LOCAL CHICK-FIL-A stores have teamed up with the Oliver Gospel Mission to feed and provide for the homeless at 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday in January at the mission, 1100 Taylor St.
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.
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.
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.
IT’S TIME FOR THE 8th ANNUAL RED SHOE RUN, a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia. The Jan. 25 run/walk event will feature a 10K race that starts at 8 a.m. at Hand Middle School, 2600 Wheat St.; the Palmetto Grand Prix 5K is slated for an 8:15 a.m. start. Participants will return to Hand Middle School for awards and organic breakfast items. www.rmhcofcolumbia.org
New 1/17 rb1/15 STOCK UP ON YOUR FAVORITES at the Richland Library Friends’ Winter Book Sale, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Richland Library Operations Center, 130 Lancewood Road. Friends’ members-only sale will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 24. (Memberships, which start at $25, will be available at the door.) A half-price inventory reduction sale will be 2-4 p.m. Jan. 26. Print and nonprint materials in all genres, prices start as low as 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardbacks. Last year Friends’ book sales raised more than $80,000 to support special programs and services not available through the library’s budget appropriation from Richland County. (803) 988-0885; www.richlandlibrary.com/friends
SERVE YOUR FELLOW MAN through volunteer meal service opportunities available at Transitions, 2025 Main St. Breakfast, 6:30-7:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and dinner, 5-6 p.m. All day shifts are available Feb 7 and March 7. Lunch servers, Jan. 28; Feb. 9, 11, 25 and March 11; dinner dates are Saturday, Tuesday and Feb. 4, 15, March 4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 223-9969 to reserve your shift.
THE STATE MUSEUM, 301 Gervais St., is offering free eight-week docent training for age 18 and older. Volunteers will learn the essentials to guide tours through the museum’s four disciplines — art, history, natural history and science/technology. Training will be 9 a.m.-noon Mondays, Jan. 20-March 10 (arrive 15 minutes minutes early). Perks of the program include free admission to the museum, 20 percent off purchases in the museum store and cafe, 10 free general admission guest passes, four blockbuster exhibit passes and more. To sign up, go to http://www.scmuseum.org/, click on the volunteer tab and submit to email@example.com
DAYBREAK CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER is seeking female volunteers in several areas. The center needs volunteer counselors, hotline volunteers, teen volunteers, parenting/childbirth volunteer teachers, post-abortion class leaders, baby boutique volunteers, receptionists and office assistants. The center also needs male mentors and mailing clerical volunteers. Adults only, training will be provided. Daybreak has offices in downtown Columbia and Lexington and needs assistance at both sites. (803) 771-6634
THE COOPERATIVE MINISTRY, in partnership with the United Way of the Midlands, is looking for volunteers for its income tax assistance program. Trained volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualifying families with a household income less than $50,000. Volunteer tax preparers will receive free instruction and training to become certified IRS tax preparers. Volunteers are also needed to welcome clients and assist the VITA site coordinator with administrative tasks; no experience is necessary. The Cooperative Ministry provides tax assistance sites throughout the Midlands in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties. (803) 799-3853, ext. 115
RICHLAND 1 needs Lunch Buddies for its elementary schools. Individuals or organizations can make a difference by giving one hour every two weeks to eat lunch with a child, creating a mutual bond of respect, love and friendship. If you’d like to be a Lunch Buddy, call Kathy Watkins at (803) 231-7511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 through12 require a commitment of an hour a week for seven to 12 weeks. Schools needing volunteers immediately are Congaree Wood, Herbert Wood and Carolina Springs elementary schools in Lexington 1; Center for Knowledge and Polor Road elementary schools in Richland 2. 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
GLENFOREST SCHOOL is accepting monetary donations and new pairs of children’s athletic-style shoes as part of its support of the Samaritan’s Feet Shoes of Hope Campaign. New shoes and donations may be dropped off at the school, 1041 Harbor Drive, West Columbia, through Jan. 31. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department will accept new athletic shoes for youth and older teens through Jan. 31 at the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington; Chapin District Service Center, 103 Columbia Ave., Chapin; North Region Service Center, 111 Lincreek DRive, Columbia; South Region Service Center, 102 Airport Road, Pelion; and West Region Headquarters, 4079-D Augusta Highway, Gilbert.
RESOURCES FOR THE BLIND INTERNATIONAL, a Columbia non-profit is accepting donations to help rebuild homes of 40 blind children and their families in the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan. Prior to the storm, RBI was serving 90 families or communities in the central Philippines, working with the visually impaired of all ages in the areas of blindness prevention, education, rehabilitation, counseling, vocational training, Braille production and advocacy. One of the group’s key programs is training public school teachers how to teach and accommodate visually impaired children in a mainstream classroom. Donations to RBI will also go towards labor and materials to rebuild school resource centers. (803) 790-9264; www.blindusa.org
KEEPIN’ IT REAL, a ministry for the homeless, has released its wish list for the winter. Financial assistance is used to pay rent and utilities for the transitional homes and storage units, upkeep and gas for the van and for emergency needs (prescriptions, transportation, etc.); warm clothing and blankets (coats, hooded sweatshirts, gloves, knitted caps, warm socks and footwear); there is a critical need for men’s clothing and new socks and underwear. Donations of women’s and children’s clothing are also accepted and distributed. Out-of-season clothing is stored until needed. Local churches or groups are sometimes needed to provide food and fellowship following Sunday afternoon worship as well as canned goods and non-perishable foods for seniors. (803) 406-0724
THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT is accepting donations of used cellphones and telephone accessories to benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers. The nonprofit group sells used cell phones and accessories to a recycling company and uses the proceeds to buy prepaid telephone calling cards that are issued to members of the armed forces serving outside the United States. Personal information and personal photographs should be deleted. Drop-off points 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 Patrol District Headquarters, 4079-B Augusta Highway, Gilbert; and Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin. Sgt. David Amick is coordinating the effort, if you have questions, call him at (803) 223-3778
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. Call Callee Boulware, (803) 434-2523.