Lynn Young, Columbia native and Founder of Midlands Orphan Relief and Lowcountry Orphan Relief, received the Order of the Palmetto, May 25. It is the highest civilian honor awarded by the governor of South Carolina.
Governor Henry McMaster presented the honor to Young at a ceremony at the South Carolina State House.
“Lynn Young has dedicated her life to helping our most vulnerable children and assisting Title 1 schools through Lowcountry Orphan Relief and Midlands Orphan Relief. This work has impacted the lives of thousands of children across our State and makes her a highly deserving recipient of the Order of the Palmetto,” McMaster said.
“Not only was I shocked but so moved that my state would even consider me for this honor. I have done everything out of love not only for my state, but above all, for the children who have been abused or abandoned in so many ways in our beautiful state. I only want to be their hope,” said Young.
Young founded Lowcountry Orphan Relief in 2003 in Charleston, and expanded to a second location in Columbia, in 2021 called Midlands Orphan Relief. The non-profit has served more than 41,000 neglected, abused, and displaced children in the state by providing necessities such as clothes, toiletries, stuffed animals, and books. Midlands and Lowcountry Orphan Relief work with local entities to create fundraising opportunities, supply drives, volunteer work, donations, and to raise awareness for children experiencing abuse and neglect. Young joins her husband, Preston Young, president of the Charleston Leadership Prayer Foundation, as a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto. Preston Young received the award in 2021.
The Order of the Palmetto is awarded in recognition of outstanding service by an individual to the state of South Carolina whose facilities are in the state. The Order of the Palmetto was established in 1971 by Governor John C. West. Other notable recipients include former University of South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz, civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark, and novelist Pat Conroy.
Midlands Orphan Relief is an affiliate of Lowcountry Orphan Relief, founded in 2003, the mission of Midlands Orphan Relief is to provide support services and aid to meet the needs of South Carolina children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. The vision of Midlands Orphan Relief and Lowcountry Orphan Relief is that no child should be without the basic necessities in life, regardless of their life circumstances.