Bertram Rantin

Mother’s Day help for the homeless

Donations are being accepted for the fifth annual Mother’s Day Bags for the Homeless in Columbia.

Through Friday, area residents are being asked to donate items or make monetary donations that will be used to distribute items to the homeless in downtown Columbia this Sunday for Mother’s Day.

The project was started by years ago by Irmo resident Heather Malovic, who began gathering personal necessities to pass out on Mother’s Day to the homeless.

“People in need are sometimes forgotten when the major holidays have passed,” Malovic said. “So a bag filled with everyday goodies this time of year is very much appreciated.”

Malovic and other volunteers will distribute the gifts in front of Hope Plaza and the Christ Central Ministries on Main Street in Columbia Sunday morning. The goal is to collect enough items to fill 150 bags.

Needed items include peanut butter, snack-sized bags of chips, lip balm, men’s deodorant, peanut butter crackers, snack-sized containers of applesauce, disposable wipes, jelly, soap, toothbrushes, bottled water, socks and toothpaste.

Donations can be dropped off at Debi & Co. Salon, 2401-B Dutch Fork Road in Chapin. For more information, contact Malovic at (803) 414-2115 or email

A big (baby) step for infant health

Supporters of the March of Dimes raised more than $350,000 during the recent March for Babies event.

Scores of families and corporate teams gathered at the State Fairgrounds to support efforts to help more babies have a healthy start in life. Proceeds from the day will be used to fund research, awareness, education and local community grants.

Premature birth affects nearly 8,000 families in South Carolina each year. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities.

“What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and honor the successes of the March of Dimes than to bring together families and businesses to raise money to improve babies’ lives,” said Percy Mack, who chaired the 2015 event.

A donation fueled with energy

Midlands Biofuels recently donated a $15,000 biofuel processor to the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Lexington-Richland 5.

The gift, which coincided with Earth Day, will offer students a new tool for exploring alternative energy and allow more hands-on experience in making, researching and using biofuels.

The donation is part of a partnership between Midlands Biofuels, the school district and the District 5 Foundation.