SUPPORT OUR TROOPS DRIVE: The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington 1, 2 and Lexington/Richland 5 schools are accepting donations of bottled water, sports drinks and single-serving snacks that the Sheriff’s Department will deliver to the USO for distribution to members of the armed forces while they are at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Donations will be accepted through Friday at any public school in Districts 1, 2 and 5 as well as at the Lexington County North Region Service Center, 111 Lincreek Drive, Columbia. Sgt. Wesley Swinson is coordinating the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in the effort, call him at (803) 200-8424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
FIRST NAZARETH BAPTIST CHURCH will be holding a food drive through May 31. Items may be dropped off 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at the church’s food pantry, 1207 Heidt St., or at the church, 2351 Gervais St. You can also call the church at (803) 254-6232 for special drop-off arrangements.
DONATE, DON’T DUMP, an initiative of the Salvation Army of the Midlands, encourages folks 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.
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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.
IT’S TIME TO TIP A COP at Fatz Cafe, 7420 Broad River Road, Irmo. Folks from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Chapin Police Department and the S.C. Forestry Commission will be serving and waiting tables during lunch and dinner Friday. Tips and donations will benefit Special Olympics South Carolina programs. http://so-sc.org
RIDE THE RION, ROCKTON AND WESTERN RAILWAY, 4 p.m. Sunday at the S.C. Railroad Museum, 110 Industrial Park Road, Winnsboro. The ride will include stops at historic points of interest, including a restored country store. There will be a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres before the train returns to Rockton. All proceeds benefit the renovation of the historic Mount Zion Institute campus buildings in Winnsboro. Tickets are $50 and available at Cornwallis House Tea Co., 141 Congress St., Winnsboro or online at http://mtzioninstitute.com and click on events.
TIP A COP WEST will be held May 21-23 at Fatz Cafe, U.S. 1, Lexington. Members of Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and the town of Lexington Police Department will work lunch and dinner May 21-22 and lunch only May 23. Tips and donations will directly benefit Special Olympics athletes of South Carolina. http://so-sc.org
CANCER OF MANY COLORS, a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation “Cancer Care Fund” for cancer patients in need, is slated for 6-9 p.m. May 22 at Private Property restaurant, 220 W. Main St., Lexington (formerly the old Magnolia House). Great Southern cuisine, live music by The Catalinas Band, beer, wine and more. Tickets are $60, includes admission, wine glass, wine charm, food tastings and beverages. Tickets available at (803) 359-1312, (803) 399-8085; http://cancerofmanycolors.com
FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB COLUMBIA, a vertical stair climb event challenges participants to conquer the Capitol Center, 1201 Main St., by climbing the building’s 25 floors to the top. Participants may compete for the fastest time or to support the American Lung Association’s mission and raise awareness for those fighting lung disease. Individual climbers or teams of four. Participants can climb individually or as teams of four. Those who reach the top will be treated to refreshments and a bird’s eye view of Columbia. The race will begin at 9 a.m. May 31; register at http://climbcolumbia.org
ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH and the S.C. Department of Social Services will be issuing free coupons to low income Richland County residents age 60 and older that may be used to purchase fresh produce at participating farmers markets. Each eligible person will receive $25 worth of coupons to be used through Oct. 15. The coupons will be issued on a first come, first served basis from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 24 at the church, Farrow Road and West Beltline Boulevard. Applications must be submitted in person, proof of identity and residence is required. Applicants must meet household income eligibility limits. Individuals wishing to apply for homebound seniors must provide a statement from the senior granting permission to submit an application on their behalf. Proof of identity and proof of income for the homebound senior must be presented at the time of application. (803) 254-4170; http://dss.sc.gov
THE NATIONAL HEARING TEST, an NIH-funded, telephone based hearing screening is available free through May 31 to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month. The test takes about 10 minutes and may be taken in the privacy of your home or business. Call (886) 223-7575 and you will be guided through the process. http://nationalhearingtest.org
THE COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF ART is participating in the Blue Star Museum initiative offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families, May 26-Sept. 1. The museum is partnering with the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, Joining Forces, MetLife Foundation and more than 2,000 museums across America. CMA is at 1515 Main St. and hours are noon-5 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays (the museum is open until 8 p.m. on the first Friday monthly). (803) 799-2810; http://columbiamuseum.org
GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH will be distributing vouchers for qualified low-income Richland County seniors 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 30 at the church, 410 Harbison Blvd. Vouchers may be used at several “Seeds of Hope” farmers markets this summer, including Grace UMC. If you have questions, call the church office at (803) 732-1899.
LAWYERS 4 VETS, a pro bono legal clinic for lower-income veterans in South Carolina will meet 9 a.m.-noon the third Thursday monthly at the Dorn VA Medical Center, 6439 Garners Ferry Road. Of the more than 420,000 veterans living in South Carolina, nearly 30,000 veterans live below the poverty line, struggling to find jobs and grappling with the effects of poverty, hunger and homelessness. 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; simple wills and healthcare powers of attorney. (877) 289-6000; http://columbiasc.va.gov/lawyers4vets.asp
THE WEST COLUMBIA SAFE CATS COALITION is made up of animal welfare organizations and individuals dedicated to reducing the number of homeless cats in the city limits. Stray and free-roaming cats will be trapped, vaccinated, spayed/neutered and returned to their neighborhood. The service is provided at no cost, but donations are more than welcome. If you would like to use this service, call (803) email@example.com. A volunteer will arrange for a time to trap the cats, then they will be transported to Pets, Inc., where they will be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, ear-tipped and returned. Since the cats trapped by animal control and by Safe Cats Coalition are returned to their neighborhoods, volunteers are needed to help care for them. If you can assist by feeding, trapping, or permitting someone to feed and/or trap on your property, please call (803) 543-6335.
THE S.C. BAR LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE is a simple and inexpensive method of introducing people with legal problems to qualified attorneys. Lawyers agree to offer an initial 30-minute consultation for no more than $50; the lawyer and client then agree moving forward. To reach the LRS by phone, call (803) 799-7100 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. To submit your information for an online referral, go to http://scbar.org/lrs
KEEP THE MIDLANDS BEAUTIFUL is scheduling community-wide cleanups through May 31. Plan a cleanup of your neighborhood, a local waterway, an island or another area in your community. Select a site captain, who will call (803) 733-1139 to notify KMB of the cleanup and make arrangements for getting the necessary supplies. Keep the Midlands Beautiful will provide gloves, garbage bags, vests if needed, grabbers and water for the volunteers. Site captains will be asked to report back after the cleanup with the number of volunteers, number of bags of trash collected and the number of hours worked.
HOME WORKS needs volunteers to help move 15,000 sq. ft. of tools and equipment to a new location (the original warehouse has been sold). The move-out date is June 1 and volunteers are needed 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and May 21, 22, 24 and 31; 2-8 p.m. May 23 and 5-8 p.m. May 30. The nonprofit organization makes repairs to homes of the elderly and disadvantaged. (803) 781-4536; (803) 206-6974
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; healthcare 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 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
THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION, Mid Atlantic Region, is looking for committee volunteers for the Dec. 13 Jingle Bell Run/Walk. The only requirement is that volunteers donate an hour a month to be present for a meeting or call in via conference call; then on the day of the event, they will need to be at the Moore Center for Orthopaedics in Lexington for two hours. Specific needs for volunteers are team recruitment, sponsorship, logistics and media/public relations.(704) 705-1799 or email 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
CARIS HEALTHCARE is seeking hospice volunteers. For more information, call Michelle Robinson, volunteer coordinator, at (803) 794-4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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