Thursday, January 2, 2014

Giving help, getting help, Jan. 3


THE SWIM LESSONS FOUNDATION is offering free swimming instruction to more than 100 children of low-income families at the Swim Lessons Company's heated, indoor pools beginning Jan. 13 for seven weeks. To see if your family qualifies, go to and complete the Income Verification form. Instruction will be held at locations in Northeast Columbia, Harbison and West Columbia. (803) 865-2629 or email

Caughman Road Park, 2800 Trotter Road

City of Columbia Compost Facility, 121 Humane Lane

Clemson Institute for Economic & Community Development, 900 Clemson Road

Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin

Friarsgate Park,1712 Chadford Road, Irmo

Forest Lake Park, 6820 Wedgefield Road

Fort Jackson Recycling Center, Building #5671 on Lee Road, Fort Jackson

Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia Airport, 110 McSwain Drive, West Columbia

Hollow Creek Tree Farm, 228 Windmill Road, Gilbert

Lexington County C&D Landfill, 498 Landfill Lane, Lexington

Lexington County Sandhills Collection Center, 3241 Charleston Hwy., Cayce

Lexington County Southeast Collection Center, 538 Martin Neese Road, Swansea

Polo Road Park, 730 Polo Road

Richland County C&D Landfill, 1070 Caughman Road North

Richland County Adult Activity Center, 7494 Parklane Road

Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church, 5508 Sunset Blvd., Lexington

Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane

State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia

St. Andrews Park, 920 Beatty Road, Columbia

ST. PAWS THRIFT STORE, 304 12th St., West Columbia, lends a hand to area animal rescue organizations through its Protecting Animal Welfare (PAW) awards. St. Paws was formed to serve as a portal for the sale of tax-deductible merchandise donations, providing a steady source of funding for the numerous animal rescue and welfare organizations in the Midlands. Those interested in applying for a PAW award, volunteering or donating, should call (803) 936-0077. To qualify, all PAW award applicants must be registered 501c3 nonprofit organizations in good standing.

NEED HELP PAYING your Medicare prescription drug cost? The Extra Help program helps individuals pay their Medicare prescription drug plan costs such as premiums, deductibles and copayments. The Medicare Savings program can help with Medicare costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments and the monthly Part B premium. To see if you qualify for these programs, contact the I-CARE (Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referral for Elders) program of the Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center at (803) 376-5390, ext. 309 or 312. The Central Midlands region covers Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The I-CARE program is a volunteer insurance counseling and assistance program for persons on Medicare. There is no charge for these services and absolutely no selling of insurance involved.

KEEPIN' IT REAL, a ministry for the homeless, has released its wish list for the winter. Financial assistance is used to pay rent and utilities for the transitional homes and storage units, upkeep and gas for the van and for emergency needs (prescriptions, transportation, etc.); warm clothing and blankets (coats, hooded sweatshirts, gloves, knitted caps, warm socks and footwear); there is a critical need for men's clothing and new socks and underwear. Donations of women's and children's clothing are also accepted and distributed. Out-of-season clothing is stored until needed. Local churches or groups are sometimes needed to provide food and fellowship following Sunday afternoon worship as well as canned goods and non-perishable foods for seniors. (803) 406-0724

THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT is accepting donations of used cellphones and telephone accessories to benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers. The nonprofit group sells used cell phones and accessories to a recycling company and uses the proceeds to buy prepaid telephone calling cards that are issued to members of the armed forces serving outside the United States. Personal information and personal photographs should be deleted. Drop-off points include the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington; North Region Service Center, 111 Lincreek Drive, Columbia; South Region Service Center, 102 Airport Road, Pelion; West Region Patrol District Headquarters, 4079-B Augusta Highway, Gilbert; and Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin. Sgt. David Amick is coordinating the effort, if you have questions, call him at (803) 223-3778

REACH OUT AND READ, an early literacy program providing books for children age 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.


DAYBREAK CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER is seeking female volunteers in several areas. The center needs volunteer counselors, hotline 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 COOPERATIVE MINISTRY, in partnership with the United Way of the Midlands, is looking for volunteers for its income tax assistance program. Trained volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualifying families with a household income less than $50,000. Volunteer tax preparers will receive free instruction and training to become certified IRS tax preparers. Volunteers are also needed to welcome clients and assist the VITA site coordinator with administrative tasks; no experience is necessary. The Cooperative Ministry provides tax assistance sites throughout the Midlands in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties. (803) 799-3853, ext. 115

RIVERBANKS ZOOretirees welcome. Jeanette Wells, (803) 213-2051
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