A quick and easy win is great for individuals to get involved. The following list includes a shortlist of low- or no-cost opportunities followed by 30+ examples of ways to support service provides by category.

Here are some no- or low-cost opportunities to get involved

  1. Give blood. Go to the Donate blood page on the Blood Connection’s website and put in your zip code or select a site based on their map interface. This will bring up a list of the nearby blood drives by date, time of day and location. Many of the blood drives allow you to schedule your visit, and they’re often are evening and weekend opportunities to give.
  2. Sign up for “Be my eyes”.  This free app connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call. It doesn’t cost you anything, and you can participate only when you have availability. Check out what they do!
  3. City Police Department Ride-Along. Sign up for a ride-along with Anderson city’s police department (day or night rides available).
  4. Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy. The Anderson County’s Sheriff’s Department offers a Citizen’s Academy to foster positive relationships between the community and the Sheriff’s Office. Graduates will gain an understanding of the operation of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and develop an awareness and appreciation of the various challenges and decisions faced daily, by the Sheriff’s Office; as well becoming goodwill ambassadors.
  5. Social Media. Like or re-repost static sites of the organizations and/or causes you are excited about. It may be that the organization that is doing great work…is too busy doing that great work to update their website or Facebook or Instagram or blogging or Twitter or LinkedIn or Pinterest or WhatsApp or Reddit or YouTube or pick something else!
  6. Pray. Pray intentionally and specifically for the organizations and/or causes you are excited about. Ask others to do the same.
  7. Wishlist. Fulfill some of the items on an organization’s wishlist – some are through a program that includes delivery to the organization itself, or funding partnerships for specific items for the folks they’re working with.

Here’s a list by category the gives you some ideas to consider

Assistance for Disability Access:

  1. https://touchthefuture.us/get-involved/become-a-partner/

Elder Support

  1. Alzheimer’s Association is on most social platforms – and you can like or follow or re-post them. Check out the links at the bottom of the publications page, which has a thoughtful report of the current costs of Alzheimer’s. https://www.alz.org/help-support/resources/publications/trajectory_report

Need Help:

  1. Safe Harbor (Domestic Violence) has an Amazon wish list which you can access through their website: https://safeharborsc.org/wish-list/ or here: Amazon.  This webpage also has contact information for staff that helps you determine what is useful to them in terms of larger or household items you may have on hand, as well as a list of drop locations and times they’re open.

If you need a meal:

  1. Anderson’s Emergency Soup Kitchen has a wish list and a donation page here: https://andersonemergencykitchen.org/donations You can connect with them on Facebook, and they also have prayer requests on their site.
  2. If you need a meal (Housebound): Check out Meals on Wheels Anderson’s other ways to donate page: https://acmow.org/other-ways-to-help/ for several ways to support either through an intentional item drive or with things you may have on hand.

Supportive Services:

  1. Empowering Families has a Get Involved page here: http://www.hopecfc.org/get-involved.php and they’re on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
  2. Pride Link has a Get Involved page here https://pridelink.org/get-involved, which includes a new program they’re starting to serve as a temporary solution to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. LGBTQ+ youth in the Upstate may have to leave their homes due to safety issues and end up on the streets. Our Host Home Program will match a youth, 18-24 years old, with a volunteer community member who has a spare bedroom and is willing to provide a space for that youth for 3-6 months. Pride Link will provide screening, training, and support to the match and case management to the youth, creating a plan for permanent housing and economic stability. They’re on Facebook and Instagram.
  3. Silent Victims of Crime has an “about” page which describes the kinds of way you can support them, depending on your interest area (mentorship, supplies for children and caregivers, prison visitation, community activities, among others): https://www.silentvictimsofcrime.org/about and they’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (there are both Florida and South Carolina groups).
  4. General Assistance: Anderson Adult Education Center:
    • For Anderson Districts 1 and 2: 214 Lebby Street Pelzer information about what they are doing is best found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AdultEducationInPelzer – they do wonderful work in GED preparation, English as an additional language, WorkKeys and para-professional certifications.
    • For Anderson’s Districts 3, 4 and 5 their webpage is: https://www.anderson5.net/domain/881 and they have locations in Starr, Pendleton, and Anderson. You’d have to get in contact with the main office to see what their current needs are for supplies and other support.

Legal Assistance:

  1. South Carolina Legal Services: They have a get involved web page here: https://sclegal.org/get-involved/ and posts about a variety of issues that impact low-income folks. They’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. They host, for example, an annual neighbor day.
  2. Veterans Services: Anderson is unusual in that it has a local veterans’ nursing home administered by the state, along with the M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery. To get some ideas on how you or a group could partner with Richard M Campbell’s activities, check out http://www.rmcveteranshome.com/our-services or contact them directly at 864.261.6734 for current opportunities. You can support activities such as Wreaths Across America at the M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/14944/Overview by sponsoring or participating or inviting friends and family to do so.

Employment Assistance:

  1. AIM Employment Pathways: Check out the good work Anderson’s Interfaith Ministry does in its goal to accept, inspire and minister towards employment here: https://www.aimcharity.org/employment-pathways and contact Nicole Schmidt and schmidt@aimcharity.org and 864.958.0400 to see how you can partner with her.  They also are on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  2. Upstate Fatherhood Coalition Anderson: Volunteers are needed to help with mentoring and facilitating special group discussions. They also have events and fundraisers throughout the year. Check out their programs here: https://www.upstatefathers.org/enroll/ and they have an active Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/upstatefatherhoodcoalition/posts/ or contact Cortney Burgess at cortneyburgess@upstatefathers.org or 864.346.2365 to learn what exciting programs he has ongoing.

Transportation:

  1. You can let folks know of your favorite social media or by texting them or emailing them to let them know that the Electric City Transit buses are permitted to leave its regular route up to ¾ of a mile to pick up or drop off senior or disabled citizens. To request this service call Electric City Transit at least an hour before you wish to travel at 864.231.7625 – or use the ready line if you are hearing impaired at 1.800.735.2905. Check this out here: https://www.cityofandersonsc.com/transit/
  2. Transportation: Local bus tickets South Main Chapel & Mercy Center has local bus tickets until they run out each month –
  3. you can extend that period of time they still have them by donating here: https://squareup.com/store/south-main-chapel-and-mercy-center, Facebook, or access their Amazon wish list here: Amazon.

Financial Assistance:

  1. Self-Help Credit Union: Self-Help’s mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits. You can invest in them here: https://www.self-help.org/what-we-do/invest-with-us as well as share their posts and like them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Medical Assistance:

  1. Anderson Free Clinic: they have volunteer opportunities across a range of times and skillsets: https://andersonfreeclinic.org/volunteer-needs/ or email afcvolunteering@gmail.com or call Michelle Nixon at 864.512.7809. You can donate items from their wish list here: https://andersonfreeclinic.org/wish-list/ and call Katherine Gorritti at 864.512.7811 if you have items on hand you’d like to bring them. If you are a dental clinic you can order through Patterson Dental https://www.pattersondental.com/ and ship to the Anderson Free Clinic. They are also on Facebook.

Mental Health:

  1. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI): check out their get involved page here: https://www.nami.org/get-involved – our local one is here: https://namiaop.org/nami-walk/ and the NAMI annual Walk is just one way to raise awareness.
  2. Anderson County also has a great resource in the Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital, and it has a wide range of volunteer opportunities including the Adopt-A-Lodge Program, Clothing Store Organizers, Library Assistants, Reception/Clerical, Horticulture Assistant, Musicians/Entertainers, Party Hosts, etc. Donations of men’s and women’s shoes and clothing (all sizes), personal care products, reading glasses, stamps/stationery/note cards, books/magazines, cassettes/CD’s, puzzles/games/playing cards, bingo prizes, and cash for patients’ activities are needed and appreciated. Call 864.965.9752, Sandra Jamison, Community Resources Development Coordinator for details.

Camps:

  1. Wilderness Way Camp: Check out their get involved page here: https://www.wildernesswaycamp.org/get-involved best of all, if it’s summer, you can support them by eating ice cream – how cool is that? Call them at 864.972.0611 or email them at wildernesswaycamp@gmail.com They’re also on Facebook to follow and like, and they have thrift shops in Anderson, Liberty, Pickens, Seneca, and Westminster that support their efforts.

Pregnancy Care:

  1. Anderson Pregnancy Care at 1303 North Murray Avenue in Anderson has volunteer opportunities here: https://www.andersonpregnancycare.org/volunteer-2 or you can call them at 864.231.0077 to discuss things to donate as well as current volunteering needs. They are also on Facebook and Instagram.

For Youth:

  1. Asociaciòn Hispano-Americana de Mujeres: Check out their get involved page here: https://www.ahamsc.org/get-involved They have volunteer opportunities to support their mission of education opportunities for Hispanic youth.  Contact 864.402.4207 or president@ahamsc.org for current needs and ways to donate.
  2. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate: Check out their Get involved page: at https://www.bbbsupstate.com/get-involved/ or call 864.965.0505

Personal Care/Warmth Items

  1. St Joseph’s part of Coats for kids initiatives.
  2. Clean Start. Check out their supplies needed page here: https://cleanstartandersonsc.com/how-you-can-help/supply-list/ You can bring supplies by 219 Townsend Street Anderson MWF before they open up at 7:30 am for their clients or from about 6:45 am to 7:15 am.

Clothing

  1. St John’s UMC has a well-organized clothes closet for the community. You can contact Pat and Mike Smith, 864-760-0353, smitmike.smith@gmail.com or patsmith132@gmail.com to help them to assure that donations are displayed in an organized way using “store hangers” and size markers. Approximately a dozen volunteers work each Wednesday sorting, sizing, hanging, folding and displaying items that have been donated as well as assisting clients and helping with check-in/check-out. Most volunteers are members of St. John’s and others are welcome to come and work alongside their experienced volunteers.  http://www.stjohnsanderson.net/?page_id=262

Housing

  1. Emmanuel’s Hammer serves to help people stay in the home they’re in with creative and adaptive repairs. Check out their volunteer page for some ideas to support them: https://ehammer1.org/volunteer/ as well as their Facebook page for information on current builds: Facebook. You can like, follow and/or participate as you are able.
  2. Rebuild Upstate works to keep people in their homes as well, and you can check out their Get Involved page here: https://rebuildupstate.org/get-involved/ They are also on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Habitat for Humanity has a range of volunteer opportunities and activities for youth and adults, on the building sites or off of them and through their thrift store – ReStore. You can check out those options here: https://www.habitatanderson.org/volunteer and you will also find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Shelters

  1. Shalom House has opportunities to volunteer through driving the ladies to their appointments, help with painting, yard work or other projects, craft or activities, among others – you can check out some of the options here https://shalomrecovery.com/ways-to-help/. There are also a number of fundraising events to participate in through the year, and you can shop at Remnants, which is at the corner of Church St. & 300 S. Main Street. Remnants is an eclectic mall of dealers retailing antiques, furnishings, giftware and art. The mall is 6000 square feet accommodating 45+ vendors.  Remnants’ mission is to financially support Shalom House Ministries. Shalom House is also on Facebook.