THE WEST COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT will collect expired or unused prescriptions, particularly controlled-substance drugs to be destroyed. Citizens may drop off any type of medication 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdayat the West Columbia BI-LO, 2349 Augusta Road. Used needles cannot be taken unless they are in a puncture resistant container and no items under pressure, such as inhalers, will be accepted.
RICHLAND COUNTY RESIDENTS can “Make the Switch” to energy-efficient light bulbs 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Richland Library St. Andrews, 2916 Broad River Road. Do your part in observing Energy Month by exchanging up to eight regular household bulbs for eight energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. (803) 929-6000; www.rcgov.us
SUDDETH AUTOMOTIVE is offering free car care inspections 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays through Thursday at 1410 Millwood Ave. Each multipoint inspection takes about 30 minutes and participants will receive a completed copy of the inspection form and an opportunity to review the results with a service adviser. Call (803) 256-2110 to set up an appointment; drop-ins are also welcome.
COLUMBIA ANIMAL SERVICES is holding a Halloween Super Adoption event with special adoption prices of $31 on all black and/or white cats and dogs. The event will be Friday through Thursday at the Columbia Animal Shelter, 127 Humane Lane (off Shop Road). All animals have been spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and wormed. Canines are tested for heartworms and felines are tested for feline leukemia and FIV. The shelter is open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. (803) 776-7387 or visit www.petfinder.com
INFORMATIONAL SESSIONS for the public on the Affordable Care Act and the new Health Insurance Marketplace will be held at Lexington library branches. Presentations by TeamHOPE, Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, the Cooperative Ministry and AARP; each will be session will be followed by a Q&A period. Schedule includes: Lexington County Main Library, 3 p.m. Monday and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Enrollment in the marketplace will be held through March 31 at the Main Library, noon-4 p.m. Mondays; 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays; and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays. Individuals must register in advance for a one-hour appointment with a counselor. (803) 785-2680
PETSENSE AND COLUMBIA ANIMAL SERVICES are teaming up to increase the amount of pet adoptions. The nationwide pet store, opening at 9 a.m. Saturday at 7402 Garners Ferry Road, will house up to six cats at the store and facilitate more adoptions through the store. The partnership and program will help Columbia Animal Services become a no-kill shelter within the next five years. for more information, call Marli Drum, animal services superintendent at (803) 545-7387 or go to www.columbiasc.net.
THE DORN VA MEDICAL CENTER and area partners are joining forces to host the annual Stand Down for the Homeless 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Midlands Housing Alliance, 2025 Main St. The stand down is open to veterans and other individuals who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Stand downs are part of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs efforts to provide services to homeless veterans typically through food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, counseling and other services. Cooperating agencies supporting this year’s event include AARP of South Carolina, Angel House, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Fort Jackson Warrior Transition Unit, McEntire Produce, Otis Spunkmeyer, Pepsi, St. Joseph Catholic Church, the American Legion, Transitions (Midlands Housing Alliance), Vietnam Veterans, Village of Hope Ministries and the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center. (803) 776-4000, extension 4083 or 6883
A ZUMBATHON to benefit Make a Wish of South Carolina will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday at the Polo Road Recreation Center, 730 Polo Road. $10, payable at the door. Make the event even more fun by wearing a crazy Zumba Halloween outfit. Bottled water will be provided as well as door prizes. (803) 446-8605
CHILI COOK-OFF AND FALL FESTIVAL is slated for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Glenforest School, 1041 Harbor Drive, West Columbia. Chili judging begins at 2 p.m.; prizes awarded in five categories. Food concessions, bake sale, vendor fair, arts and crafts, Kidzone area, bounce house, games, silent auction, City of West Columbia Fire Department ladder truck, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department bomb truck and folks from the S.C. Navy Reserves and Pets Inc. Free parking. All contributions and event proceeds benefit Glenforest School student scholarships. (803) 796-7622; www.glenforest.org/fall-fest
A CHRISTMAS CRAFT SHOW and holiday bazaar will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Lexington Middle School cafeteria, 702 N. Lake Drive, Lexington. More than 50 crafters and vendors from around the Midlands. Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank. (803) 553-4912
NURSERY ROAD ELEMENTARY PTO is sponsoring a garage sale/holiday bazaar 8 a.m.-noon Nov. 2 at the school, 6706 Nursery Road. Crafters and vendors welcome; cost for participating is $20 (any money you raise is yours to keep). Tables available for rent at $10. The event will take place in the teacher’s parking lot but will move inside to the gym in case of rain. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
THE ANNUAL OYSTER ROAST to benefit the Newberry Opera House will be 5-8 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Waldrop Farm, 637 John Waldrop Road, Newberry. Menu will feature Bowen’s Island oysters, turkey hash, baked beans, hors d’oeuvres, beverages and more. Raffle tickets for prizes including dinner for two at Steven W’s Downtown Bistro, two front row seats for the Wynonna show and an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn; $25. Oyster roast tickets are $40 (both on sale at the Opera House or any of the Newberry Opera House Guild members). (803) 276-6264; www.newberryoperahouse.com
THE CITY OF COLUMBIA is collecting old or unused wireless phones through the Verizon HopeLine® program. Phones that are collected will be refurbished or recycled; refurbished phones complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service are provided to domestic violence organizations for use by survivors. Bring old wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless carrier and drop them off in the collection bins at City Hall, 1737 Main St., weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through Thursday. HopeLine® locally supports Sistercare. www.verizonwireless.com
LEXINGTON INTERFAITH COMMUNITY SERVICES (LICS) will be holding food drives through the end of the year. Officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Community Action Team will be on hand at Walmart, 5556 Sunset Blvd., Lexington, 2-5 p.m. Wednesday.
HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK is preparing for the holiday season. A monetary gift will help gather loads of food from across the country. The food is often donated and free, but the transportation is not. In addition, backpack sponsors are needed for children. A $30 gift will provide 29 meals on the weekends. Harvest Hope dedicates 98 cents out of every dollar donated to its mission of feeding struggling families, children, seniors and neighbors. www.harvesthope.com
THE CENTRAL MIDLANDS COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS is seeking volunteers for its volunteer driving program. The ARP, administered by CMOG, is being implemented in Central Midlands rural communities with service beginning January 2014. Individuals 21 and older with disabilities and seniors 60 and older can get free rides to important locations. Volunteers may be eligible to receive mileage reimbursement; plus CMOG will insure each ride. If you’re interested call (803) 376-5390 before Nov. 1.
HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK needs volunteers for groups and for counselors in its Emergency Food Pantries. Go to www.harvesthope.org
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT is looking for folks to supplement the standard school curriculum with real world relevance and experience. JA’s school programs are made available at no charge to all teachers and schools. JA VolunTeachers may determine their own schedules (training and all materials will be provided). Volunteers may choose to work with elementary school students, kindergarten through fifth grade, 30 minutes a week for five weeks. Middle-schoolers in grades 6-8 will meet 45 minutes a week for six to eight weeks; programs for students in grades nine-12 require a commitment of an hour a week for seven to 12 weeks. Choose your school and class by calling (803) 252-1974, ext. 204 or email email@example.com
THE LOURIE CENTER needs volunteer drivers for its 5 Points Wheels program, a transportation service for seniors and handicapped in the downtown area. The program operates from a 15-passenger shuttle bus, taking seniors to doctors appointments, personal errands such as banking and salons and food shopping. There is an immediate need for a driver for a weekly 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday shift. Substitute drivers for Mondays-Thursdays are also needed. Requirements: standard driver’s license, ability to drive a large vehicle, knowledge of downtown Columbia, ability to work with the public and seniors, some physical aptitude and mobility. Call Stephanie Benjamin, (803) 779-1971, ext. 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARIS HEALTHCARE is seeking hospice volunteers. For more information, call Michelle Robinson, volunteer coordinator, at (803) 794-4141 or email email@example.com.
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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 age 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