Give gifts that matter

The holiday season is swiftly approaching, which calls for celebrating with friends, family and, of course, lots of food. However, for many, the holidays are not so joyous. Make this holiday season one full of giving back to those who may be struggling. Check out these opportunities at UofSC and in the Columbia area. 

Carolina Cares

The Carolina Service Council is accepting donations for the stocking drive through Dec. 3. Anyone who wants to help can check out a stocking Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the second-floor lobby at Russell House. All donations will go to the Salvation Army.

Monetary donations are also accepted via cash, check or Venmo (usc_csc). All funds are used to buy toys for the stockings.

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House is open to serve families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because there are no breaks when it comes to having a seriously ill or injured child.

By volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house this holiday season, you can help with the daily operations of the house so families can rest, enjoy home-cooked meals and, most importantly, receive a network of support among other families struggling with similar worries and fears.

For more information about volunteer opportunities and guidelines, visit the Ronald McDonald House website.

Inclement Weather Center

Volunteer with the Young Leader’s Society at United Way's Inclement Weather Center for homeless individuals, open on nights when the temperature is 40 degrees or below.

You can sign up to serve meals to guests who are staying at the center for the night on United Way’s website. Volunteers will receive confirmation by noon if the weather is expected to be cold enough for the shelter to open.

Gamecock Pantry

Keep up the spirit of giving into the new year by applying to be a volunteer at Gamecock Pantry for the spring semester. Applications are due by Dec. 4. Volunteers will be working in the pantry and picking up donations as available.

The Gamecock Pantry provides free food and toiletries to members of the Carolina community while creating awareness about food insecurity at the university. To learn more about Gamecock Pantry and volunteering, visit the Gamecock Pantry website or contact

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