The past decade or so has been dominated by political debate over climate change. I’m not going to get into that too much, but I do want to discuss the impact the changing climate is having on economic activity globally, nationally and locally. 

There are obvious points of view about why we are experiencing climate change. Either we are in a normal climate cycle, or human behaviors are causing temperatures to rise — leading to rising sea levels, more frequent catastrophic events, and melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter why it’s happening; the potential impacts are very real and very serious. 

LOWCOUNTRY LEGAL VOLUNTEERS MARK 20 YEARS

A single mother reaches out to Lowcountry Legal Volunteers. She has two jobs, three children and a desperate desire to care for them and spend more time with them. But the children’s father isn’t providing child support and she can’t afford to hire an attorney. The staff at Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, which includes a small team of full-time employees and about 30 volunteers, steps up to help.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS

In 1920, American suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters. What began as an effort to help 20 million women cast their first ballots has become a power-ful nonpartisan organization with more than 700 chapters across the U.S.

This Valentine’s Day, the League of Women Voters will cele-brate its 100th anniversary.

BACKPACK BUDDIES CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF FEEDING STUDENTS

Janet Weingarten had only been living on Hilton Head Island for a short time before she noticed something that wasn’t listed on any of the tourism or real estate brochures.

“It’s almost a rite of passage when you move here,” she said. “You see gated communities. Then you start driving down side roads and you see a large part of the population. There are hungry families there.

PAY YOURSELF FIRST TO ACHIEVE YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS

Whether you’re planning for a hard-earned vacation or a new car, or if you want to boost your retirement and emergency funds, saving is key. 

No amount of money is too small to begin squirrelling away, said Bill Brady, managing principal at Hilton Head-based CrossRoads Financial Group. 

“Minor adjustments can lead to major improvements,” Brady said. “Are you sure you need that $5 Starbucks coffee every day?” 

BRUNO LANDSCAPE & NURSERY IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

This month Bruno Landscape & Nursery will be celebrating 30 years in business on Hilton Head Island. A small landscape business started by Gary and Mary Ann Bruno in 1989 has blossomed into a booming operation that has far exceeded their expectations. Their once young children (Steven, Jenna & Nikki), who tagged along from job site to job site, are now all working in the family business.

 25 YEARS AND $82 MILLION LATER, COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY IS STILL GROWING

The world’s first community foundation was set up in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. Eight decades later, the Lowcountry established one of its own, seeded with $20 million from the sale of Hilton Head Hospital.

Now, with a quarter century under its belt, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry continues to grow, having invested more than $82 million in grants and scholarships since 1994.

LOCAL PHILANTHROPY IS ALIVE AND WELL

With the passage of federal tax cuts and the Jobs Act in late 2017, nonprofits held their collective breath to see how charitable giving would be impacted. They worried that contributions would decrease as a result of the higher standard deductions allowed under the new tax law. The old law allowed standard deductions of $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly; the new law nearly doubled that, raising the standard deductions to $12,000 and $24,000, respectively. 

SUPERSTAR SPEAKERS COME TO THE LOWCOUNTRY IN A NEW SERIES

We live in superficial times. It’s easy to overlook the voices of experts amidst today’s constant flurry of tweets, memes and sound bites — muddying the public discourse 280 characters at a time. Two years ago, James Lamar set out to do something about that.

“It’s been my experience that, with the 24-hour news cycle and social media, people are formulating opinions based on very limited, very filtered, information,” he said. “My thought was to create a live experience, a live forum, where people can see and hear directly from the expert.”

In 1979, Mike Overton was living in Burlington, Vermont, on the shores of Lake Champlain — one of North America’s best inland windsurfing locales. One chilly spring evening, he and a friend hatched a plan to leave wintry New England and start a windsurfing school on Hilton Head Island. In early summer, Overton loaded up a truck and headed south to establish Sailin’ Shoes Windsurfing. Named after a Little Feat song, the school later became Windsurfing Hilton Head.