A roundup of needs and volunteer efforts around the Columbia area
A.C. FLORA, AN EVACUATION CENTER
A.C. Flora High School was one of three emergency shelters set up to provide food, safety and a place to sleep for people who were displaced by the flood, particularly after a series of Forest Acres dam breaches.
But it also became a prime location Tuesday for people to drop off donations.
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People rolled into the driveway of the vacated high school gymnasium in Forest Acres bearing cases of water, boxes of food, clothing, toiletries, baby needs and more.
“This is ministry,” said Blythewood resident Sharon Brown.
Brown, a member of Haskell Heights Baptist Church, drove to the school with daughters Victoria and Amber to deliver linen, clothing, food, school supplies, board games and other items.
Michael Brown, a Red Cross volunteer and day-shift supervisor for the shelter, said the outpouring was the portrait of a community coming together.
“It’s very evident in times of grief and distress,” she said. “That is when people come together and help the ones who are less fortunate.”
The goods spilled outside onto the sidewalks of the gym as volunteers emptied each carload. Inside, cots were arranged on the gym floor, where Brown said the headcount Tuesday was 102 people.
Chick-fil-A on Garners Ferry Road sent more than 100 sandwiches to the shelter Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile a bus drove up from Greenview First Baptist Church loaded with hot food.
“We had planned to have a revival this week,” said pastor Rev. Johnny Owens. “It was canceled, but we had already pre-ordered about $2,500 of catered food. ... We thought it better to bring it to the shelter.”
Staff writer Roddie Burris
The Harvest Hope Food Bank on Shop Road opened a new emergency drive-through pantry service at 9 a.m. Tuesday for anyone needing food and water.
Cars wound through the parking lot and extended out into the road, with S.C. National Guard soldiers directing traffic.
Nikia Tolen of Richland County was there to pick up food for her son and his family, who were displaced by the storm. Tolen and her family are “trying to survive the rest of the week. Trying to rebuild.”
By 1 p.m., with more than 100 volunteers, Harvest Hope had served more than 2,000 adults and children, said Danielle St. Marie, the organization’s child feeding coordinator.
The drive-through will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through Friday at Harvest Hope headquarters on Shop Road and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at its site in Cayce. It’s open for all those in need, not just flood victims.
The best way for people to help, Marketing Manager Ash Little said, would be to give money or start food drives. For information, go to harvesthope.org/host-a-food-drive. Anyone wishing to volunteer should call (803) 254-4432.
Micaela Wendell, special to The State
Students at the University of South Carolina, whose classes have been canceled this week, came together to support the city that is their home.
More than 2,200 students signed up to volunteer in roles scattered around Richland County, assisting in debris removal, evacuation shelter assistance, damage repair and transportation of volunteers and relief goods.
The average Service Saturday, one of the biggest service-centered events at USC, recruits roughly 200 students on average, according to the Leadership and Service Center.
Kelly Villwock, special to The State