Giving help, getting help in the Midlands, March 13


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. (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

THE CHRISTIAN CHRISTMAS CLUB has two $800 book scholarships available to Richland 1 and Richland 2 graduating high school students who are in single-parent households. Qualifying students should visit their school counselor’s office for details. Application deadline is April 15.


COLUMBIA KIDNEY WALK: 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater in West Columbia. This event raises awareness and funds lifesaving programs that educate and support patients, their families and those at risk. The event is free, but everyone is encouraged to raise funds for the cause. (803) 799-3870

DOWNTOWN YMCA is hosting Swim for a Cause to send 100 low-income youth to summer camp at the Y. The volunteer swimmers will swim between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. March 20 at the Downtown YMCA Pool, 1420 Sumter St. They will earn pledge money per lap or for participation. To join the swim team, contact Clare Morris at To make an online gift, visit (803) 799-9187


HISTORIC COLUMBIA is looking for volunteers to donate six or more hours a month to nurturing, supporting and protecting the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richalnd County. The training session kicks off at 10 a.m. March 23. For more information and benefits, visit or call Betsy at (803) 252-1770 ext. 24.

BIRTHRIGHT OF COLUMBIA is seeking volunteers to provide one-on-one assistance to girls and women who are faced with an unplanned or problem pregnancy. The four-part training sessions begin at 6 p.m. March 24 at their office at 1405 Gregg St. For more information contact Hank Chardos at (803) 543-8144 or via email

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, or (843) 744-1922.

VETERANS have served our state and our nation. Now you can help them by volunteering at your local VA medical center or VA outpatient clinic. Contact Dorn VA Medical Center Voluntary Services at (803) 695-6780 or visit

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; expungments 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

SUNSET FELINES is in urgent 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

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 COMM ISSIONis 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


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

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.

BETSY’S GARAGE and Cellphones for Soldiers are asking Columbia residents to help troops call home by donating gently used cellphones for recycling. For every donated phone valued at $5, the nonprofit will be able to provide overseas troops 2.5 hours of free talk time on prepaid international calling cards. Betsy’s Garage, 2011 Bull St., will offer a 10 percent discount on any automotive service to customers donating phones. This is an ongoing effort. Donations may be dropped off during business hours, 8 a.m.-6 pm. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. (803) 929-0013;

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

DONATE, DON’T DUMP, an initiative of the Salvation Army of the Midlands, encourages people to drop off clothing, household items, furniture, etc., at the Family Store, 1312 Millwood Ave. Store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. You can call (803) 748-9964 for items to be picked up.

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. Call Callee Boulware, (803) 434-2523.