December kicks off the season of holiday gifting. If you’ve always thought about volunteering and giving back to the community but thought you didn’t have the time, then think again. Here are a few local nonprofits that are always in need of volunteers — even if it’s only for a day.
And what better way to start off your day of charity than at a nonprofit with generosity in its very name? Goodwill International Industries is an American nonprofit located throughout the Columbia area. Taglined as “the original thrift,” any and all donations made to Goodwill provide career training, employment services, and job placement opportunities. This nonprofit accepts previously owned home goods, cars, computers, and furniture. Once you’ve dropped off your surplus clothing or outdated entertainment consoles, browse the racks for unique finds and stellar deals — there’s a reason Goodwill is one of the most well-known charitable organizations in the United Sates.
Where to find it: 111 Highland Center Drive. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
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Continue your day of giving by spreading some warmth and kindness at Blanketing Families. President Annette Hammond is a two-time cancer survivor who works throughout the year to cover families, veterans, the homeless, and in-hospital cancer patients with the comforting gift of a blanket. Volunteers can wash, collect, or simply donate their gentley used blankets. If you are particularly crafty and would rather make a blanket, folks are encouraged to do so. These homemade coverlets should measure 56 inches wide by 1 yard long, and be made from dark fleece or a minky fabric.
Where to find it: 408 William Hardin Road. To learn more, and register to volunteer, go to www.blanketingfamilies.com.
The canines at Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services are trained to empower children and adults dealing with physical and social disabilities. As the only Assistance Dog International accredited organization in South Carolina, this furry friendly organization is always in need of volunteers. Shifts vary on a daily basis and anyone can assist in every facet of the organization’s operations, from working with the animals and animal care and grooming, to administrative assistance.
Where to find it: 221 N. Grampian Hill Road. 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. To learn more, and to apply to become a PAALS volunteer (even if just for a day), go to paals.org/volunteer.
End your day of giving back by driving up the road to Polliwogs and ordering all-you-can-eat crab legs. After a day of doing for others, you deserve to be given a little something special in return. This local eatery has a large selection of craft beers and fresh seafood from South Carolina’s coast and it’s the perfect dining experience to kickoff this charitable season.
Where to find it: 1025 Woodley Way. 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday.