Resources for Upstate parents and kids
This list of Upstate resources for families is updated quarterly. If your organization would like to be included, there is no charge. Send additions, deletions or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org
KEY: G=Greenville County; S=Spartanburg County; P=Pickens County
ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE
The South Carolina Youth Advocate Program needs resource foster parents and respite care foster parents. Participants receive training, support and a monthly stipend once licensed. For requirements and details, call 864-676-0210 or visit https://www.scyap.com.
Adoptive and Foster Families are needed for children throughout South Carolina. For information, call 888-828-3555 or visit http://www.heartfeltcalling.org/.
The South Carolina Foster Parent Association provides training, support and other services to foster families. For more information, call 803-865-2020 or visit http://www.scfpa.com/.
Special Link is a nonprofit licensed adoption agency specializing in the placement of minority and/or special needs infants and children. The organization promotes open adoption. Visit http://www.speciallink.org/ or call 864-233-4872.
Miracle Hill Ministries hosts an orientation and information session for potential foster families twice each month. To learn more, visit https://miraclehill.org/children/foster-care.
SAFY – Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth – needs foster parents throughout the Upstate for its treatment foster care program that protects youth who are unable to stay with their primary family due to abuse, neglect and/or behavioral issues. For details, call 864-250-1601 or visit http://www.safy.org.
Video and Photo Galleries of the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation, created to help locate adoptive homes for children in foster care, are online at http://schgf.org/. Call 803-734-2595.
G — Home-School Theater Classes are offered by the South Carolina Children’s Theatre for ages 6 – 14. Classes include writing, designing, directing and acting. For details, visit http://www.scchildrenstheatre.org.
G — Theatre Classes are offered for ages 7 and older at the Younts Center for Performing Arts. For more information, visit http://www.yountscenter.org.
G — Youth Art Classes are offered at the Greenville County Museum of Art. Visit http://gcma.org.
G — The S.C. Children’s Theatre offers classes at every level for grades K3 – 12. For more information, visit http://www.scchildrenstheatre.org or call 864-235-2885, ext. 21.
S — Art Classes for ages 4 and older are offered at the Spartanburg Art Museum. For details, visit http://www.spartanburgartmuseum.org.
G — The Greer Cultural Arts Council offers a variety of classes and programs for children and adults. Call 864-848-5383 or visit http://www.greerculturalarts.com.
S — Spartanburg Youth Theatre offers youth classes. For details, visit www.spartanburgyouththeatre.com or call 864-585-8278.
S — Piano Lessons for ages 4 and older are offered at Spartanburg County Recreation Centers. Visit http://spartanburgparks.org.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
G — Facts of Life for Mothers and Daughters, a program about puberty for girls ages 9 – 12 accompanied by their mothers, is offered regularly at St. Francis Eastside. Register online at http://www.stfrancishealth.org/ or call 864-675-4400.
S — A Car Seat Check is offered regularly at Safe Kids Spartanburg at Spartanburg Regional’s Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, facing East Wood Street. To schedule an appointment, call 864-560-6845.
G — Friends and Family CPR is 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at the Greenville Health System’s Women’s Hospital. The class is not recommended for women in their third trimester. Register in advance. Call 877-447-4636.
G — Heartsaver CPR is offered at St. Francis Eastside. Register online at http://www.stfrancishealth.org/ or call 864-675-4400.
The Red Cross offers lifesaving health and safety classes in first aid, infant CPR, adult CPR, child CPR, AED, baby-sitter training and more. Call for information or the current schedule. Registration is required. Visit http://www.redcross.org/sc.
JUST FOR MOM
International Women’s Club meets at Upstate International. Women of all nationalities, and especially newcomers, are welcome. Call 864-467-4579 or visit http://www.internationalupstate.org/.
S — Moms Club of Spartanburg offers support and activities to stay-at-home moms and their children in the Spartanburg area. Activities include play groups, potluck lunches, book club, Mom's Night Out, community service, seasonal activities and more. Email email@example.com or visit http://www.momsclubofspartanburg.com/.
G — A Moms Group meets at Forestville Baptist Church. Child care is provided. Visit http://forestvillebc.org/.
G — Upstate Mothers of Multiples Club, providing support for families with multiple births, meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month at Greenville Hospital System, 701 Grove Road, Conference Room 2. Visit http://www.upstatemomclub.com/.
P — Fit4Mom offers a free preview Stroller Strides class in Easley for mothers and babies. For details, call 864-608-6727.
G — Moms Club — International MOMS Club chapters offer support and activities to stay-at-home parents. For Simpsonville-South and Fountain Inn, call 610-864-5601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A — Upstate Mops Easley/Powdersville meets two Tuesday mornings each month, September – May, at Mount Moriah Baptist Church. The group is open for expectant mothers and mothers of children from birth – kindergarten. Childcare is provided and annual dues are $75. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/UpstateMOPS or contact Sheila Van Bergen at email@example.com.
A — Easley Mops Evening Group meets two Monday evenings each month at Community Bible Church. Childcare is provided. Annual dues are $50. For more information, contact Erin Nutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/easleymopsevenings.
MUSEUMS, ZOOS AND EDUCATION
EdVenture is in Columbia. The children’s museum features interactive exhibits, hands-on programs and more. For details, visit http://www.edventure.org.
S — The Spartanburg Science Center is in the Chapman Cultural Center. A variety of interactive exhibits are available. The center hosts a Lego Robotics Club. Visit http://www.spartanburgsciencecenter.org.
The Central Railway Museum is open 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Saturday in downtown Central. The museum has a variety of model railroad layouts on display. For details, visit http://www.crmha.org.
The Bob Campbell Geology Museum is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays – Sundays at Clemson University. The museum houses a collection of more than 10,000 minerals, rocks and fossils from around the world. View the fossil preparation lab 2 – 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and watch a real Triceratops dinosaur emerge from the surrounding rock. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit http://www.clemson.edu/public/geomuseum.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston is open Tuesdays – Sundays. Visit http://explorecml.org.
G — The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has a variety of hands-on exhibits, camps and programs. For details, visit http://www.tcmupstate.org.
The South Carolina State Museum is in Columbia. Visit http://scmuseum.org.
Discovery Place Science is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit http://www.discoveryplace.org.
Riverbanks Zoo is in Columbia. Visit http://www.riverbanks.org.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is in Atlanta. Visit http://www.fernbank.edu.
The South Carolina Aquarium is in Charleston. Visit http://scaquarium.org.
G — The Swamp Rabbits Off-Road Cycling Club is for ages 8 – 15. For details and registration, visit http://greenvillerec.com.
G — Home School P.E. is offered at the Kroc Center. For details, call 864-527-5948.
G — Home School P.E. is offered at by Greenville County Rec. For details, visit http://greenvillerec.com/.
G — The Palmetto Curling Club offers a variety of opportunities in the sport of curling. For membership and event information, visit https://www.palmettocurling.com.
G — Youth Tennis Programs for ages 5 – 18 are offered at the Greenville County Recreation District. For details, visit http://greenvillerec.com or email email@example.com.
G — Junior Team Tennis, a USTA program for ages 6 – 18, is at sites in Greenville. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
G — Youth Programs are offered all year by the Eastside Family YMCA. Sports programs for ages 4 – 14 include spring and fall soccer, summer and winter basketball, T-ball, softball and tennis. Additional programs include home-school physical education programs, swim lessons for ages 6 months – adult and family fitness for parents and their children ages 10 – 12. Call 864-292-2790.
S — The First Tee of Spartanburg teaches life skills through golf. After-school classes are held at Willow Creek in Greer, The Creek Golf Club in Spartanburg, Woodfin Ridge Golf Club in Inman and Cherokee National Golf Club in Gaffney. Schedules, applications and online registration are available at http://www.thefirstteespartanburg.org. For more information, call 864-583-7084, ext. 6.
S — Martial Arts classes for ages 5 and older are offered at the Thomas E. Hannah Family YMCA. Call 864-585-0306.
S — Girls on the Run, a transformational, physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls ages 8 – 11, is available in Spartanburg County. Visit http://www.gotrspartanburg.org.
S — Youth Soccer is offered at Spartanburg Parks. For details, visit http://spartanburgparks.org.
S — Kindergym is offered at the Middle Tyger YMCA. Call 864-433-9623.
P — The City of Easley offers a variety of youth sports programs, including football, flag football, basketball, volleyball and baseball. Call 864-855-7933, ext. 110.
G — Team Greenville is a year-round competitive swim team that provides opportunities for all ages, skills and commitment levels. The program is at Westside Park and Aquatic Complex. For details, call Roy at 864-220-0209 or email email@example.com.
G — Swim Lessons are offered monthly at Eastside Family YMCA. Call 864-292-2790 or visit https://www.ymcagreenville.org.
G — Youth Swim Lessons for ages 6 months and older are at the Caine Halter Family YMCA. The programs provide goal setting and workouts for advanced swimmers. Call 864-679-9622.
G — Swim Lessons are offered in monthly sessions at the Cleveland Street Family YMCA. Call 864-242-4651.
S — The Swim Zone is at C.C. Woodson Center. For details, visit http://www.cityofspartanburg.org/ or call 864-562-0459.
S — Swim Spartanburg, a competitive swim program based at Converse College, is accepting swimmers ages 5 and older. For details, visit http://www.swimspartanburg.net.
S — Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club is based at the Middle Tyger YMCA. For details, visit http://www.gocukes.com.
S — Parent and Child Swim Lessons are taught at the Middle Tyger and Thomas E. Hannah Family locations of the Spartanburg YMCA. Competitive swim programs are available for ages 6 and older. Call the Middle Tyger YMCA at 864-433-9623 or the Thomas E. Hannah Family YMCA at 864-585-0306.
The Halter Program – Handicapped Athletes Learning to Enjoy Riding – is an equestrian program at the S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind. Contact Mike Hollifield at 864-577-7638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
G — STRIDES, a nonprofit program, provides tutoring in reading and math to children who are below grade level. Parents pay by sliding scale and some scholarships are available. Strides has locations in Greer, Easley, Fountain Inn, Travelers Rest, Piedmont and Cherrydale. Students with disabilities and speakers of other languages are welcome. For information about tutoring, call 864-246-9898 or visit http://www.stridestutor.org/.
S — Carolina Miracle League is a baseball league is for children with special needs. Games are played at Miracle Park. For more information, call 864-579-1805 or visit http://carolinamiracleleague.org/.
G — Mauldin Miracle League is for children ages 3 and older with special needs. For details, contact Jeff Powers at 864-303-2362 or Sandy Somerville at 864-346-7688.
G — Whispering Hope, a therapeutic riding program, is at Whispering Pines Stables in Mauldin. The program offers disabled or disadvantaged children the opportunity to gain confidence, practice and integrate newly gained skills and interact socially through horsemanship skills. Visit http://www.wpstables.com/ or call 864-288-7458.
G — Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center offers equine-assisted activities and therapies for special needs children and adults, as well as at-risk children and teens. Visit http://www.happyhoovessc.com.
SUPPORT AND LEARNING
A Natural Parenting Discussion Group provides a place for like-minded parents to connect and learn from each other about natural parenting and education, homeschooling, unschooling, local advocacy and more. Those from any religious or non-religious background are welcome. For more information, contact Andy Johnston at 864-915-1610 or email@example.com.
No Nuts Moms Group of Greenville/Spartanburg is a closed, online support group for women. All food allergies and all ages are welcome. Visit http://bit.ly/2bb6klS.
Pendleton Place offers supervised visitation and custody exchanges through the Family Bridges program. Visits and exchanges are offered in a safe, homelike environment without contact between the custodial parents or caregivers and the noncustodial parents. For details, visit http://pendletonplace.org/ or call 864-516-1236.
Summit Network is an informational network of parents of children with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and related disorders. Therapy tools and books are available for loan or exchange. Databases are available to pair children up for social skills, occupational therapy and home school classes. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/summitnetwork or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Upstate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Greenville. Contact Tanika Dillard at 864-905-5193 or email@example.com. For more information, visit http://shareupstate.com/.
G — A Parent Welcome Workshop for parents of children who are new to special education in Greenville County schools is 10 – 11:30 a.m. the first Thursday of each month through May 2017 at MT Anderson Support Center. Children are welcome but child care is not provided. For more information, contact Caroline Neely at 864-452-0038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
G — A Support Group for ages 7 – 13 who have a parent, grandparent or other family member who has been diagnosed with cancer meets at the Cancer Institute of Greenville Health System. For details and registration, call Kerri Susko at 864-455-5809.
G — A Positive Discipline Parenting group meets the fourth Monday of each month. The cost is $5 per meeting. For more information and to join the online group for free, visit http://www.meetup.com/Positive-Discipline-Parenting-in-Greenville-Meet-Up/.
G — Moms’ Night Out and Dads’ Night Out are offered through Family Connection for parents of children with special health care needs. For details, visit http://www.familyconnectionsc.org/.
G — Children Cope with Divorce/Transparenting, a seminar for separating or divorcing parents, is offered at Compass of Carolina. To register, call 864-467-3434, ext. 3328.
G — A Hero Group for children ages 6 – 11 who are survivors of sexual abuse meets 4:30 – 6 p.m. Mondays at The Julie Valentine Center. This therapeutic group meets for 12 weeks. Children learn healthy coping skills in a safe therapeutic environment. For more information, call Sarah Davis at 331-0560, ext. 240.
G — Little Steps is a nonprofit organization that mentors teen and young parents and their families, providing life skills and encouragement to help them become confident, self-sufficient, healthy parents. Call 864-901-2506 or visit http://www.littlestepssc.org/.
G — Grands Standing on Faith, a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren, meets at Brookwood Church. Call Mary Ann Coleman at 864-979-6003.
G — The Buddy Club, a grief support group for children, meets at McCall Hospice House. The group is free and is open to any child hurting from the loss of a family member or loved one. Call Chaplain Michael Lee at 864-449-4181.
G — Family Connection is a support network for families who have children with special health-care needs. Parent-to-parent support, educational opportunities for families, sibling workshops, family social events and ongoing support groups are offered. All programs and activities are free. Call 864-331-1340.
G — NAMI Greenville, the local affiliate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, holds regular support groups. Groups are for caregivers, parents of children and adolescents, teens and those with any mental illness. Call 864-331-3300 or visit http://www.namigreenvillesc.org/.
S — Open Arms Prenatal and Infant Loss Support meets quarterly at Spartanburg Regional Center for Women. Call 864-431-6100.
G — Meals On Wheels Greenville needs volunteer delivery drivers. Children and parents can deliver together. For details, visit http://www.mealsonwheelsgreenville.org/ or call 864-233-6565.
G — Teen Service Day is held monthly at the Hughes Main Library. Teens work in groups on various projects. To register, call 864-527-9248 or visit http://greenvillelibrary.org/.
G — Backpack Blessings provides packs of food for students who may have little or no food at home over the weekend. The program can be supported by clubs, groups and businesses of all sizes. For a list of needed foods and additional information, contact Carolyn Hamilton at email@example.com.
G — The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has volunteer opportunities for ages 11 and older. Visit http://www.tcmupstate.org/.
G — Whispering Hope needs volunteer families to help with the therapeutic riding program at Whispering Pines Stables. The program offers confidence through horsemanship skills to children who are disabled or disadvantaged. Visit http://www.wpstables.com or call 864-288-7458.
Harvest Hope Food Bank needs volunteers. For more information, visit http://www.harvesthope.org/.
G — Volunteers are needed to assist Trees Greenville with projects. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
S — Volunteers are needed to assist with Carolina Miracle League. For details, visit http://carolinamiracleleague.org/.
S — Volunteers are needed to assist with the Spartanburg Lions beepball team, a softball league for the blind. For details, call 864-612-7414 or 497-6837.
S — The Carpenter’s Table Community Outreach Center needs volunteers to bag groceries, shop for food and toiletries and help with food pick up. Volunteers are also needed on Saturdays to help distribute food to patrons. Call 864-486-8630 or email email@example.com.
S — HALTER, a therapeutic riding program dedicated to helping those with special needs, needs volunteers ages 15 and older who can serve as side-walkers and horse leaders for riders. No horse experience is required. For more information, contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.haltersc.org.
VOLUNTEER: FOR ADULTS
G — Park Heroes, a program of the Greater Greenville Parks Foundation, offers volunteer opportunities for those interested in maintaining Greenville County’s public parks. For details and registration, visit http://greatergreenvilleparksfoundation.org/.
G — Mentors age 21 and older are needed to be matched one-on-one with a student at Fountain Inn Elementary School. The commitment is 30 minutes per week. For more information and to schedule training, email Lauren Stoddard at email@example.com.
G — After-school volunteers are needed to help with homework and reading and to help serve snacks and dinner at FIKE in Fountain Inn. The program meets from 2:45 – 5:30 p.m. weekdays during the school year. For more information, email Lauren Stoddard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hospice Care of South Carolina needs volunteers to contribute one hour per week to spend time with patients, bake, take care of pets and help in other ways. For details, contact Mary Sassano at 864-235-0344 or email@example.com or visit http://www.hospicecare.net/.
The S.C. Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem Program needs volunteers to serve as advocates for children in abuse and neglect proceedings. Extensive training and support are provided. Visit http://scgal.org.
Volunteers are needed at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Greenville to serve as tour guides, couriers, clerical assistants and special event volunteers. Call 864-255-8754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appalachian Council of Governments needs volunteers ages 18 and older to make a difference in the lives of residents in long-term care facilities. For details, contact Amanda Plumley at 864-242-9733 or email@example.com.
PruittHealth Hospice needs administrative volunteers at the Simpsonville office. Volunteers are needed for direct patient needs throughout the Upstate. Call 864-962-6699.
Compassionate Care Hospice is seeking patient visitor volunteers for terminally ill patients throughout the Upstate and office support volunteers for the office in Greer. A background check and orientation are required. Volunteers are asked to serve 2 – 3 hours per week with a 6 – 12 commitment. For more information, contact Tiffany Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-543-0915.
Journey Hospice needs volunteers to assist terminally ill patients with a wide variety of patient services. Volunteers must attend orientation and consent to a background check and drug test. For Spartanburg, contact Kris Milner at 864-582-8844. For Greenville, contact Shannon McGee at 864-451-7603.
Therapeutic foster parents are needed throughout the Upstate. For additional information, call Diane Brown at Specialized Foster Home Services, 864-325-8542 or 877-670-3577, ext. 177.
G — Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Greenville needs volunteers to serve as coaches for those in recovery from substance abuse. Visit http://favorgreenville.org/.
P — Volunteers are needed for 4-H clubs in Pickens County. For details, email email@example.com.
G — A Child’s Haven has volunteer opportunities, including providing services for developmentally delayed, abused, and neglected children and their families. Schedules are flexible. There is a charge for background checks. Contact Genean Berggrun for details at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-298-0025, ext. 2019.
S — Safe Homes - Rape Crisis Coalition needs volunteers to serve as advocates for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Contact Karen Martin-Wilkins at 864-583-9803 or visit http://shrcc.org/.
S — The First Tee of Spartanburg teaches life skills through golf. Volunteers are needed. Training is provided. Visit http://www.thefirstteespartanburg.org or call 864-583-7084, ext. 7.
G — The Upcountry History Museum needs volunteers to assist with school programs and public tours. Visit http://www.upcountryhistory.org/.
G — The Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands needs qualified adult volunteers to be troop leaders, camp helpers and volunteer drivers. Call Jeri Kleckley at 864-770-1241, email email@example.com or visit http://www.gssc-mm.org/.
G — Volunteers are needed to work with senior citizens through the Senior Companions Program, an ecumenical program of Catholic Charities in collaboration with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. Call Stacey Lazurek at 864-242-2233, ext. 207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
G — New Clothing, Shoes and Toiletry Items are needed by the Julie Valentine Center. The items are provided to sexual assault victims at the emergency room when their clothing is retained as evidence. For more information, contact Marie Smith at 864-331-0560, ext. 229.
G — The Julie Valentine Center needs volunteer advocates for crisis response and child care assistance for parent support groups. Volunteers must be 18 years old and have access to a telephone and reliable transportation. Criminal background checks and training are required. Call 864-331-0560 or visit http://www.julievalentinecenter.org/.
G — The Greenville Literacy Association needs volunteers to serve as tutors in adult basic education and English as a second language (ESL) in downtown Greenville, Greer, Slater/Marietta, the Berea area and the Golden Strip. Call 864-467-3456 or visit http://www.greenvilleliteracy.org/.