January 2007

Charles and Valerie Aiken

Family dedicated to community service

“In conducting the affairs of their family business, the Aikens are an embodiment of strong family values and dedicated service to their clients and the community.”

Charles and Valerie Aiken, owners of the only African American licensed, Medicare-certified Home Health Agency in South Carolina, are the embodiment of strong family values and dedicated service to the community. Their 20-year career in Home Health Care Services includes seven offices in South Carolina and one in Augusta, Georgia.

Valerie Aiken was initially exposed to the Home Care Industry in 1981, inspired by her mother’s own 30-year career as a home care worker. She knew then that this would be her lifelong career and finds it rewarding when ‘you enable persons to recover in the comfort of their own home, and they tell you that you are a blessing from God.’ Valerie is guided by the belief that ‘you must be able to immerse yourself in the culture of the client you are caring for and manage the service you provide within that culture.’

Charles Aiken began his career in television broadcasting at WLTX-TV where he was one of the first African American news anchors in Columbia. After moving to WIS-TV where he worked as a reporter/anchor and executive producer, he left television in 1988 to join his wife in the home health business.

The couple met while attending the University of South Carolina. Together, they have earned a number of “firsts” and personal and professional accomplishments. Among their numerous awards and recognition for community service, including Valerie’s YWCA’s twin award, the Girl Scouts of America’s Trailblazer Award, the Madame C.J. Walker Award for Entrepreneurship and the Local Executive Director of the Year Award, the couple most cherishes the Outstanding Families of the Year nomination they received at the National Black Family Summit.

They are the proud parents of two daughters and one adopted daughter, and surrogate parents to several nieces and nephews. Valerie, the first African American to win Dreher High School’s pageant, has passed this legacy on to her daughters. Kirsten Aiken, the younger daughter, is a former Miss Spelman College. Kimberly Aiken was the first African American to win Miss South Carolina in 1993, and later won the big one as she was crowned Miss America in 1994.

The couple’s legacy to their family and community is their belief that service is more than helping others; it is making life-long connections and establishing direct relationships with those whom you serve. They believe that this is how to get a better grasp of the community and ‘how you are a part of it, and in doing so, take pride in what you do.’