Helping Out highlights some of the many charitable events and activities going on in the Charleston area. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charleston Communities for Cruise Control will host a cocktail fundraiser 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, at Ann Long Fine Art, 54 Broad St. in Charleston. Food will be provided by Muse Restaurant. For more information, visit www.charlestoncruisecontrol.org.
The Holiday Festival of Lights surpassed its goal of canned food collections by more than 50%. Festival organizers with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission had set a goal of collecting 10,000 pounds of canned food items for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank. During the 2013 Holiday Festival of Lights, visitors donated 15,177 pounds of canned food items, which equates to 12,648 meals.
The donations will help support the Lowcountry Food Bank’s goal of serving more than 200,000 families, children and seniors throughout the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina. For more information on the Lowcountry Food Bank and food collections or drives, visit www.lowcountryfoodbank.org.
The annual Shuckin' for Shelter charity oyster roast benefiting Callen-Lacey Center for Children in Moncks Corner will be 3-6 p.m., Feb. 1, at the Crowfield Golf and Country Club in Goose Creek. Tickets are $25, and proceeds support Callen-Lacey Center of Carolina Youth Development Center, an emergency shelter in Berkeley County serving abused, neglected and abandoned youth. Purchase tickets online.
The third annual Race and Roast at Oakland Plantation is set for 12:30 p.m., March 2. The 5K trail run and oyster roast benefits the East Cooper Land Trust. For more information, visit www.raceandroast.com.
Cary Oil presented Crisis Ministries with a $5,000 check through the BP Fueling Communities Program grant. This gift will help provide food and shelter to more than 1,500 homeless men, women and children.
Back for the fifth year, the Pitchforks of Duke University, an all-male a cappella group, will perform at a benefit for Charleston Halos at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 9, at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. in Charleston. This year, the evening will include performances by the Charleston School of Arts Singers and the Cario Troubadors. Listen to the Pitchforks’ a cappella rendition of Wagon Wheel here. Tickets are $25, $10 for students and parents of singers. Purchase tickets online.
Canvases for Conservation opens Friday at the S.C. Aquarium, featuring several pieces from marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey on the aquarium’s second-floor gallery wall. The installation will spotlight Harvey’s interpretations of wildlife in South Carolina, such as a bald eagle, loggerhead sea turtle and sharks. Each piece is available for purchase with a percentage of proceeds directly supporting the conservation and education programs at the S.C. Aquarium. The exhibit runs through July.
The Charitable Society of Charleston is hosting its annual oyster roast 7-11 p.m., Feb. 1, at the Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed. Tickets are $30 each and include alcohol, oysters, chili and hot dogs. Purchase tickets at cscoyster.eventbrite.com. This year's beneficiary is Wings for Kids, an after-school program that teaches kids how to behave well, make good decisions and build healthy relationships.
The Green Heart Project is seeking volunteers for its Green Heart Buddies program. Volunteers will work with students at Mitchell Elementary to help them grow their garden for the spring season. Students in third to sixth grade will meet in the garden for an hour every other week for eight sessions in the spring. Volunteers will help students dig, build, plant, water and harvest local produce. Learn more about the program and how to get involved.
Florence Crittenton Programs’ annual oyster roast and chili cook-off is 2-5 p.m., Feb. 23, at Goldbug Island on Sullivan’s Island. Tickets include all-you-can-eat oysters provided by Sticky Fingers, a chili cook-off, and an open bar with wine and beer. There will also be hot dogs, face-painting, and a jump castle for the kids. Proceeds benefit Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina, which provides education, counseling, medical care, social support and shelter for young pregnant women and young mothers in need. Advance tickets are $30 each; purchase online at www.florencecrittentonsc.org.
East Cooper Medical Center Volunteer Services Organization recently presented checks to 10 nonprofit organizations, each for $1,000. Through fundraising efforts and management of the hospital’s gift shop, the organization raises money that it gives back to the community through donations, student scholarships and providing medicine to patients in need.
The following organizations were each presented a check for $1,000: East Cooper Community Outreach, East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Windwood Farm Home for Children, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Eagle Harbor Ranch, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Heroes for Fire Victims – American Red Cross, Crisis Ministries, Christian Medical Clinic, and Darkness to Light.
The Biblical Family Center will host its second annual Pink & Blue Gala with gourmet cuisine and an auction featuring vacation homes and trips. The event raises money for the Biblical Family Center’s push for change in the eastside community of Charleston by providing spiritual, emotional and social tools that help youth and adults achieve full and equal participation in society. The Pink & Blue Gala is 6-9 p.m., Feb. 6, at Hibernian Hall, 105 Meeting St. in Charleston. Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase at www.biblicalfamilycenter.org or by calling 803-250-1433.
In 2008, the Young Lawyers Division formed the Families Forever Committee, which focuses on adoption awareness. Its annual project, Families Forever Fairs, was recognized in 2009 by the American Bar Association as the "Most Outstanding Service Project" in the country offered by young lawyers.
The next local fair is from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Feb. 1, at the Felix C. Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Circle in North Charleston. It provides free information on adoption, including resource materials and one-on-one consultations. Attorneys, agencies and other vendors in children's services will be on hand to answer questions, provide helpful resources, and encourage families to consider foster care and adoption. Several brief adoption workshops will also be available during the fairs.
Law & Dis-Order, a roasting of Andy Savage, is at 6 p.m., Jan. 30, at Memminger Auditorium, 54 Beaufain St. in Charleston. The event benefits Trident Literacy Center. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.tridentlit.org/.
The St. Padre Pio American Catholic Church Oyster Roast will be 6-9 p.m., Saturday, at Miler Country Club, 400 Country Club Road in Summerville. For tickets, call 843-851-5577 or 843-871-7500. The event benefits Dorchester Children’s Center.
South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition presented Palmetto Goodwill and its president and CEO, Robert Smith, with a 2013 Center of Influence award. The coalition’s Center of Influence award recognizes individuals and organizations that have affected aging in place for older adults. Palmetto Goodwill has strived to provide older adults with employment and job training, as well as additional support through community partnerships. In 2012, Goodwill placed more than 110 older adults into new jobs and provided employment training to more than 5,500.
Goodwill has formed a partnership with ITN Charleston Trident in which Goodwill provides operational facilities to the agency. ITN Charleston Trident provides transportation via personal automobiles for older adults and the visually impaired seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Goodwill also provides support to older adults through their Golden Angel Tree program. In 2013, the Golden Angel Tree Program provided more than 1,200 disadvantaged older adults with holiday gift bags filled with basic necessities such as food, toiletries and cold-weather items.