S.C. VETERANS have served our state and our nation and now you can help them by volunteering at your local VA medical center or VA outpatient clinic. For more information, call Dorn VA Medical Center Voluntary Services at (803) 695-6780 or visit www.columbiasc.va.gov
CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK rangers have begun a project to re-mark more than 20 miles of trails in the park. The project will replace color coding with numbers associated with each trail. Hikers will find brown tabs with reflective stickers marking trees along Congaree’s trails when the project is finished. Maps and brochures will be updated but there will be an overlap between the two systems until all publications are changed. Volunteers are needed to assist with the trail marking project. Training will be provided. For information, call Park Ranger Lindsay Compton at (803) 647-3965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LAWYERS 4 VETS, a pro bono legal clinic for lower-income veterans in South Carolina meets 9 a.m.-noon the third Thursday monthly at the Dorn VA Medical Center, 6439 Garners Ferry Road. Lawyers 4 Vets will connect lower-income veterans living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines with local attorneys who can provide one-on-one pro bono legal advice or representation in matters such as obtaining identification (Social Security, S.C. ID, birth certificates); child support and visitation issues in South Carolina; expungements and pardons in South Carolina; consumer protection; health care powers of attorney and simple wills. Attorneys interested in volunteering or anyone interested in supporting the clinic should call (803) 779-1113, ext. 113 or http://scjusticewatch.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 email@example.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 COMM ISSION 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
MONKEY JOE’S, 109 Park Place Court, Lexington, will be accepting donations through Aug. 31 for the American Heart Association’s Active Kids = Healthy Hearts campaign, an initiative to promote a more active lifestyle for children. Donations will benefit the cardiovascular health of children through programs such as Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart. The play center’s hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. (803) 808-5637
CLOTHES FOR KIDS, the Salvation Army’s clothing and school supply drive for local children in need will be held through Sunday near the Hollister store at Columbiana Centre and in the food court at Columbia Place Mall during regular mall hours. Stop by and select a child’s card and shop for his/her clothing and school supply needs. The children selected live in poverty or have experienced a recent emergency. (803) 309-3244; http://doingthemostgood.org
BETSY’S GARAGE and Cell Phones for Soldiers are asking Columbia residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cell phones for recycling. For every donated phone valued at $5, the nonprofit will be able to provide overseas troops 2.5 hours of free talk time on prepaid international calling cards. Betsy’s Garage, at 2011 Bull St., will offer a 10 percent discount on any automotive service to customers donating phones. They’re in it for the long haul, they say, and donations may be dropped off during business hours, 8 a.m.-6 pm. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. (803) 929-0013; http://cellphonesforsoldiers.com
THE SALVATION ARMY OF THE MIDLANDS needs to replenish its food pantry. Items needed include meals in a can (chicken and dumplings, stew, chili, lasagna, Spaghettio’s), rice, pasta, instant mashed potatoes, peanut butter, canned foods with pop-top lids, low-sugar cereals, 100 percent fruit juices, canned fruit packed in juice, canned vegetables (low salt), diapers and toilet paper. Donations will be accepted 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays at the Salvation Army Center for Worship & Service, 3024 Farrow Road. (803) 754-7109
THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT is accepting used cell phones for donation to Cell Phones for Soldiers, which will sell the phones to a recycling company in order to buy prepaid phone calling cards for U.S. military personnel who have been deployed outside the United States. The phones do not have to be in working order, personal information and photographs should be deleted prior to donations. Donations may be dropped off through September at the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road; the North Region Patrol District Office, 111 Lincreek Drive, Columbia; and the Chapin Patrol District Office, 103 Columbia Ave., Chapin. (803) 785-0801
DONATE, DON’T DUMP, an initiative of the Salvation Army of the Midlands, encourages people to drop off clothing, household items, furniture, etc., at the Family Store, 1312 Millwood Ave. Store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. You can call (803) 748-9964 for items to be picked up.
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.
ART/CRAFT, BAKE AND RUMMAGE SALE: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Gilbert-Summit Gym, 411 Broad St., Gilbert. There will also be a car show. Vendor table rentals are $10. Sponsored by the Gilbert-Summit Senior Center, proceeds will benefit the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission’s Meals on Wheels program. Admission to the sale is $1 (optional). To rent a table, call (803) 892-5745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GOD CARES URBAN INITIATIVE will sponsor a 5K run/walk to raise funds and awareness for its C.A.R.E. (Community Assistance Resource Enhancement) voucher program beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at Finlay Park, 930 Laurel St. The vouchers are distributed to various community partner organizations to be issued to people in need. Individuals can then redeem the vouchers as cash at the God Cares Thrift Centers for clothing, appliances or furniture. The vouchers are also issued for disaster relief efforts. Registration for the run/walk is $35. (803) 799-3535
HOGS AND DOGS FOR AMERICAN HEROES: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Thunder Tower Harley-Davidson, 190 Pontiac Business Center Drive, Elgin. Fundraiser for the PAALS Bob’s Best Friend Fund, which benefits local veterans in need of assistance dogs, companion dogs or therapeutic programs. The event will feature a Chinese raffle, dog wash, food and drinks, microchip vendors, woodworking crafts and demonstrations of PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services) service dogs. The local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter will organize a two-hour benefit ride; kickstands up at 11 a.m. Registration is $25 and includes a commemorative T-shirt and lunch (passengers, $10). Family dogs are welcome to attend. Preregistration information at http://thundertowerharley.com
10th ANNUAL GIVE TO GAIN GALA: 7-11 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 200 Stoneridge Drive. An evening of glitz, glamour, dining, dancing and entertainment to benefit Special Olympics South Carolina. Donations help build additional programs, continue year-round competitions and cover travel costs for athletes and volunteer coach. Tickets are $50; couples, $80; tables for 10, $1,000. Includes dinner, live music by the Root Doctors and live/silent auctions. http://so-sc.org
DOCUMENT SHREDDING AND SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE is slated for 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Tuesday at Chapin Town Hall, 157 NW Columbia Ave. Free shredding of office quality paper products, binders and notebooks; limit five boxes. Arrangements may be made to pick up items if a person is handicapped or medically restricted. Sponsored by Shred360 and the town of Chapin. Also accepting school supplies to benefit children and schools in need in the Midlands. Wish list includes #2 pencils, pens (red, blue and black), inexpensive flash drives, boxes of tissue, glue sticks, hand-held pencil sharpeners, loose leaf notebook paper, 3x3 Post-It notes, highlighters, composition notebooks (not spiral), graph paper and 3x5 index cards. (803) 463-7090; http://shred360.com
BACK TO SCHOOL BASH: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday at Reid Chapel, 724 Gabriel St. Free public event will feature speakers, entertainment, food and educational events regarding topics that affect youths. Sponsored by the Richland County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, an interdisciplinary council sponsored by the Richland County Department of Social Services. (803) 714-7504; (803) 714-7635
NEED HELP WITH MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION COSTS? The Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center can help. The Extra Help program helps individuals pay their Medicare prescription drug plan costs such as premiums, deductibles and co-payments. The Medicare Savings program can help with Medicare costs such as premiums, deductibles, co-payments and the monthly Part B premium. To see if you qualify, call the I-CARE program at the center, (803) 376-5390, ext. 309 or 312. The Central Midlands region serves Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The I-CARE program is a volunteer insurance counseling and assistance program for those on Medicare. There is no charge for these services and no selling of insurance involved.
1st MARKET (First Nazareth Baptist Church Farmers Market) will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 22 in the Millwood Avenue parking lot across from the church. Senior vouchers and SNAP/EBT accepted. Local farmers and community gardeners are encouraged to participate, call (803) 254-6232. The church is located at 2351 Gervais St.
LEXINGTON 2 SUMMER FEEDING PROGRAM will serve lunches 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 8 at Brookland-Cayce High School, 1300 State St., Cayce. Children age 18 and younger may receive free lunch; lunch is also available to people with disabilities, older than 18, who participate in school programs for the mentally or physically disabled. Lunch is open on a first-come, first-served basis; children 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult or guardian at all times; meal must be consumed on-site; adults may eat for $3.65. (803) 730-8381
RICHLAND 2 FOOD SERVICES, operated by Sodexo, will serve free, nutritious meals on weekdays for students age 18 and younger, during the summer at the following locations and times:
Bridge Creek Elementary: Through Friday. Breakfast, 8-8:30 a.m.; lunch, noon-12:30 p.m. (803) 462-3900
North Springs Elementary: Through Friday. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 736-3183
Pontiac Elementary: Through Friday. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 699-2700
Rice Creek Elementary: Through Friday. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 699-2900
Richland Library Northeast: Through Friday. Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.