Bertram Rantin

iPad donations a boost to computer proficiency


Some of Columbia’s inner-city children received a technology boost recently when they were presented iPads by F.L.O.C.K (Faithful Love Offering for Christ Kingdom).

Ezekiel Ministries provides after-school and summer programs in the Northeast Richland area and asked F.L.O.C.K to assist children in the program. Representatives with the ministry said the students need to be challenged with computer coding classes and other iPad-based tasks, adding the donations will help that process.

F.L.O.C.K is the nonprofit arm of Columbia Farms in West Columbia. The agency works with food banks, feeding programs, churches, schools, outreach ministries and various other nearby organizations by contributing products, monetary donations, volunteers and prayer support.

“This is the kind of group we love to help and partner with,” said Chuck Underhill of F.L.O.C.K. “They are making a difference every day and we are excited we have had the opportunity to provide these Ipads. We understand the great work that will be accomplished with them.”

Strides for Autism

The South Carolina Autism Society will hold its signature fundraising and awareness walk, Strides for Autism 2015, Saturday at Saluda Shoals Park in Irmo.

The event will include a fun walk, resource fair, children’s craft activities, a photo booth, Wheels Parade & competition, game truck, park train, music therapy class, polic/fire/EMT demonstrations and face painting. Music will be provided by Jim Hardin.

Onsite registration begins at 8 a.m., with activities getting under way at 9 a.m.

Admission is free but refreshments and merchandise will be on sale.

Proceeds will stay in South Carolina to support, education, advocacy and S.C.-based research.

Call (803) 750-6988 or visit

Nurturing a community garden

Hand Middle School recently received a $2,000 grant from Whole Kids Foundation to support the school and community garden.

The garden will be used to educate students and the community about health, nutrition, science, math, and sustainability. Whole Foods Market Columbia has partnered with Hand to provide educational resources and tools about making healthier choices as well as to offer classes for students and parents on healthy eating and the benefits of plant-based foods.

Heyward Brabham, owner of Brabham Fence, contributed a new fence for the garden to protect the space and assist with climbing vegetables and flowers.

Other community partners of the garden include Ace Hardware along Beltline Boulevard, Vulcan Materials, Gardner’s Outpost, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Crape Myrtle Club of Columbia, and Shandon Cluster of Churches.