Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved

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There are organizations all around the Lowcountry whose success is based on volunteers that generously give their time and resources to helping others. Here are a few of the organizations that could use a few good people like you!!!

A great resource for short term volunteer opportunities is VolunteerMatch.com.? There are currently 183 locals matches in the Charleston, SC area.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The South Carolina Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation organizes events to raise money for “CF” research. We host many events throughout the year as well as raise awareness in the community.

Address? 215 East Bay Street, Suite 205B, Charleston, SC 29401
Contact? Erin Healy

Phone? (843) 722-6460

Website? http://www.cff.org

National MS Society

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society funds more MS research, offers more services to people with MS, provides more professional education programs and advances more MS advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world. Through its home office and fifty-state network of chapters, the National MS Society provides assistance to over a million people annually in its continuing mission to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.

Address? 9801 Southern Pine Blvd. Suite I, Charlotte, NC 28273

Contact? Linda Vanderbosch

Phone? 800-344-4867, option 2

Fax? 704-527-0406

Website? http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ncp

Seacoast Dream Center

The Dream Center, part of Seacoast Church’s North Charleston campus, is modeled after the Los Angeles Dream Center, which has proven to reduce crime in the community by 70%. To give significance to this percentage here are some disturbing statistics regarding North Charleston.

Address? 5505 North Rhett Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406

Contact? Amie Heath

Phone? 843-375-1099

Website? http://www.seacoast.org/campushome.asp?pageID=795

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A) is a resource where individuals in South Carolina obtain quality information and referral about disability rights, enabling people with disabilities to be effective self-advocates.

Address ?3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 208, Columbia, SC 29204
Contact? Kimberly Tissot

Phone? 803-217-6728

Fax? 803-790-1946

Website? http://www.protectionandadvocacy-sc.org/

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Respite Care Ministries

Respite Care Ministries is a groupd of respite programs designed specifically for people with memory loss and their caregivers.

Address 405 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

Contact ?Allison Menick

Phone ?843-478-2796

Muscular Dystrophy Association

MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.

Address? 29 Leinbach Drive Suite D-5, Charleston, SC 29407

Contact? Jolie Pegg

Phone? 843-556-3654

Fax? 843-556-7826

Website? http://www.mdausa.org

Lowcountry Earth Force

Now is the time to foster a scientifically capable and civically engaged populace. Through Earth Force young people get hands-on, real-world opportunities to practice civic skills, acquire and understand environmental knowledge, and develop the skills and motivation to become life-long leaders in addressing environmental issues.

Address P.O. Box 22583, Charleston, SC 29413

Contact Kelli Beltran

Phone 843-720-8525

Fax 843-720-1432

Website http://www.earthforce.org/charleston

Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries is the primary community resource for training and employment of people seeking economic independence and improved quality of life.

Address? 2150 Eagle Drive, Building 100, North Charleston, SC 29406
Contact Erin Burneyko

Phone (843) 566-0072

Fax (843) 566-0062

Website http://www.PalmettoGoodwill.org

SC Maritime Heritage Foundation

To offer a unique educational platform for students in the Palmetto state, encouraging responsibility, teamwork, and other attributes necessary to become future leaders, while unearthing South Carolina’s maritime past.

Address 10 Wharfside Street, PO Box 22405, Charleston, SC 29401

Contact Christine Haigh

Phone 843/722-1030

Website http://www.scmaritime.org

Charleston County GAL Program

According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, there were 548 Charleston County children living in foster care on June 30, 2007 . Our volunteers work with these vulnerable children to help them find safe, permanent, nurturing homes as quickly as possible. We work one-on-one with children to learn as much as we can about them, and help them find safety and security by providing advocacy and support.

Address P.O. Box 296, Charleston, SC 29402

Contact Charlene Gadsden

Phone (843) 958-4350

Fax (843) 958-4357

Website http://charleston.scgal.org

Hospice Care of America

Provides one on one care to patients and their families in the home setting. Some volunteer activities may include: running errands; reading to patient; singing to patient; doing crafts with patient; listening to patient and caregiver; providing companionship.

Address 9217 University Blvd, Suite C1D, North Charleston, SC 29406

Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross

Nonprofit organization utilizing volunteers in Armed Forces Emergency Services, International Services, Disaster Services, Health & Safety, Volunteer & Youth Services, Blood Services, & RSVP.

Address 8085 Rivers Avenue, Suite F, North Charleston, SC 29406

Contact Lisa Wills

Phone 843-764-2323 Ext 364

Fax 843-764-2318

Website http://www.LowcountryRedCross.org

Charleston Habitat for Humanity

Charleston Habitat for Humanity provides affordable homeownership opportunities for working families of moderate income in the cities of Charleston and North Charleston. Families can qualify for either new homes or home repair programs.

Address 731 Meeting Street, PO Box 21479, Charleston, SC 29403
Contact Laurel Prichard

Phone (843)722-7145

Fax (843)722-7142

Website http://www.charlestonhabitat.org

Carolina Lowcountry RSVP

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) provides opportunities for people 55 and over to make a difference in their community through volunteer service. RSVP volunteers contribute anywhere from a few to over forty hours a week, serving through schools, day care centers, police departments, hospitals and other nonprofit and public organizations to help meet critical community needs.

Address?

8085 Rivers Avenue., Suite F, North Charleston, SC 29406

Contact Pam Dillon

Phone (843) 764-2323 ext. 381

Fax (843) 764-2318

Website http://www.lowcountryredcross.org

Senior Companions

Senior Companions receive not only a tax free stipend and gas allowance but get paid during pre-training and in-service training as well as ten paid holidays. This income does not affect any of your social security or other pensions. In addition, you are providing a vital service to your community that you yourself might need someday. Senior Companions are doing extraordinary things and their service to the elderly gives back more heartfelt love that we can spread around.

Address 259 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

Contact Thelma Gaillard

Phone (843) 722-4127

Fax (843) 722-3675

Website http://www.charlestonareaseniors.org/seniorcompanion.html

Charleston Area Children’s Garden Project

The Charleston Area Children’s Garden Project works to provide kids with a community-based outdoor learning experience. Most of our gardens are planted in neighborhoods where problems such as crime, poor health, or financial hardship are part of everyday life for many youngsters.

Address P.O Box 13302, Charleston, SC 29412

Contact Darlena Goodwin

Phone 843-478-3748

Website http://www.childrensgardenproject.org

The Sustainability Institute

The Sustainability Institute is a nonprofit environmental organization with a focus on energy conservationadn the built environment. We pursue our mission by offering a variety of services and programs. Our programs include workshops, trainings, and community outreach dedicated to teaching homeowners, building professionals, and community leaders the benefits of sustainability and environmentally conscious practices.

Address 1441 East Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405
Contact Renee Patey

Phone 843-529-3421

Website http://www.sustainabilityinstitutesc.org

SCMF final logo copyPeople Against Rape

PAR provides free intervention and advocacy services for adult and child victims of sexual assault, adult survivors of childhood sexual assault, and victims of domestic violence. PAR also helps families and friends learn how to provide support to victims.

Address 2154 N. Center Street Suite 302, N. Charleston, SC 29406

Contact Volunteer Coordinator

Phone 843-745-0144

Fax 843-745-0119

Website http://www.peopleagainstrape.org

Communities in Schools

Communities In Schools works within the schools to help at-risk youth stay in school and be successful.

Address MSC 1201, 701 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29403

Contact Courtney Winders

Phone (843) 720-2346

Fax (843) 720-2338

Website http://www.CISCharleston.org

East Cooper Community Outreach

ECCO provides food, clothing, dental, medical, education and financial help to assist our clients out of generational and situational poverty.

Address 1145 Six Mile Rd, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
Contact Paul Suchy

Phone 843-849-9220

Fax 843-849-0943

Website http://www.eccocharleston.org/site/c.8pLJLVPxEaLSH/b.8343465/k.BE7D/Home.htm

Noble Ones Bully Breed Rescue

We are a rescue dedicated to the rehabilitation and re-homing of abandoned, stray, and neglected bully breed dogs. Noble Ones Bully Breed Rescue hopes to transform the undeserved negative image that society has of these animals through education.

Address Ladson, SC 29456

Contact Jennifer Lopez

Phone 843-771-3997

Website http://www.NOBBR.org

Crisis Ministries

Each year 2,000-3,000 volunteers help Crisis Ministries provide the basic human needs of food, shelter and hope to the hungry and homeless in the Charleston community.

Address 573 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29413-0038

Contact Brad Cashman

Phone 843-723-9477

Website http://cooper.palmettosoft.com/~chashome/

Trident United Way

Trident United Way invested more than $1 million on programs that measurably help children succeed in school.

Address 6296 Rivers Avenue North Charleston, SC 29406

Phone (843) 740-9000

Website http://www.tuw.org

American Cancer Society Hope Lodge – Carol Grotnes Belk Campus

The Hope Lodge offers room and board to cancer patients and families of cancer patients with extended hospital stay in downtown Charleston.? It is run and operated by volunteers that offer time and resources to maintain the facility.

Address 269 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Phone (843) 958-0930

Website http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/hopelodge/charleston/charleston-about-our-facility

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

East Cooper Meals on Wheels Fight Social Isolation as Volunteers and Recipients Forge Friendships

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MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Despite our technologically-connected society, people are lonelier than ever. Nowhere is social isolation and loneliness more evident than among older Americans. According to Meals on Wheels America, one in four seniors lives in alone. Locally, 72 percent of East Cooper Meals on Wheels’ recipients live alone.

East Cooper Meals on Wheels serves anyone who is home bound or unable to provide their own meals, regardless of age or income status. Of the some 300 people who receive meals each day, about 85 percent are 60 years or older. This means many older recipients are unable to get out of the house and engage with neighbors or friends on a regular basis.

New research reveals significant health impacts of social isolation and feelings of loneliness. The negative effects of loneliness on a person’s health are similar to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day.

An organization like East Cooper Meals on Wheels is critical in fighting social isolation among the senior population. Volunteer drivers may be the only person a homebound senior interacts with all day. That volunteer delivery driver does so much more than drop off a healthy meal. Volunteers check in on recipients’ wellbeing, often doing small household tasks like changing a light bulb or putting the garbage can on the street. They spend some time talking with the older recipient and, over the years, friendships grow strong.

During the holiday season, East Cooper Meals on Wheels is reminding people it is much more than meal. The nonprofit organization has launched a Food. Friends. Family fundraising and social media campaign to highlight the ways it is helping combat social isolation among seniors and other homebound neighbors living east of the Cooper. Volunteers are sharing stories about the friendships they have made with recipients, fellow volunteers and East Cooper Meals on Wheels staff members.

Lori and Rob Bellacicco are long-time East Cooper Meals on Wheels volunteers. They’ve forged a special bond with recipient Carrie Mae Brown. They even brought Brown to their home to celebrate Thanksgiving last year.

“We spoke about the blessings we received throughout the year and then shared a great meal and time in fellowship, the Bellaciccos recalled. “Carrie Mae added to the conversation and laughter with stories about her childhood and exciting life.”

They’ve even taken Brown out to lunch for her birthday and to Sullivan’s Island. Even though Brown says she loves the beach, she hadn’t visited in 15 years.

Volunteer Gina Shaw has formed a bond with East Cooper Meals on Wheels recipient Fred Lightfoot, who has Parkinson’s disease and is confined to a wheelchair. Shaw knows how much Lightfoot loves Italian food so she’s made him spaghetti and meatballs as a special treat. They talk about current events and Shaw’s travels.

“A warm meal and a few minutes of conversation really does make a difference,” Shaw said. “Sometimes I am the only person they will see that day, so there is not only a nutritional benefit to MOW, but my visit also serves as a wellness check. It is truly the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done, and I’m so happy to be helping out my community.”

George Roberts, president and CEO of East Cooper Meals on Wheels, can share countless stories like this. “The meals we deliver each day are just one piece of what we provide as an organization. Yes, we provide food, but the friendships that form are really at the heart of what we do. Our volunteers are really making a difference in the lives of our East Cooper seniors, who might otherwise spend days on end by themselves.”

Make a donation to support the work of East Cooper Meals on Wheels at www.ecmow.org. The local nonprofit is fully funded by donations and receives no federal funding. Connect with East Cooper Meals on Wheels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ECMealsonWheels to see even more volunteer stories.

About East Cooper Meals on Wheels
East Cooper Meals on Wheels delivers daily nutrition to residents within its service area (Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Cainhoy or Wando) who are homebound or unable to provide their own meals. Recipients have physical or mental limitations or short-term physical limitations (such as recovery from surgery or chemotherapy). The organization also advocates on behalf of recipients whose needs exceed the scope of its program. For more information, visit www.ecmow.org.

12 Wonderful Volunteer Opportunities to Bring Hope and Goodwill to the Lowcountry

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Humanitarian

Lowcountry Food Bank – Fight hunger in the Charleston community. Donate food or host your own food drive.

One80 Place – Serve lunch to the homeless in One80 Place’s Community Kitchen.

Habitat for Humanity – Help build homes and shelters for those in need.

MUSC Children’s Health – Volunteer opportunities ranging from playrooms to pet therapy.

Ronald McDonald House of Charleston – Wonderful opportunities to help families that need your support.? Must be 18+ to volunteer

Windwood Family Services – Every year, Windwood provides volunteer opportunities for over 500 people through workdays, special events, and engagement and learning opportunities

 

Environment

Charleston Surfrider – Protect and clean our oceans and tributaries by participating in beach and marsh sweeps.

Keep Charleston Beautiful – Take part in ( or even organize!) a community clean-up – anything from just picking up litter to planting a beautiful garden.

SC Aquarium – Help keep our waters safe and clean for all its inhabitants

Animals

Charleston Animal Society – Give some love to dogs and cats that are homeless, abused, or sick.

Vets for Pets – Be a?foster home for shelter pets waiting to be paired with an American veteran in need of a best friend.

Pet Helpers – Always looking for special loving people to give love to pets in need.

CARTA Adopt-A-Stop Program Expands To Entire Service Area

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CARTA ADOPT-A-STOP PROGRAM EXPANDS TO ENTIRE SERVICE AREA
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HAS RECEIVED $10,000 PALMETTO PRIDE GRANT

CHARLESTON, SC – CARTA’s popular Adopt-A-Stop upkeep program will now be available throughout the agency’s entire service area thanks to a nearly $10,000 Palmetto Pride grant aimed at beautifying bus stops.

Expansion of the program, previously only available at stops located in the City of Charleston, allows for more volunteers to get involved and more of the system’s approximately 1,000 stops to be kept clean. The goal of Adopt-A-Stop is to eliminate litter at the bus stops throughout the area.

How It Works;

  • Individuals, groups, civic organizations and private businesses are encouraged to volunteer

  • Volunteers are asked to service the can and remove litter at least once a week

  • All supplies — including trash can, bags, gloves and more — are provided by CARTA

  • Volunteers are able to choose which stop they adopt

  • Volunteers receive the added benefit of having their name displayed on a sign located at the site of their adopted stop

“The Adopt-A-Stop program is a great way to give back to get involved with your community and, quite honestly, receive some free marketing,” said CARTA Board Chairman Mike Seekings. “This program not only benefits the community, but also plays an integral role in protecting the environment. This program is a plus for riders, businesses and everyone in between. “

The Adopt-A-Stop program in Charleston city limits is operated through a partnership between Keep Charleston Beautiful and CARTA.

To get involved, download an application at ridecarta.com, complete and return it to cruze@ridecarta.com, or mail it to CARTA 1362 McMillan Ave. Suite 100 North Charleston, SC 29405.

ABOUT CARTA
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app and the CARTA Bus Tracker.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Brock
Rawle Murdy Associates
(919) 820-2612
dbrock@rawlemurdy.com

Charleston Charity Spotlight: Fields to Families Harvested and Donated over 80K Pounds of Fresh Produce in 2017

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Founded in 2006, Fields to Families believes everyone deserves access to fresh produce! We bridge the gap between farmers and a community in need by collecting, harvesting, growing and distributing fruits and vegetables to our partner agencies, free of charge.

Who do we serve: Currently we have 28 agencies that we partner along side throughout the Tri-County.?Food banks, shelters, churches, after school programs, soup kitchens, foster homes, senior communities and low income housing units can have the produce?that we collect.

Who helps us: We are a local non profit organization, we are volunteer based. Our board is consisted of all volunteers. Folks working the farmers markets, harvesting in the fields, growing in the garden are volunteers.?
Why do we do it: We believe everyone, no?matter their life situation, deserves access to fresh, healthy produce.?According to the USDA, 27 percent of our national food supply is thrown away every year because of cosmetic damages, mislabeling, weight errors and overproduction. Twenty-six million tons of food is wasted each year in the United States.
Where does your money go: When you donate to Fields to Families, you are adding to the bigger picture to better our community:
  • Our volunteers?helped distribute 80,100 pounds?valued at?$164,205 worth of local produce put back into the community. Your support has helped provide 64,000 nutritious and healthy meals this year!
  • Supporting our program provides a chance for our community to serve. This year we have had nearly 400 volunteers give 1,169 hours of their time to help us. Volunteers have traveled 9,892 miles to farms, gardens and markets to support our mission.

Thank you for considering Fields to Families when you are making your year end donations.? Your support will help continue to make an impact in the community.

Click Here to Donate

Want to do something special: Volunteer with Ronald McDonald House of Charleston

VOLUNTEER

Use your time, talents, and heart to make our House A Home Away From Home

Ronald McDonald House Charleston volunteers help provide comfort and care to our families, as well as maintain our House. We have several volunteer opportunities. Learn more about the different opportunities below.

Individual Volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House
Volunteers play an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Ronald McDonald House. They provide administrative support, help keep our House clean and tidy, offer family support, serve as a welcoming face, and provide information to our visitors.

Age: Must be 18 years or older
Location: The Ronald McDonald House –81 Gadsden Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Commitment: Weekly two hour shift for a minimum of 6 months
Shifts: Shifts are offered daily from 9 AM to 9 PM

Duties Include:

  • Receptionist
  • House Assistant
  • Family Room Assistant
  • Card Writers
  • Kitchen/Pantry Organizer
  • Salad Bar Helper
  • Dinner Helper
  • Maintenance
  • Puppy Sitter

Group Volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House

When a group of volunteers come together to help at RMHC Charleston, they make a big impact. Whether it’s deep cleaning our House or helping out with a specific task, their efforts, small and large, support every family that relies on our Home Away From Home. Here are a few ways you and your friends, coworkers, or family can help.

Deep Cleaning Volunteer Group
Deep Cleaning Volunteers help us keep the Ronald McDonald House tidy and healthy for our families. We provide all of the cleaning supplies. To become a deep cleaning volunteer group, volunteers must follow these guidelines:

  • All volunteer groups must be adults or heavily supervised children 15 and older
  • Cleaning must be done Monday – Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Groups should be no more than 15 people

 

Special Task Volunteer Group
RMHC Charleston has special tasks that require the support of group volunteers. This can include building shelves, organizing storage rooms and landscaping clean up. Task volunteers must follow these guidelines:

  • All volunteer groups must be adults
  • Tasks must be pre-approved by the House
  • Groups should be no more than 12 people

Event Volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House Part of the success of our fundraisers we host every year is the network of volunteers that work tirelessly to make them spectacular. Our volunteers take on varying tasks from securing auction items to greeting guests to stuffing envelopes. And, everything they do to help makes a big difference in making the event fantastic and, most importantly, supporting our families.

Event volunteers must follow these guidelines:

  • Age restrictions are event specific
  • All volunteers must sign up to participate through the Director of Volunteers
  • Event volunteers can be individual or groups

Click to Donate

Click to Volunteer

Ronald McDonald House Charleston Instagram

Folly Association of Business (FAB) Gives Back to Local Charities

Press Release:? FAB Gives Back

The Folly Association of Business to donate to Folly Beach charities

Charleston, SC – The Folly Association of Business (FAB) will be donating a portion of the proceeds from their 2016 Festivals to several local Folly Beach charities at their next meeting on Thursday, June 9th.? Although FAB has always donated to local charities, this will be the first time that they have donated to charities based on their volunteer hours at the Folly Festivals.

Christine Wilkerson, Head of the Festival Volunteer Committee, talked about the impact that this program had on both the Festivals and the Folly charities that were selected:

“By recruiting volunteer representatives to help with the festivals, we received?enthusiastic, responsible and reliable people. It’s a benefit for us and an opportunity for them to earn some serious money for their charity.? We could not have been happier with the results and look forward to working with all these great people again at future festivals.”

FAB President, Lewis Dodson had this to say about the joint venture, “We are so grateful for all the volunteers and to be able to continue to give back to our community! Each of these charities is doing great things on our island and we hope that we can continue to support each other through programs like this.”

The following charities will be presented with donations at the Folly Association of Business meeting Thursday:

Folly Anglers $1,075
Folly Angels $600
Surfer’s Healing $1,215
Begin with Books $125

As part of their effort to give back, the Folly Association of Business will also be presenting The City of Folly Beach with a check for $6,000 at the city’s June 14th meeting. This money will be put directly towards Center Street Beautification, particularly the Engraved Brick Project.

FAB will be presenting each of the four charities with checks on June 9th at 6:30pm at the Tides Hotel on Center Street. They will be presenting the FAB donation to the city at City Council meeting at 7pm at Folly Beach Hall.

If you would to learn more about any of these FAB projects or about getting your Folly Beach charity involved for 2017 please contact Lindsey Chambers, FAB Secretary, at secretary4fab@gmail.com.

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist

 

Random Acts of Kindness in Charleston – Put a Smile on Someones Face

“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.” – Charlie Chaplin

Maybe it is the time of year or the nature of our warm Charleston culture, but giving back to the community and touching the lives of others is a feeling unlike any other. It brings life to an empty soul and revitalizes our compassion. Random acts of kindness are all around us from holding a door open, to giving spare change. We are all part of a continuous cycle of giving back; and part of the gift we call humanity.

Perhaps some of you are wondering how you can be a part of this wave of goodness. Here are a few ideas that you may want to consider.

  • Go to MUSC, Roper St. Francis or any of the other medical facilities in the Lowcountry and ask if there are any patients alone this holiday season that could use company. Sit with them, listen to their stories, hold their hand and remind them that there are people out there that care and none of us should ever be alone.
  • Remind your postal officer how important their job is and how much you appreciate them coming to you every day. Leave them a nice thank you card and/or a small box of chocolates/candy to show you gratitude for their incredible dedication. I know we don’t see much “snow” or”sleet”, but they are out there every day for us.
  • thank1Visit the tent city with a bag of supplies for our homeless. It doesn’t take a lot of money to bring some much needed supplies or a hot meal. You can even go the extra mile and sit down for a while. Spend a little time and get to know your neighbors. It is going to be almost 80 degrees out. Perfect time to be outside.
  • Buy a smoothie or coffee drink for a local police officer. 2015 in Charleston has been nothing short of frightening for so many local residents and our local law enforcement professionals are putting their lives at risk to ensure our safety. We live in a community where our children can play openly and we can feel comfortable saying hello to strangers. These men and women in uniform don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Walk up to a police officer, thank them for their service and offer to buy them a nice cold smoothie or coffee drink.
  • Be a Fields to Families Volunteer. Each year volunteers from all over the Lowcountry spend one day a weekend picking local fruits and vegetables from area farms and giving it to families that cannot afford food. Over 80,000 pounds of produce are distributed to local families a year. Adults and children work together in the fields, establishing bonds and doing and incredible gesture for the community; now that is Charleston.
  • If you have a genuine love for animals, Pet Helpers is always looking for caring volunteers in a number of areas. From cleaning cages to walking dogs, to adoptions services, Pet Helpers has committed itself to finding loving homes for our four-legged friends. Once you look into the eyes of these beautiful cats and dogs, you may never want to leave.

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For of us that give throughout the year, thank you for all you do.

Charleston Basket Brigade is committed to feeding the hungry this Thanksgiving

Michelle Scarafile and Pam Hartley began The Charleston Basket Brigade in 2008 with a commitment to bring the community together to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need in Charleston, SC. ?“When we found out that there were children going to bed hungry right here in Charleston, we knew we had to do something about it,” said Pam.

In 2011, The CBB raised $75,000 which fed 2,500 families – over 15,000 people. The following year they fed over 3,000 families and in 2013 they topped that number by reaching out and raising enough money to feed 3,306 families – almost 20,000 people!?? 2014 was another success feeding 3323 families – and all delivered in the rain, no less… Michelle?adds, “I’m sure our 2015 goal will be no different… ?We plan on ordering enough food to feed?3,500 families (an estimated 21,000 people) for Thanksgiving. ?To do that, we need to raise $105,000”

It only takes $30 to feed a family of 6 at Thanksgiving and we get donations from people in the community, as well as friends and family members that live out of state.? $30 goes a long way.

Every single penny that is raised goes towards purchasing food. ? $30 feeds a family of six which includes a 12-13 lb. turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, a pumpkin or apple pie, fresh rolls and butter.? Each meal is assembled and anonymously hand delivered by CBB volunteers on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. ?Inside each basket is an anonymous letter that reads, “This comes to you from someone who cares about you. ? All we ask is that you take care of yourself well enough to be able to do this for someone else one day.”


Communities In Schools; a non-profit organization that served over 13,290 students in 28 Charleston Tri-County schools in the 2014-15 school year, is an integral part of our effort. ?They help The Charleston Basket Brigade to locate the families that will receive meal donations based on need and they are also invaluable when it comes to?mapping directions for delivery.

Hundreds of local volunteers in the community, along with Carolina One staffers, raise money, assemble the meals at our staging area at the North Charleston Convention & Performing Arts Center and and then deliver meals to the families..? Momentum Marketing provides public relations and event coordination assistance.

The heart of the Charleston Basket Brigade also lies within creating a family experience for the recipients of these meals. When the families receive their Thanksgiving basket, they get to cook it together and then eat the warm meal they made as a family at the dinner table. ?The responses from families that receive a basket from the group are overwhelmingly appreciative and often times tear-filled. ?One parent said emphatically, “Oh thank you, thank you so much, prayers really do get answered.”