About HUG

Helping the Underprivileged Grow is a fundraising organization that directs proceeds to nonprofits and charities throughout the Charleston area.

After working with many nonprofits we started to see a distinct patter emerge. Every company seemed to be looking for help in the exact same areas.

  • Increasing non-government funding
  • Creating a larger brand awareness
  • Targeting a younger demographic

Each company was coming up short on funds when relying on government funding alone, but they also didn’t have the manpower or resources to throw large events. Many also had goals to start campaigning to a younger demographic.

This is why HUG was born.

Co-Founder: Melissa Carr

Melissa Carr from Helping the Underprivileged Grow (HUG)

Carr’s family roots in the Lowcountry were planted on the Isle of Palms in 1965. Born to Alisa and John Carr in 1980 she resided on the island with them until Hurricane Hugo struck, then relocated to Mt Pleasant.

Her love for the area kept her here through college years and to this day. Carr attended Wando High School and College of Charleston. A self-proclaimed jack of all trades and master of none, she has worked in retail, insurance, veterinary and pharmaceutical medicine, and contracting for a major medical equipment company, all the while her love for the community never wavered.

Dedicating herself to community service, she began organizing events for the less fortunate in high school. Upon hearing of a fellow student’s passing she organized a car wash through the school’s Key Club to benefit the family and assist in funeral costs.

In college she served as the chair of the media board for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Charleston, SC. Finding a nonprofit that assisted all really sparked her interest though and she has been involved with the Trident United Way in various aspects for the past four years.

Co-Founder: Brian Rogel

Brian Rogel from Helping the Underprivileged Grow (HUG)

Brian was born just north of Chicago from a town called McHenry. After moving from Illinois, he spent time living in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.

While in Virginia, Brian attended Virginia Tech and became a diehard Hokie. He majored in management, minored in business leadership, and had a continued focus on marketing.

Brian fell in love with the lowcountry (especially its food) after taking trips to visit his sister at the College of Charleston. He eventually made his move south in 2009.

The marketing industry led Brian to become increasingly interested in web development. He soon took over as the webmaster for his church’s website. He continued to read, learn, and practice until eventually co-founding a company called Synactable.

Brian has a true passion for helping others and has been volunteering with nonprofits and charities since he was young. A few of his favorite organizations include: Special Olympics, Charleston Animal Society, and American Heart Association.

Read more by checking out Brian’s blog: Brian Rogel



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