THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT raised $1,800 for the Dickerson Center for Children at its Oct. 26. Trail of Treats for Halloween. The event also generated $539 for the center from a bake sale and other donations. The Dickerson Center for Children is a nonprofit child advocacy center that assists law enforcement officers by conducting forensic interviews and forensic medical examinations, mental health and victims services for children 18 and younger who were physically or sexually abused.
ST. PAWS THRIFT STORE, 304 12th St., West Columbia, lends a hand to area animal rescue organizations through its Protecting Animal Welfare (PAW) awards. St. Paws was formed to serve as a portal for the sale of tax-deductible merchandise donations, providing a steady source of funding for the numerous animal rescue and welfare organizations in the Midlands. Those interested in applying for a PAW award, volunteering or donating, should call (803) 936-0077. To qualify, all PAW award applicants must be registered 501c3 nonprofit organizations in good standing.
NEW BEGINNING BAPTIST CHURCH will hold a clothing giveaway 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at 9601 Caughman Road. Come early for the best selection. Blood pressure screenings will also be offered. (803) 695-1195
REUSE FOR CHARITY will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in Gillin Hall at St. John Neumann Church, 100 Polo Road. Habitat for Humanity ReStore will accept furniture, doors, windows, cabinets, sinks, toilets, framed pictures, hinges, door knobs, books, lighting fixtures and appliances (make sure they work and are in good condition). The Lions Club will accept old eyeglasses and hearing aids; they’ll also be selling brooms. Oliver Gospel Mission needs gently used clothing of all kinds and sizes, travel size toiletries, toys and 15-ounce cans of green peas (the goal for Thanksgiving is 800 cans). Sistercare can use blankets, linens, sheets and baskets in good condition. They’ll also take cellphones in any condition. Pawmetto Lifeline needs food, treats, toys, used linens and blankets. They also need foster homes for animals. The church will also hold a book sale 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and after 5:15 p.m. mass on Saturday and Sunday following the 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon services.
SHARE THE WARMTH coat, sweater and blanket drive is being held through Nov. 30. Sponsored by Mast General Store and Columbia Sportswear, donations will support the Oliver Gospel Mission and Hannah House. Drop off gently worn, clean coats, jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats and even blankets at the Mast Store, 1601 Main St. (803) 771-2300
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
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 6:30 p.m. Wednesday11/13 at the Irmo Branch of the Lexington County Library system, 6251 St. Andrews Road; a session is scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Cayce-West Columbia Branch, 1500 Augusta Road, West Columbia. 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. Thursday; 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.
ART FOR THE ARC is slated for 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Tapp’s Art Center, 1644 Main St. Food, music, silent auction, dancers and other entertainment and more. Tickets are $15; seniors, students and military, $10 with IDs, age 5 and younger, free. Family packs (two adults and two children), $35. Sponsored by USC’s Festival Planning and Management class, proceeds will benefit The ARC, a nationally accredited Children’s Advocacy Center with the S.C. Department of Mental Health. http://artsforthearc.weebly.com
THE THANKSGIVING SOUPER, a fundraiser supporting The Women’s Shelter will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at The Manor at Doko Meadows, 100 Alvina Hagood Circle, Blythewood. For a $2 donation (or more) you can buy a bowl of Chick-fil-A chicken soup and enjoy an evening with family and friends as the Thanksgiving season begins. It’s an opportunity to teach your children that this simple meal of soup and crackers is actually much more than many folks will have to eat on Thanksgiving Day.
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
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