UNITED WAY OF THE MIDLANDS AND BB&T are offering two opportunities for Midlands families with household incomes of less than $50,000 to get their income taxes prepared free of charge. Each year the United Way of the Midlands teams up with the Cooperative Ministry offering tax assistance sites in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry Counties. In addition to these sites, BB&T’s mobile banking site will be in the community this week in conjunction with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers to prepare income taxes, provide free credit reports and discuss BB&T products and services When coming in for an appointment to have 2012 taxes done, participants should bring a photo ID, Social Security card for all household members and W-2s received from an employer. Bank bus locations will be the Cecil A. Tillis Center, 211 Simpkins Lane, 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Transitions Homeless Shelter, 2025 Main St., 1-5 p.m. Thursday. (803) 733-7312
SOUTH CAROLINA YOUTH ADVOCATE PROGRAM, a licensed nonprofit child placing agency, is looking for dedicated adults to provide safe, nurturing homes for young people in foster care. For information on becoming a foster parent, call (800) 882-5513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD FOR THE SOUL winter shelter, 110-A. E. DeKalb St., Camden, is available for overnight stays when the nightly temperature is forecast to be 36 degrees or colder. Cots, linens and blankets are provided, as are a light supper, snacks and a light breakfast; showers and laundry facilities are offered. Shelter guidelines include a 7:30 p.m. arrival, consent to bag search and intake interview and a signed contract regarding behavior and disciplinary procedures enforced by the Camden City Police Department. (803) 236-7626
SPECIALIZED ALTERNATIVES FOR FAMILIES AND YOUTH (SAFY) is a nonprofit agency that recruits, trains and supports families to be effective advocates for children in therapeutic foster care. Committed and caring individuals are needed to temporarily provide children with safe, nurturing homes. Classes start soon. For information on becoming a foster parent, call (877) 422-7239 or go to http://www.safy.org
BE A REALLY GOOD NEIGHBOR by donating whole blood or platelets. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. The American Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so hospital patients have the blood or platelets they need to make a recovery. (800) 733-2767; http://www.redcrossblood.org/sc
THE HOME REPAIRS COMMITTEE of the Kershaw County Housing Partnership was formed to help low-income homeowners and families maintain their homes. Applications for home repairs may be made by calling (803) 432-0951 or visiting the United Way of Kershaw County, 110 E. DeKalb St., Camden.
A FUNDRAISER FOR THE ANTHONY DOVE FAMILY will be held 3-10 p.m. Saturday at Al’s Music Barn, 1282 Longtown Road, Lugoff. Anthony was injured in an automobile accident in September and has been hospitalized ever since. After the accident he suffered a stroke, is unable to speak and is fed through a feeding tube. Anthony and his wife have two children. The event will feature live music, bake sale and pulled pork and hot dog plates with chips, cookie and soda. Pork plates are $7; hot dog plates are $5. Monetary donations may be mailed to the Dove Family Fundraiser, P.O. Box 778, Ridgeway, SC 29130 or deposited at First Citizens Bank in Lugoff, Blythewood or Ridgeway. (803) 754-2780; (803) 337-2346
HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK is presenting an opportunity to express your love to those closest to you and compassion for those struggling with hunger. Valentine’s Day cards are available in packs of 10 for $10. Each card shows your love and encourages others to give a gift of $5 to help feed families in 20 S.C. counties. Harvest Hope can provide five meals for every dollar donated, so your $10 pack of Valentine’s greetings can result in as many as 300 meals. (803) 254-4432, ext. 1140 or email email@example.com.
JUMP ROPE FOR HEARTS, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association, is being hosted by the Polo Road Elementary School Panther cheerleaders, 1-4 p.m. Feb. 23 at Polo Road Recreation Center, 730 Polo Road. So far they have 32 jumpers and are looking to have 100 participants. (803) 463-2435
LEXINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT DEPUTIES are working in partnership with Lexington 1 and Glenforest School head basketball coach William Knopf to collect new pairs of athletic shoes in sizes appropriate for youth and older teens as part of the Barefoot for Bare Feet Movement. Shoes collected by the Sheriff’s Department will be donated to Samaritan’s Feet, a nonprofit organization that provides shoes to children worldwide. Drop off points (through March 24) include the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington; North Region Service Center, 111 Lincreek Drive, Columbia; South Region Service Center, 102 Airport Road, Pelion; West Region Headquarters, 4079-B Augusta Highway, Gilbert; Lexington High School, 2463 Augusta Highway, Lexington; and Lexington Technology Center, 2421 Augusta Highway, Lexington. Code Enforcement Officer Ty Haigler is coordinating the Sheriff’s Department participation; call him at (803) 223-1776
ZOOBOT is partnering with Pawmetto Lifeline this school year (ZooBot is the school of zoological and biological sciences at Longleaf Middle School). Supplies needed include: paper towels, high efficiency laundry detergent, bleach, tall kitchen trash bags, 39-gallon trash bags, hand sanitizer, Zip-Lock storage bags (gallon and quart sizes), printer/copier paper, towels, rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, stamps, cleaning products (Lysol, Mr. Clean, Clorox wipes, etc.) and office supplies (pens, tape, paper clips, etc.). Donations may be dropped off 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. weekdays at 1160 Longgreen Parkway.
REACH OUT AND READ, an early literacy program providing books for children age 5 and younger during well-child visits at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, needs new book donations and contributions. Callee Boulware, (803) 434-2523
PALMETTO HEALTH CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL is in need of stuffed animals for its pediatric patients. The animals will be given to patients and later taken home with the children. Because of infection control guidelines and respiratory illnesses, stuffed animals must be new and store-bought. If you are interested in giving, call Allison Jones at (803) 434-2151.
BIRTHRIGHT OF COLUMBIA, a pro-life emergency pregnancy service, is seeking donations of baby wash cloths, bath towels and bibs, crib blankets and sheets, disposable diapers (newborn and size 1), wipes and ointment, hypoallergenic baby wash and lotion, infant gowns and sleepers (0-3 months) and maternity clothes. All donations, new or gently used, are tax deductible. Birthright does not accept car seats, cribs or other furniture. (803) 765-0165; http://www.birthrightofcolumbia.org
BIRTHRIGHT OF COLUMBIA is a pro-life emergency pregnancy service providing one-on-one assistance to those facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Training sessions for office volunteers will be held at 6:30 pm. Tuesdays, Feb. 26-March 19, at 1405 Gregg St. (803) 781-7457
GIRL SCOUTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA – MOUNTAINS TO MIDLANDS is looking for adult volunteers to provide leadership opportunities to local Girl Scouts in Richland and Lexington counties. No experience is necessary, training is free. (803) 461-3737, (803) 461-3736; http://www.gssc-mm.org
SUNSET FELINES is in urgent need of reliable folks to spare an hour a week (mornings or late afternoons, weekdays and weekends) to assist with the feeding of several cat colonies in Lexington County. Ideal for retirees or those with flexible schedules. Also need foster homes, both short- and long-term; plus they have plenty of adoptable cats. (803) 794-5686; email firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.sunsetfelines.com
FIDO DOG RESCUE is looking for volunteer foster families to care for rescued dogs until they find permanent homes. (803) 796-2390
THE IRMO CHAPIN RECREATION COMMISSION is seeking volunteers ages 18 and older to become nature interpreters at Saluda Shoals Park. Nature interpreters interact with and educate park guests in the Wetlands Preserve. Volunteers meet at 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays for training. No experience necessary; retirees welcome. Jeanette Wells, (803) 213-2051