SO YOU CHANGED YOUR CLOCK, did you change the batteries in your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector? The Cayce Department of Public Safety in conjunction with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs will be providing a limited number of batteries for these lifesavers to seniors and needy households in Cayce. To obtain the batteries or make arrangements for installation, call (803) 794-0456
BELK’S FALL CHARITY SALE, slated for 6-10 a.m. Saturday, provides an opportunity for shoppers to support local charities while taking advantage of special discounts of 20-70 percent of purchases. In return for purchasing a $5 ticket, customers get great buys on rarely discounted merchandise and other items throughout the store. Plus, customers receive a $5 credit on Charity Sale purchases completely offsetting the cost of the tickets. Charities get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds for each $5 ticket sold. The first 100 customers in each store on the morning of the Charity Sale will receive free Belk gift cards ranging in value from $5-$100 and a chance to win one of three $1,000 Belk gift cards. Contact your local Belk store or visit http://www.belk.com/charitysale.
THE FALL FOR PETS FESTIVAL, sponsored by Spears Creek Veterinary Clinic and Kennel Care netted $2,224.25 to benefit the Walter Crowe Animal Shelter in Camden and its foster program.
THE PUMPKIN RUN, sponsored by the YMCA of Columbia raised $13,000 for its annual campaign with 650 runners participating in the 5K walk/run and kids fun run. The mission of the Y’s annual campaign is to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities by never turning anyone away who cannot afford a YMCA program or Y-service.
NEED HELP PAYING your Medicare prescription drug cost? The Extra Help program helps individuals pay their Medicare prescription drug plan costs such as premiums, deductibles and copayments. The Medicare Savings program can help with Medicare costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments and the monthly Part B premium. To see if you qualify for these programs, contact the I-CARE (Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referral for Elders) program of the Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center at (803) 376-5390, ext. 309 or 312. The Central Midlands region covers Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland Counties. The I-CARE program is a volunteer insurance counseling and assistance program for persons on Medicare. There is no charge for these services and absolutely no selling of insurance involved.
SCLAWANSWERS.ORG is an interactive resource available to the public for around-the-clock access to legal help. The website allows individuals who meet the qualifications to post legal questions and have them answered by a volunteer attorney. It is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing both the attorney and client to use the resource at their convenience. The site is designed only for civil questions (family law issues, landlord/tenant law, consumer law, probate, juvenile law, immigration, bankruptcy and health care); clients who have criminal questions are referred to a local public defender. The website can be accessed by going to www.sclawanswers.org. For those who require assistance not offered through the site, helpful links can also be found there.
INFORMATIONAL SESSIONS for the public on the Affordable Care Act and the new Health Insurance Marketplace will be held at various branches of the Lexington County Library system. Presentations by TeamHOPE, Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, the Cooperative Ministry and AARP; each session will be followed by a Q&A period. Enrollment in the marketplace will be held through March 31 at the Main Library, 5440 Augusta Road, noon-4 p.m. Mondays; 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays; and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays; Pelion Branch, 206 Pine St., 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 14; Cayce-West Columbia Branch, 1500 Augusta Road, 1-5 p.m. Nov. 23. 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, 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.
MAIN STREET BATTLE FOR BLOOD: Blood drive, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday at four locations in downtown Columbia. Presenting donors will receive a free Main Street Battle for Blood T-shirt (while supplies last) and will automatically be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card. Locations will be Capitol Center, 1201 Main St., first floor, lower level; First Citizens Building, 1230 Main St., bloodmobile on Lady Street near Main Street; Meridian Building, 1320 Main St., 17th floor conference room; and the NBSC Building, 1221 Main St., 14th floor multi-purpose room. Donors are invited to cast their vote for one of the event sponsors: McAngus Goudelock & Courie, EDENS, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, McNair Attorneys, Nelson Mullins, First Citizens, NBSC and Nexsen Pruet; NBSC was the winner of the 2012 competition. For appointments, go to http://www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code mainbloodbattle
MORGAN OUTREACH MINISTRIES INC. has adopted the S.C. Combat Veterans Group for the holidays via Operation Turkeys to Soldiers and Combat Veterans. The goal is to provide 300 turkeys to soldiers and veterans on Nov. 23. Contributions will be accepted until Wednesday. (803) 479-7673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HAGGAR AND BELK are teaming up with the Purple Heart Service Foundation to gather gently used clothing for resale to benefit veterans and their families in need. Customers contribute by donating any brand of gently worn pants at any Belk store, Friday through Monday. The Purple Heart Service Foundation sells the items at their resale locations. Then, customers may purchase any new Haggar casual or dress pant for $29.99 during the four-day promotion. Monies from the sales of donated goods provide funding for veterans services, welfare, rehabilitation and educational programs not only for veterans wounded in combat, but all veterans and their families at no cost. Local stores include Columbiana Centre, 100 Columbiana Circle, (803) 701-4100; Dutch Square, 421 Bush River Road, (803) 722-8430; Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive, (803) 782-2600; and Village at Sandhill, 670 Promenade Place, (803) 419-7878.
NORTHEAST COLUMBIA YOUNG LIFE is taking pre-orders for Christmas trees. Trees will be extremely fresh — cut the day before Thanksgiving and ready for pick-up locally the day after Thanksgiving. Multiple sizes available at reasonable rates (a 5- to 6-foot tree is $36). Orders must be placed by Sunday; go to www.necolumbia.younglife.org
WALK TO BETHLEHEM, a fundraiser for the Columbia Bethlehem Community Center, will be begin at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 16 at 344 McCrae St. Registration is $20; groups of 10, $50; deadline is Nov. 11. Bike, run or walk — fruits, juices and healthy breakfast snacks will be available. CBCC provides services to families and children in need. (803) 807-9582 or email email@example.com
HOLIDAY HELPINGS AND HOPE PROGRAM, an initiative of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is seeking individuals and community groups interested in lending a hand to families of children with cancer or a blood disorder. Children’s Hospital provides wish lists (submitted by patient families who are struggling financially). Volunteers will be assigned a family and are asked to buy and deliver Thanksgiving and/or Christmas items for the family. To volunteer to adopt a family, contact Stacy Dunleavy at (803) 434-3522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE IRMO CHICK-FIL-A will serve as a special collection point for Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes (school supplies, toys and hygiene items) Monday at 1007 Dutch Fork Road, Irmo. Make sure you get your coupon for a free cookie at the local participating store. Additional shoebox gifts may be dropped off at area drop-off centers during National Collection Week, Nov. 18. Sites are listed at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/drop-off-locations.
LEXINGTON COUNTY RECREATION AND AGING COMMISSION is collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items through Nov. 26. All items collected will be distributed to congregate and homebound Meals on Wheels recipients during the month of December. If you, your business or church would like to donate to the food drive or are interested in being a drop-off site, call (803) 356-5111. The following information will be needed if you are interested in being a drop-off site: The name of your business, church, etc., contact person and phone number, address where you will be collecting and dates and times of collection. Collection sites will be responsible for providing collection containers. All canned food items may be delivered to the Gilbert Senior Center, 409 Broad St., by Dec. 6; or call before Dec. 6 to make arrangements for pick-up.
THE CITY OF WEST COLUMBIA and West Columbia’s Empowerment Center are sponsoring a food drive to make Thanksgiving baskets for citizens in need of food for the holidays. Items will be collected until Nov. 25 for Nov. 27 distribution. Drop-off points are West Columbia City Hall and the West Columbia Police Department, 200 N. 12th St.; West Columbia Fire Department, 610 N. 12th St.; and the West Columbia Empowerment Center, 754 B Ave. (803) 739-6238
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
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