Giving help, getting help in the Midlands, March 27

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CONGAREE LAND TRUST is inviting community members to join in the Cowasee Cleanup from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Billy Tolar Boat Landing in the Cowasee Basin along U.S. Highway 76 and 378. For those interested, the Congaree Land Trust encourages volunteers to sign up by visiting www.tinyurl.com/k8chxdg.

ANNUAL CLOTHING GIVEAWAY sponsored by New Beginning Baptist Church. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, 9601 Caughman Road. There will be free clothing, shoes and more plus free blood pressure checks. (803) 695-1194

REPACK THE BACKPACK is a free event that helps families in the Midlands who have run out of school supplies as the end of the academic year approaches. From 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Martin Luther King Park, parents and children are invited to come pick up free supplies and snacks as well as enjoy entertainment and leave with new haircuts. There will be free backpacks for the first 500. For more information call (803) 382-5817

FREE FLU SHOTS FOR VETERANS are now available from 8 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at Dorn’s Mental Health Clinics. Flu shots for veterans enrolled in VA health care. (803) 695-6701

THE LOURIE CENTER is announcing the opening of the Lourie Center Nurse’s Office. The registered nurse will be available on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m.-noon for consultations regarding general health and nutrition questions, blood pressure checks, meds management and referrals. For more information call (803) 779-1971.

WESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL is in need of a few families to host French exchange students and teachers April 6-16. The students will be in the homes for seven days, but gone on the weekends. Cheryl Guy, (803) 691-4049 ext. 36116

FREE TAX FILING services provided at various locations in Sumter. Services include E-file 2014 taxes, direct deposit and processing taxes up to three years back. From Feb. 1-April 15. 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesday at SC Works, 31 East Calhoun St, Sumter. Also from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, 3-8 p.m. Saturday and by appointment only at Goodwill, 1028 Broad Street, Sumter. (803) 240-8355


AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY needs volunteer drivers to take patients to medical facilities for cancer treatment. The Road to Recovery Program is seeking volunteers with a good driving record, valid driver’s license, automobile insurance and a vehicle in good working condition. Rides are needed 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and the schedule is flexible according to each volunteer’s availability. Fronde Merchant, fronde.merchant@cancer.org or (843) 744-1922.

HELP VETERANS who have served our state and our nation by volunteering at your local VA medical center or VA outpatient clinic. Contact Dorn VA Medical Center Voluntary Services,(803) 695-6780 or www.columbiasc.va.gov.

LAWYERS 4 VETS is a free legal clinic for lower-income veterans in South Carolina 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 line 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; health care powers of attorney and simple wills. To be screened for an appointment, call (877) 289-6000. Clinics are by appointment only. 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 need of people who can 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 thesunsetfelines@hotmail.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 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

DAYBREAK PREGNANCY CENTER is seeking female volunteers in several areas. The center needs volunteer counselors, hot line 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


FLAPJACK FUNDRAISER to benefit Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission’s Meals on Wheels program, 7:30-10 a.m. Saturday at Applebee’s, 605 Columbia Ave., Lexington. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance by visiting www.lcrac.com or calling (803) 356-5111

OYSTER ROAST AND SILENT AUCTION fundraiser for Communities In Schools of the Midlands 6-10 p.m. Saturday at First Citizens Plaza on Main and Lady Streets. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased by Wednesday. Proceeds will go to support students in school and life. Event includes freshly caught oysters, Beaufort stew, desserts and top-shelf liquor, wine and beer plus a DJ and dancing. Order tickets at www.cism.org

LEXINGTON WOMAN’S CLUB 31st Annual Golf Tournament to raise funds to prevent sexual violence. Sponsorship opportunities are available and range from $125-$1,000. Registration for a two person team is $160. The tournament starts at 11:30 a.m. March 30 at the Country Club of Lexington. Peggy Garvin, (803) 206-7230


THE GIVING TREE is accepting items for Help and Hope hygiene kits such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, deodorant, shampoo, tissues and hand sanitizer. Items can be dropped off from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at The Giving Tree, 421 Bush River Road. Kits will help the homeless, families in crisis, veterans and children in foster care. (803) 521-1881

FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS INC. is in need of thrift shop donation items. Sales from the items will go to help take care of animals. They are looking for items such as furniture, clothing, knick-knacks, toys and animal items, but they are looking for anything to help their cause. Items can be dropped off at The Black Dog Inn, 321 E. Columbia Ave., Batesburg-Leesville. (803) 604-1303

SHARING GOD’S LOVE, a Christian ministry serving the needy in the Irmo, St. Andrews and Ballentine communities, is seeking donations of sheets and towels (may be used but in good condition), jelly, spaghetti sauce, noodles, laundry detergent, shampoo, deodorant, dish washing liquid, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar soap and toilet paper. http://sharinggodslove.net

THE SALVATION ARMY OF THE MIDLANDS needs to replenish its food pantry. Items needed include meals in a can (chicken and dumplings, stew, chili, ravioli, spaghetti), 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

REACH OUT AND READ, an early literacy program providing books for children ages 5 and younger during well-child visits at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, needs new book donations and contributions. Callee Boulware, (803) 434-2523.