Picture your favorite holidays…

What stands out to you? Is it the time spent with your family, the delicious food or the gifts exchanged? The holidays are a indeed a joyous time for many of us! However, with more than 17% of the population in South Carolina living in poverty, the holidays can be more stressful than spectacular.

Because we believe that the holidays should be a happy time for all, Carolina Service Council and the Leadership and Service Center sponsor Carolina Cares, an annual holiday donation drive. Through Carolina Cares, we make the holidays happen for families in need.

Make the holidays happen for families in need

From Monday, Oct. 13, to Monday, Dec. 1st, you can get involved in three ways.

Oct. 13–Nov. 21: Holiday Mail for Heroes
For the 8th year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season. The process is very simple and takes no time at all. All you need is a pen to share your appreciation and make the holidays happen for members of our armed forces.

Nov. 5–19: Families Helping Families Thanksgiving Food Drive
Organizations and individuals can check out a Thanksgiving box and checklist to make the holidays happen for a food-insecure family in South Carolina. This is a partnership with Families Helping Families.

Nov. 10–Dec. 1: Salvation Army Stocking Stuffers
In a partnership with the Salvation Army, we make the holidays happen for children by collecting stockings filled with stuffers. The stockings themselves are free, and it only takes a small donation of gifts to make a child’s holiday that much happier. Simply check out a stocking, fill it with age-appropriate items (we’ll even give you suggestions) and return it when you’re finished.

The Carolina Cares Committee will have a table on the 2nd floor of the Russell House (by the information desk) every Monday and Wednesday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to check out/check in boxes and stockings, to sign holiday cards, and answer any questions.

If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Isales, director of Carolina Cares, at misales@email.sc.edu.

The USC Tree Lighting Ceremony
It’s our 60th Anniversary! On Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, the University of South Carolina will celebrate the 60th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Come join the USC community and listen to the carolers and enjoy the beautiful festivities. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Davis Field (adjacent to Russell House). All are welcome!