Spirit Aviation inspires and educates amateur aviators, giving students in-flight experience behind the console of a brand new, state-of-the-art Cessna aircraft. The 20-minute discovery flight lets budding aerialists work one-on-one with a personal instructor, who will guide students through preflight inspection, taxiing to the runway, and sweet-talking surly seatbelts. After making final preflight checks, sky-students, with instructor assistance, will take off, then sit back and enjoy the 20-minute flight.
Feathered Friends Forever Parrot Rescue and Refuge houses more than 600 tropical birds that have been neglected, abandoned, or abused. Those that are not suited for adoption live at the sanctuary for the remainder of their lives, on a 9-acre site known as Parrot Paradise Park. The park boasts 16 outdoor flights where visitors can interact with the birds, as well as trees and blooming shrubs to enhance the habitat for both the birds and human park goers. Most of the birds reside in 23 outdoor aviaries and 200 interior cages, where volunteers provide fresh food, fruit, and water on a daily basis, in addition to working with the parrots, cleaning cages, and providing tours for the public.
A nonprofit organization designed to promote and improve the lively Columbia neighborhood, the Five Points Association has spearheaded many projects since the early 1980s, ranging from a large-scale streetscaping project to the construction of two fountains to yearly beautification updates. The group also organizes events to bring people to the landmark district—notably the Five After Five concert series and the city's Saint Patrick's Day festivities. Overall, the association, which comprises more than 100 members each year, works to balance the interests of the Five Points' merchants with those of residents and visitors.
The American Red Cross of South Carolina is part of an international, politically neutral movement that has delivered humanitarian care since 1863. It provides relief to survivors of national and manmade disasters in the forms of shelter, food, clothing, medication, and counseling. The organization also works to prevent future emergencies, and prepares community members to respond to them when they occur.
In South Carolina, the Red Cross collects blood donations, provides resources for the armed forces, and hosts health and safety training programs for citizens, including lifeguard and CPR training. Its volunteers also provide physical and emotional aid to survivors of disasters such as fires.
Headed by tae kwon duo Steve and Kathy Carter, Athens Tae Kwon Do Center has instilled generations of technicolor-dreambelted high-kickers with the tenets of their discipline. An introductory course includes a complimentary uniform, private lesson, and one month of unlimited classes. Check out the schedule online for your age group and specific class times. All ages can move up the belt line, from Little Ninjas ages 4–5 to adult classes for novices and veteran ninjas. The Carters trace their martial heritage back to Grand Master Chung, who founded the American Taekwondo Foundation and helped introduce the sport to the United States.
In 1916, Jeannette Rankin, a staunch proponent of women's rights, became the first woman to be elected to the US Congress. She left a portion of her estate to assist mature, unemployed women, which her personal assistant used to establish a foundation that provides financial help to women returning to school. Starting with Rankin's initial $16,000, the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has awarded about $1.3 million in scholarships to more than 600 women since 1978. The organization continues to provide financial aid, care packages, and special events for low-income women aged 35 and older who are returning to undergraduate education or vocational-training programs.