Jeremy Laughead sees his job as more than a career.
He sees it as a calling.
As the director of Men’s Tranformation Ministries at Oliver Gospel Mission, Laughead works to reach the indigent and homeless men of Columbia. Men’s Transformation Ministries consists of two divisions: the recovery program, which helps men overcome from alcohol and/or drug addictions, and the Hand Up program, which helps men find a job.
In addition to his regular duties, Laughead heads up all of Oliver Gospel Mission’s Thanksgiving outreach programs. The Thanksgiving Box Project provides more than 300 needy families in the Midlands the opportunity to experience a traditional meal in their own home. The Mission, along with two local churches, collects and distributes these boxes, complete with turkey, pie, stuffing, mac and cheese, peas, greens beans, cranberry sauce and yams. Every Thanksgiving Eve for 14 years, the Mission has put on the Great Thanksgiving Banquet and has opened its doors to every man, woman and child in need a hot Thanksgiving meal.
Laughead is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He and his wife, Mary, have a 7-year-old son, Spencer.
EAT: Columbia has numerous destinations for fabulous local fare. I enjoy walking over to Cantina 76 for tacos, heading to Labrasca’s for some of Columbia’s best pizza, or stopping by Delaney’s (Pub & Eatery) for shepherd’s pie.
DRINK: I have heard it argued that coffee is coffee, but nothing could be further from the truth. Drip does a fabulous cup. While I normally go for a mocha, their pour-over brewed coffee has fabulous flavor that cannot be found in a chain.
LISTEN: While I have enjoyed performances at the Koger Center and the Colonial Life Arena, I always eagerly anticipate Shandon Baptist Church’s performances of the Singing Christmas Tree and Glorious. My family has made this part of our family tradition.
PLAY: Columbia is filled with opportunities to get out and experience adventure. One of my favorite things to do for fun in Columbia is geocaching. There are numerous caches hidden in and around the Columbia area, and the best part is being able to see the parts of Columbia that most people miss, like the salamanders hidden on Main Street, or the sculptures that are scattered throughout the city. The meter maid might be my favorite.
SEE: I enjoy getting out for a walk in Columbia because it is filled with things to see; our capital city is filled with history and art. I have occasionally taken people to the State House to show them the bronze stars, or over to any one of the numerous parks. It is interesting to see the bits of history that undergird our great city. Moreover, as I have seen the residents pull together in the wake of the flood and support their neighbors in a time of peril, I have been proud to see that Columbia is more than merely a city – we are a community.
Janet Jones Kendall, firstname.lastname@example.org