordinator - Independent Living Skills
Program Administrator - Project Lifesaver, Subs for Santa
Bean Dreaming Mobile Unit Business Manager
Technical Support Supervisor
HR Generalist/Accounting Assistant
Program Manager - Oak Tree Farm and Adult Programs
Program Manager - Social Skills, Camp, Friday Knights
Director - Clinical Services/Pre-ETS
Program Manager - Employment Services
Oak Tree Farm, Social Skills, PCM Trainer
Program Manager - Charleston
Staff Recruiter[email protected]
Sr. RBT Intake Coordinator
Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Recreational Club Program Coordinator
Compliance & Billing Specialist
Respite Program Coordinator RBT
Mental Health Services
RBT Special Assignments Coordinator
Board of Directors
SOS Health Care, Inc was formed in 1989 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our funding comes from grants, fundraisers, and private donations. The ABA Therapy Program receives part of its funding from Medicaid, private insurance, and tuition. Our funds are used to pursue community goals and address unmet needs.
History of SOS
In 1989, Dr. Bill Davis stopped his urology practice of 18 years to found SOS Health Care, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of children, adults, and families who fall through the gaps of the healthcare system.
SOS started a healthcare advocacy campaign in Horry County for low-income uninsured residents, which garnered free physician care and remarkably discounted outpatient medication, X-ray, labs, PT, and Same Day Surgery services for over 13,000 families. This program was then taken over by SharedCare.
SOS was the initial lead agency for federal funding for HIV/AIDS for nine counties. After 3 successful years, this program was turned over to Care Team and Pee Dee Cares. Care Team is a non-profit created by SOS.
In 1994, SOS started the Caring 4 Kids program. This program delivered donated and purchased food, clothing, school supplies, presents at birthdays and holidays and other necessities to homes of children in need throughout Horry County. In 2005, this program began to function under the CAP agency.
In 1997, SOS began the Seniors Helping Seniors Program (AKA Senior Peer Counseling). Services included one-on-one peer counseling based on a model developed by the Senior Health and Peer Counseling Center. Seniors Helping Seniors spun off in 2006 as a separate 501(c)3 non-profit organization under SOS’s direction.
In 1998, SOS began the Homework 4 Kids Program after a youth participant said “Every teenager ought to have to come here and work with SOS for a week. It will change lives.” This program allowed youth (both from the area and outside) to perform such acts of volunteerism as repairing homes, building playgrounds, building the Children Center and the Health & Wellness Center at Cedar Branch, and more all to service the Horry County community.
In 2001, the Children’s Center of Cedar Branch Community was built by SOS in the most severely distressed neighborhood in the region. SOS provided an After-School program and Summer Program to over 60 at-risk 1st-8th graders. Beginning in 2006, the community operated the programs themselves.
SOS made medical supplies not needed locally available to medical missionaries via its Medical Supplies for the World program. Supplies included wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and more. They were brought oversees over 10 times to places such as Kenya.
In the mid-2000s, SOS’s Health and Wellness Program was based out of the Little Angel’s Health and Wellness Center, which was built for SOS by volunteer labor and money from a Duke Endowment Grant. The Health and Wellness Program featured a nurse (backed by a physician) for urgent minor medical care, triage and referral of more major injuries and illnesses, monitoring and education for chronic illnesses, and preventative health education.
An outreach worker provided transportation for medical and dental care for low-income families. In addition, the outreach worker assisted with completing Medicaid and SharedCare applications and advocacy in the schools for children.
Durable medical supplies and disposables such as liquid nutrition and adult disposable diapers were donated to SOS and given out to patients who could not afford to purchase them.
At the Little Angel’s Health and Wellness Clinic and other locations, SOS provided health outreach screening clinics and health fairs for detection and education of such health problems as dental hygiene, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
SOS’s Closing the Gap on Infant Mortality program provided education and advocacy during pregnancy and the first year of a newborn’s life.
In 2006, SOS began to recognize the growing rate of diagnosis of children with autism. During this year, SOS began to collaborate with the autism Advocacy Foundation. This same year, SOS began a collaboration with North Star Foundation to train and provide service dogs to children with autism. The Richard’s Program, a summer day camp for teens with autism, began in June 2006.
The Project Lifesaver Program of Horry County, part of an international program, began under SOS’s direction with Horry County Public Safety. Individuals enrolled in the program wear a small transmitter bracelet that emits a personalized tracking signal. This program is intended to provide rapid response to save lives and reduce potential for serious injury for those who wander due to autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other related cognitive conditions.
In 2007, SOS established the Building Futures autism Clinic to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy to children with autism spectrum disorders. At that time, the clinic was the only non-profit in Horry County providing ABA Therapy.
SOS partnered with Applied Behavioral Services, Inc. to provide a Summer autism Clinic. The program began with 25 applicants competing for 14 slots. The support offered by SOS allowed this service to be offered for the first time in South Carolina. At this time, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy, was available in other states and research demonstrated its efficacy for children with autism. ABA largely entails breaking skills down into small parts and using positive reinforcement to teach in a systematic fashion. Skills taught include communication, social skills, self-care, and play/leisure skills. In addition, problem behaviors are analyzed and treated according to their purpose or function. Then, children are taught responses to replace problem behavior with more acceptable alternatives.
SOS’s Ambassador for Youth traveled overseas to learn about various cultures. When he would return, he worked with at-risk youth in the community and in the schools to engage them and teach them about other cultures and individuals. The Ambassador for Youth’s programs created dialogue, worked to prevent students from dropping out of high school, encouraged leadership, and did so much more to mentor the at-risk youth of Horry County.
In 2008, as planned, the CBCEC took over running the Children’s Center and the Health & Wellness Center at Cedar Branch. SOS directed this initiative for four years to prepare the CBCEC to use it for programs to benefit the community.
In 2010, SOS opened its first autism Clinic in Garden City. The space was funded by a generous donor for 24 months and allowed for 20 therapy sessions per day. In addition to therapy, SOS was able to host workshops and training sessions at the new facility.
With the support of an endowment from the Wallen Family Foundation, SOS began its Urgent Dental Care program in 2011. This program assisted low-income individuals with accessing and paying for urgent dental care.
In 2011, SOS launched a new program for women with cancer called Elements Healing Space. This program offered free yoga classes; massages, the Look Good, Feel Better program; and other services to women who were being treated for cancer or were in remission.
In February of 2012, SOS began its Friday Knights II program, which was a partnership at the time with the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Friday Knights II was/is a recreation program for children and teens with autism and intellectual disabilities that also served as a respite program for parents and caregivers. That same year, the Opening Doors program aimed to address the needs of homeless youth attending Horry County Schools by providing them with work training. SOS also began a collaboration with GS Scene called Subs for Santa. This program was/is aimed toward low-income children and provides them with a Christmas pizza party and shopping trip.
SOS moved its Building Futures autism Clinic from Garden City to a new location in Surfside Beach. This location would be home to the clinic for the next 6 years. This same year, SOS began its SOUL program. SOUL, or Skills of Understanding Life, was developed to teach social skills, communication, to build friendships amongst teens with autism.
In early 2013, SOS was offered the use of the Sertoma Building on 21st Avenue thanks to the Grand Strand Sertoma Club. SOS moved in and began using the space immediately. This same year, SOS opened Making Change Consignment via a grant from the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council. This consignment store provided on-the-job training to young adults with autism and related disabilities. The store ran for three years before SOS decided to expand its job training services to more than just retail.
2014 marked the start of SOS’s Job Coach program, a program that worked with young adults with autism and related disabilities to help them find employment in the community. The Job Coach assesses and trains the individual on new job skills, assists with resume writing and job applications, and trains the employer on how best to work with an individual with a disability.
In 2015, SOS began to address the issue of high rates of co-morbid health issues amongst those with disabilities via its Fit for Life program. The program provided adaptive fitness classes as well as nutrition lessons that were broken down in a way that participants could understand and begin to take control of their health.
With the continued growth of SOS’s Summer Camp program, SOS decided the program needed to be split in two to properly address the needs of various campers. Thus, SOS developed its Career Camp program, which ran concurrently with the Summer Camp program. Over the summer months, Career Campers would have separate field trips and curriculum to focus on the needs of transition aged youth with disabilities including health, hygiene, employment, college, and skills for independence.
Later that year, SOS began its College Mentor program. The College Mentor works with young adults with disabilities who are pursuing post-secondary education at local colleges. The mentor assists with applications, navigating the campus, managing class assignments, and deciphering challenging social situations.
In 2016, SOS began the autism Community Education program. This program was designed to train local businesses on how best to accommodate those with autism and to break down barriers that families experience with accessing their community. As the program continued over the years, SOS focused on training businesses on how best to accommodate those with disabilities, not solely autism.
SOS began speaking about the topic of housing to its adult participants with autism and intellectual disabilities. With no national plan for affordable housing for this population, SOS began developing its own plan, which would later be named Oak Tree Farm. In addition, SOS began its Life Skills program to teach skills necessary for independence to adults with disabilities.
In 2017, with the support of the Grand Strand Sertoma Club and The Chapin Foundation, SOS built an annex on the Myrtle Beach clinic. This new addition would allow for a laundry room and a full kitchen, allowing the Life Skills program to teach laundry and cooking skills to adults with disabilities and prepare them for independence. Other SOS programs can utilize the space for their needs as well.
In the Fall, SOS signed a contract purchasing over 10 acres of land on Medlen Parkway in Conway, South Carolina for its biggest project to date; an affordable housing community for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities, later to be named Oak Tree Farm.
In 2018, SOS began its Social Skills Group for elementary age children with autism. This group targets children who have graduated from ABA Therapy and have developed adequate language skills. The program utilizes games and fun activities to engage children and practice social skills, which is routinely a major deficit amongst those with autism.
That summer, SOS expanded its Fit for Life initiative by developing the Holistic Health program. This program would take on an organization-wide policy to improve the health and wellness of all of SOS’s program participants, staff, and families. The program embeds healthy living into every program and trains staff and participants on options for exercise and being active as well as nutrition.
SOS opened another clinic, this time in Georgetown County. The clinic would feature services for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities including ABA Therapy, social skills and more. In addition, SOS collaborated with the Georgetown County autism Support Group to provide support group meetings for families at the new clinic.
In 2019, SOS began a collaborative effort with 5 other organizations to bring a local Project SEARCH site to Horry County, South Carolina. Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized employment services program for adults with disabilities in which participants go through 3 different internships at the host-site over the course of a year.
SOS also created our Making Change II Program this year which focuses on creating customized employment plans for our adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. This takes a passion and turns it into a career.
SOS expanded our reach to include a clinic in Charleston and job coach programs in Spartanburg/Darlington.
In the fall of 2019, SOS moved their main office and Georgetown clinic into a shared location in Murrells Inlet. We were able to purchase our first building and are excited to have a place to call home for many years to come.
In 2020, SOS Health Care launched a rebranding campaign to better represent who we are and what we do. Moving forward, the word “health” will be dropped from our name and we will be known as SOS Care. Our mission is to answer the call for help when individuals or families are facing the challenges of autism & intellectual disabilities. Our vision is to provide the resources needed for independent living for all individuals in South Carolina with autism and intellectual disabilities, so they are not in danger of becoming homeless.
2020 Corporate Champions
DIAMOND Sponsors - $20,000+
GOLD Sponsors - $10,000+
SILVER Sponsors - $5,000+
BRONZE Sponsors - $2,500+
2020 SOS In Kind Donations
Oak Tree Farm Capital Campaign Sponsors
Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Crabby Mike’s Calabash Seafood Buffet
Darron and Deborah Molter
Debbie Leonard, CPA
Dillon Lions Club
Elliott | Phelan LLC
Gary and Kelli Wadsten
Grand Strand Sertoma Club
Horry-Georgetown Home Builders Association
Hyatt Buick GMC
Lewis A. Sikes Foundation
Moglia Family Foundation
Mount Triumph MBC
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Newcomers Club of the Grand Strand
North Myrtle Beach Lions Club
OrthoSC, LLC./Dr. Wayne Bauerle
Palmetto Medical Equipment of Florence
Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
South State Bank
St. James Intermediate School Beta Club and PTA
Tuscany Master Association, Inc
Wayne and Barbara Hinman Charitable Fund
Oak Tree Farm In Kind Donations
Bank of America
City of Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Columbus Hope Foundation Inc.
Coastal Community Foundation
Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation
Horry County CDBG
Ocean View Memorial Foundation
SC Housing Trust
South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council
Tamsberg Family Foundation
The Chapin Foundation
United Way of Horry County
Waccamaw Community Foundation