CIU, Benedict, Columbia College Coming Together for Day of Service April 5

The community is coming together for an exciting day of service.

The students of Columbia International University are joining with the students of Benedict College and Columbia College for RAMServe on April 5. The Ram is the CIU mascot, but in this case, RAM stands for “Renewal Around the Midlands” with the motto of “Family, friends and neighbors serving together.”

But it’s not just higher education that will be teaming up for cleanup and repair projects. Students from Ben Lippen, Dreher, Eau Claire and Lower Richland high schools will also span out across greater Columbia for service to their community. They’ll be joined by representatives of other RAMServe sponsors including Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot, Prisma Health, The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the United Way of the Midlands, and LoveCola, a coalition of churches and community partners.

In all, about 1,000 students and community volunteers will be taking part in renewal activities such as the Salvation Army’s “Kettles for Ukraine” (ringing bells outside local grocery stores); organizing clothes at the Oliver Gospel Mission Thrift Store on Two Notch Road; picking up trash along Zimalcrest Drive and Seminole Road near Hope Church where volunteers will also seal the roof of the church building; preparing the foundation for an outbuilding at Victory Ranch near Eastover; and assisting elderly residents with yard work and even keeping them company by playing board games with them.

All participants will gather for a big opening ceremony outside the South side (Pendleton Street) of the Statehouse at 8:30 a.m. featuring among others: CIU President Dr. Mark A. Smith, Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, Richland County Councilman Derrek Pugh, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Ben Lippen Headmaster Dr. Tony Fajardo, and members of Richland One School Board.

Last spring, CIU held its own service event, “Serving Cola City,” but organizers are multiplying the impact this year with “Family, friends and neighbors serving together.”

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