• About our island’s unique environment
• About our local youth
• About building camaraderie among our neighbors, our visitors, and our youth to preserve the island’s natural habitat


Support local youth and enhance the natural environment in the greater Hilton Head Island area through grants and scholarships.


Raise awareness, encourage giving, and increase the charitable impact of all those who live, invest, work, and play in the Palmetto Dunes Community


Established in 2018, PD Cares is a charitable organization developed by the residents of the Palmetto Dunes Resort Community whose motto is; Giving back while building community.

Since its inception, PD Cares has awarded $155,000 to local non-profits in the greater Hilton Head area. Our targeted areas of interest for giving are our local youth and the environment. This year we are creating new initiatives that focus on building an environmental stewardship community that actively supports and engages our local youth & all who live, visit, and work in Palmetto Dunes. Part of those initiatives include the inauguration of an educational scholarship fund to support a local Hilton Head Island rising high school senior.  Funds raised by Palmetto Dunes Cares are awarded as grants and scholarships through the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry (CFL).  The CFL is a 501c3 organization that currently manages over 300 local funds.  Our goal is that our work will build community and camaraderie among our full-time residents, investment property owners, visitors, and commercial business to protect and preserve the island’s natural habitat.

2023 Grants

Palmetto Dunes Cares is seeking grant applications for its 2023 grant program. We will accept applications from December 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023.

Palmetto Dunes Cares is a charitable organization whose motto is: Giving back while building community. Since its inception in 2018, Palmetto Dunes Cares has awarded $155,000 to local non-profits in the greater Hilton Head area. Our mission is to support local youth and enhance the natural environment of the greater Hilton Head Island area through grants and scholarships. This year we are creating new initiatives and programs with the goal of building an environmental stewardship community that actively supports and engages our local youth and all who live, visit, and work in Palmetto Dunes.

Thus, the focus for 2023 is to provide grants to organizations providing services to local youth or the environment.  We generally do not make grants to sustain operations. We do seek significant and innovative projects, including those with a multi-year focus. Applicants should explain how they will support at least one of the focus areas.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications online through our partnership with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. You can access the application on the CFL website at .

All applications are due by February 28, 2023. For questions, or if you do not have access to a computer for on-line application, contact Lisa Mullins, Chairman, PD Cares Grant Committee,

Additionally, if you are a Palmetto Dunes resident, please share this announcement with your favorite environment or youth related charitable organization.


Our goal is to help a young person from Hilton Head Island attend a South Carolina public university or technical school. Deadline is March 13, 2023. CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW!



Palmetto Dunes Cares is funded by donations, local events, and Eco-tourism events such as weekly Beach Turtle Trots, Turtle Talks and the annual Thanksgiving Turtle Trot 5k. Be on the lookout for new additional program offerings for the 2023 season!

Turtle Trot
The Turtle Trot 5k is a family-friendly fun run series held on the beach in Palmetto Dunes in June, July and August on Wednesday mornings and on Thanksgiving morning. Please contact us if you’re interested in helping out. What a great opportunity to meet and interact with your neighbors, our staff, and guests of our community! You can also participate in the race! The 3.1-mile course may be run (or walked) by any who live, work, invest, or play here!

This family‐friendly run/walk is held each week on the beach. Registration is online only and is $30 prior to race day and $35 day of the race. Registration includes a t-shirt. Kids under 12 run for free and can purchase at t-shirt for $10. All races begin at 8am.

Click here to register for a 2023 Turtle Trot.

Turtle Talk
Turtle Talk – The talk will educate participants on what they can do to help preserve Hilton Head Island’s hatching sea turtles and learn what is happening on our nesting beach. The program, designed for both visitors and residents, is fun and educational and appropriate for all ages.  Cost to attend is $20 per person, pre-registration required, capacity is limited, and all children under the age of 12 need adult supervision. The Turtle Talks will be held June-August on Wednesday nights on the beach.  Online registration is required and this event sells out every week!

Event Notes: You will need to be able to walk out on the beach, so those with mobility challenges might have difficulty. If you have problems standing for a long period of time or sitting in the sand, please bring a chair. The Turtle Talk is best-enjoyed by adults and children ages eight and older, but all children over the age of two are required to purchase a ticket to attend.


Volunteers are needed to help us achieve our philanthropic goals. You may want to only work a few events or serve on a committee or board. This is a good opportunity to meet your neighbors, give back to our greater Hilton Head community, and share your talents. Contact us if you’re interested.

If you are not here most of the time you can still contribute by sending a donation through the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry earmarked for Palmetto Dunes Cares.

Advisory Committee

Bill Caywood
PD Cares Chairman

Claudia Gant
PD Cares Vice-Chair
Fund Raising Vice-Chair

Gayle Cleaveland

Franklin Thomas

Teresa Carroll
Communications & Marketing

Lauri Davis
Grants, Scholarship

Robert Eberly
Scholarship Chairman

Abbey Hightower
Communications & Marketing

Sue Kerr
Grants, Scholarship

Joe Maggi

Lisa Mullins
Grants Chairman

Nancy Novak

Ann O’Neill
Fund Raising Chairman

Andrew Schumacher

Donna Vaughn
Communications & Marketing

The 2022 Grant recipients include:

  • Backpack Buddies
    Serving approximately 500 children, their goal is to eradicate childhood hunger on Hilton Head. Their food delivery program provides a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack for the weekend to children in need. Due to the pandemic, they have supplemented those deliveries with grocery store gift cards.
  • Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen
    Since 2011, prepares, serves, and delivers meals to those in need in our community. Those needs have grown exponentially due to the pandemic, and they have responded with increased hot meal delivery and expanded the outdoor food pantry.
  • Bluffton Self Help
     To empower and advocate for Lowcountry neighbors to improve their lives through education and training, basic needs, and guided access to a network of community resources.
  • Coastal Discovery Museum 
    Our events, talks, tours, and education programs are specifically designed to plant the seed of discovery and awe, inspiring others to care for a place of rich history and abundant natural resources — to not only care about, but to take on the responsibility of caring for the Lowcountry. vents, talks, tours, and education programs are specifically designed to plant the seed of discovery and awe, inspiring others to care for a place of rich history and abundant natural resources — to not only care about, but to take on the responsibility of caring for the Lowcountry.
  • Deep Well Project
    The Deep Well Project was founded in 1973, digging wells to provide clean, safe water for the Hilton Head Island community.  Since then, it has been the source of emergency assistance to the local community and is supported by individuals, businesses, religious institutions, foundations, clubs, schools and various other organizations.
  • HHI Recreation Assoc.     
    The Hilton Head Island Recreation Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for visitors and locals alike. The Association is responsible for youth and adult sports on Hilton Head, community events, park rentals, senior center, and most recently adding a fitness component with the addition of the $13 million Carmines Recreation Building.
  • Hilton Head Island Safe Harbour
    Hilton Head Island Safe Harbour provides transportation to island residents who no longer can drive, but wish to live in their own home, especially as they age.
  • Hospice Care of the Lowcountry
    Hospice Care of the Lowcountry works to give comfort, honor and dignity for end-of- life patients and their families through compassionate physical, emotional and spiritual care, regardless of their financial circumstances. This task has been made much more difficult because of the COVID environment.
  • Lowcountry Autism Foundation
    Lowcountry Autism Foundation works to provide support to families with children suffering from autism. Their mission is to fill gaps in service and support by providing programming at no cost.
  • Lowcountry Legal Volunteers
    Lowcountry Legal Volunteers provides free legal counsel, representation, and education to low-income residents with regard to their rights regarding fair housing, child care, child support, and custody issues.
  • Memory Matters     
    Memory Matters provides compassionate services for those experiencing cognitive decline, offers caregiver respite, supports families, and educates those who want to maintain or improve their brain health.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Lowcountry
    NAMI provides free mental health education, support and resources for individuals and families who are dealing with stress, anger, anxiety, and depression, and all those affected by mental health conditions, situations exacerbated by COVID.
  • PEP     
    A non-profit organization celebrating its 25th anniversary where people with developmental, physical and intellectual disabilities enhance their lives through socialization, literacy and vocational training.
  • Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head
    Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island monitors Hilton Head Island beaches for sea turtle nesting and hatching activity annually, May through October, to promote the existence of these endangered species and to spread awareness of their struggle through public education and outreach.
  • The Children’s Center
    The Children’s Centers’ mission is to provide affordable, high-quality early education and childcare services for working families throughout the Low Country. The Children’s Center strives to be the standard of excellence for child development and care while enabling parents to fully participate in the workforce. Their goal is to ensure that every child is ready to achieve success upon entering kindergarten.
  • World Affairs Council of HH               
    To inspire, educate and engage our community regarding world affairs.WACHH provides a forum to learn more about world events and their impact on the United State of America. We offer a variety of programs for our members, the general public, and the next generation – students in our area who participate in our outreach activities.

    Click here to contact Palmetto Dunes Cares