The devastating events of the past week have brought South Carolinians to their knees, but, incredible tragedy has given way overwhelming support. Led by the Bayou Bengals (whose grace and support have been incredible), the relief efforts by Clemson, Vanderbilt, the City of Birmingham, and many others (including many current Gamecock athletesand alumni!) have lifted the whole state of South Carolina from the depths on the shoulders of virtuous charity. While so much has been done, so much need remains. (As of the writing of this article, our thoughts and prayers are with another eminent flood danger in Georgetown, SC)
That being said, so many of you have requested information to help you find ways to donate your time, your money, or yourself to the cause, so we've decided to put together a how-to guide that can help you find the right way to contribute.
Here is our (kinda) definitive list:
The Red Cross is seeking volunteers. Call (843) 764-2323 ext. 321. Or, lend a hand at United Way of the Midlands: www.uway.org
University of South Carolina students can use their class-free time to help with debris removal, shelter attending, damage repair, transportation of volunteers and relief goods. Those interested can sign up at tinyurl.com/uscfloodvol.
Those offering resources needed for response or recovery efforts and those who can offer transportation for donations may contact Emergency Support Function (ESF)18 at (803) 737–8518 or (803) 737-8875.
The state does not need any more water donations at this time, according to S.C. Emergency Management Division. LIST OF GOODS NEEDED HERE.
All locations of Tripp’s Fine Cleaners will be accepting donations of clothing and bedding. Please place your donations in a plastic bag or container, and if possible, sort by size and gender.
The Newberry County Sheriff's Office will be a dropoff point for food and supplies. Canned fruits, vegetables and meats will be accepted along with cleaning supplies and paper goods.
Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, 3401 Trenholm Road, Columbia, has a disaster relief station to offer items to people affected by the flood. Donations of feminine hygiene products, men’s socks, paper plates/cups/utensils, formula, school supplies, towels and washcloths, sheet sets, toilet paper and paper towels are needed. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at least through Friday.
Columbia’s new Fireflies baseball team is taking donations of canned food, baby care items (formula, diapers, baby wipes) and personal care items (toiletries, toilet paper, etc.) at 807 Gervais St. (Suite 100) in the Vista. This will serve as a downtown drop-off point for in-kind donations to the United Way of the Midlands. This week, donations will be accepted 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
State resources The S.C. Emergency Management Division has requested that those who want to volunteer their services contact the United Way Association of South Carolina at (803) 929-1000 or go to scemd.org.
Donate at businesses
Many Midlands area businesses are pitching in to help those affected by the floods. At Tony’s Pizza in Cayce (803-936-0033), for example, patrons can buy meals for first responders to enjoy when they come in to eat. Cromer’s has set up a donations box for supplies, and will donate bushel bags of popcorn for every one purchased to shelters, police and fire departments and public service official locations (www.cromers.com).
Help for animals: If you have found a lost animal and need help finding a shelter and/or its owner, visit the Lost & Found Pets of South Carolina Facebook page or the South Carolina Flood Lost and Found Animals Facebook page.
The best way to help with disaster relief efforts is to make a monetary contribution to one of the many Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster agencies, according to S.C. Emergency Management Division. View a full list of agencies at www.scemd.org/recovery-section/donations-and-volunteers. A list of needed and not needed items is available at www.scemd.org. Here are a few agencies they recommend:
American Red Cross of Central South Carolina: (800) 435-7669 FREE
Harvest Hope Food Bank: (803) 254-4432
Lutheran Disaster Response: (800) 638-3522 FREE
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: (800) 872-3283 FREE
Southern Baptist Convention/Disaster Relief: (800) 462-8657 FREE, www.scbaptist.org
United Methodist Committee on Relief: (800) 554-8583 FREE
United Way of America: (800) 272-4630 FREE
United Way of South Carolina: (803) 929-1000
If you would like to contribute to the United Way of the Midlands’ Flood Disaster Relief Fund, go to http://uway.org/news/flood-disaster-relief-fund.
Central Carolina Community Foundation, the local nonprofit organization serving 11 Midlands counties, is accepting online donations at www.YourFoundation.org.
You can make a contribution to the American Red Cross 2015 Fall Floods relief at www.redcross.org/donate/weather.
As more news comes in, we'll gladly update the site to allow you the most up-to-date information.
Drive Safe, Go Cocks,