CHARLESTON, S.C. – After helping to organize a November protest against California’s Prop. 8, Joseph Fennel says he’s heard people saying gays doesn’t do much to help the broader community around them. He told The Charleston Post-Courier he’s seeking to change that.

Fennel, 25, a Charleston native, has taken the initiative to start a local non-profit that will focus on helping the needy and improving community conditions. The new project is named Charleston Community Outreach. It’s first project will focus on Vivian Anderson Moultrie Park, which sits under an interstate underpass and is rarely used by children or families.

“I rode around town and that park just seemed to be the one that jumped out the most in terms of needing the most attention,” Fennel told the daily paper.

He’s already met with city parks and recreation leaders. He hopes volunteers will pitch in and that refurbished playground equipment will keep the project costs at $7,000 or less.

“We just want to make it a more family-friendly park, something directed more toward kids than teenagers,” he said.

The project has yet to submit official paper work to register with the state and receive 501(c)3 status with the IRS.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.