Mary Kent Hearon - Loving South Carolina one heart at a time

April 2016 - Profile
by Deena C. Bouknight

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April 2016 - Profile

Weeks after the flood of the century—arguably a “1,000-year flood”—devastation stretched its soggy fingers across Columbia. Yet within a few days, yard signs reading I (heart knot symbol) SC, Tied Strong started popping up in front of the most ravished homes in what some called Ground Zero: the Burwell Lane, Rickenbaker Road, and Kilbourne Avenue area. The mysterious symbol brought a glimmer of light into areas of drenched darkness.

When the flood hit, Mary Kent Hearon’s home was unaffected—yet her community was suffering. She had grown up in the Heathwood area and attended Hammond School, but many of her friends and customers lived in waterlogged, badly damaged areas. She was distraught.

Like many of her fellow Columbians, she had difficulty sleeping, suffered moments of guilt, and worried she couldn’t do enough for her struggling neighbors. She was suffering from Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) or “compassion anxiety,” a syndrome experienced by those not directly hit by a disaster.

She decided to talk to the Lord about it. What do I do God? Show me the path. God’s answer was the motivation behind the yard signs and matching printed I (heart knot symbol) SC t-shirts.

Mary Kent had learned that contractors, clean-up crews, and other rescue personnel were having difficulty finding some of the residences because mailboxes were obliterated or missing. Besides offering encouragement, the signs would provide space for the home’s address. She planned to donate 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts to flood victims.

Why did Christ die for you?

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