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Man says ‘thank you’ 25 years later

...with $1,000 gift

Posted: August 10, 2017 6:08 p.m.
Updated: August 11, 2017 1:00 a.m.

United Way of Kershaw County President Donny Supplee, left, receives a $1,000 donation from Joseph Atkins, who stopped by recently to say "thank you" for help he received 25 years ago in Camden.

Joseph Atkins was driving through South Carolina when he saw a highway sign for Camden. 

He knew he had to stop to say, “thank you.” 

About 25 years ago, Atkins came through Camden after living on the streets in Columbia. Prior to coming to Columbia, Atkins spent 13 years serving in the military then lost his home after having a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life.

“I was cold, wet and hungry when I got to Camden,” Atkins said. 

Atkins walked into a food shop, told them he had no money and was offered a sandwich and coffee free of charge. Atkins said he was assisted by two pastors and was amazed by the love he received from the Camden residents who reached out to help him. 

"It was this city's love that helped me when I didn't have much," he said. 

Atkins said he was cleaned up, fed and given a bus ticket to get to his uncle's house.

 On Aug. 9, he was driving through the state when he saw a sign for Camden. He said when  he saw it he wanted to stop to give a donation. 

"I want to donate to the city that gave me everything," he said. 

The United Way of Kershaw County will allocate the money to the United Way of Kershaw County's Men's Shelter.


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