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; 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 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
DAYBREAK 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
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.
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL FUNDRAISER: 6-10 p.m. Thursday at 619 Gervais St. Tell the cashier you are there to support Keep the Midlands Beautiful and half of the proceeds from your meal will be donated to KMB.
COLONIAL LIFE AND RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF COLUMBIA will hold the 13th annual Lights of Hope fundraiser through July 31. The campaign encourages monetary donations from the community to support the programs RMHC provides to families of critically ill or injured children. A lighthouse in front of the Ronald McDonald House, 2955 Colonial Drive, provides a visual of the campaign’s success; for every $1,000 received, a new stripe will be added. For information or to donate, go to http://rmhcofcolumbia.org
TOM HOSKINS MEMORIAL SPRINT TRIATHLON: 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the NorthWest Family YMCA, 1501 Kennerly Road. Triathlon consists of 350-yard swim, 13-mile bike, 3.1 mile run out and back; duathlon, mile run, 13-mile bike, 3.1 mile run. Team fees, $105; solo, $65. Packet pickup, 5-7 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday. Proceeds from the rae support the YMCA of Columbia’s annual campaign for scholarships and financial assistance to those who need it most to make an impact in the community through Y programs and services.
5th ANNUAL S.C. COACHES FOR CHARITY: 6-9:30 p.m. July 30 at the Marriott Columbia Downtown, 1200 Hampton St. Master of ceremonies Rick Henry will lead a round table discussion with the coaches and audience participation. Each coach will also honor his 2014 Jerry Richardson Community MVP Award recipient. This year’s participants include Mike Ayers, Wofford; Fisher DeBerry, formerly at Air Force; Bruce Fowler, Furman; Mike Houston, The Citadel: Buddy Pough, S.C. State; Steve Spurrier, USC; and Dabbo Swinney, Clemson. Each coach will designate a charitable organization that will receive a grant from the Fisher DeBerry Foundation. The evening begins with a reception, entertainment and silent auction, 6-7 p.m.; dinner, the program and a live auction are slated for 7-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $200. http:/southcarolinacoaches.com
PETS INC. RESCUE RENDEZVOUS: 5-10 p.m. July 31 at 701 Whaley. Enjoy a sweet and savory spread prepared by master chefs and bid on silent auction items. Tickets are $20 for adults ($25 at the door) and $10 for children age 5-12 ($15 at the door). Children younger than 5 are free with the purchase of an adult plate. Tickets can be purchased online or at 300 Orchard Drive, West Columbia. Dress is business casual. (803) 739-9333; http://petsinc.org
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 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays through July 31 at Springdale Elementary School, 361 Wattling Road, West Columbia. 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 Aug. 8. Breakfast, 8-8:30 a.m.; lunch, noon-12:30 p.m. (803) 462-3900
Killian Elementary: Through Aug. 1. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (803) 699-2981
North Springs Elementary: Through Aug. 8. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 736-3183
Pontiac Elementary: Through Aug. 8. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 699-2700
Rice Creek Elementary: Through Aug. 8. Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 699-2900
Richland Library Northeast: Through Aug. 8. Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Westwood High: Monday through July 31. Breakfast, 8:45-9:30 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 691-4049
Windsor Elementary: Through Thursday. Breakfast, 7:30-8:45 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (803) 736-8723