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voluntary action center

What if you didn't have soap with which to shower? What if you didn't have clean dishes on which to eat? What if you waited to change a diaper because you knew you only had a limited number to use? Most of us don't have an answer because we're fortunate enough not to have to worry about it; however, if situations like these are a part of your daily life, Voluntary Action Center is here to help! Guest: NICK FOSTER | Also, BARBARA HOPPE tells us about two very different events sponsored by the League of Women Voters - the first of which is tonight! (4:54) March 12, 2020

Applications are now being accepted for Voluntary Action Center's latest program, Homes for Computers. NICK FOSTER tells us who is eligible to apply and a little about their upcoming trivia night fundraiser! Also, MU Black Studies celebrates Black History Month with the theme: 'Black Vote. Black Liberation.' DAIVE DUNKLEY joins us with details on several of the events taking place that will further the discussion on this important topic. (4:26) February 3, 2020

2020 is going to be a busy year for politics, which means it's going to be a busy year for the League of Women Voters. MARILYN McLEOD tells us about and invites everyone to the first 'Lunch and Learn' of the year next week at the Columbia Public Library. Also, CHRISTY LOWE says Voluntary Action Center's Holiday Program was a great success, serving 948 local families. Their next event is 'Homes for Computers'. Find out if you qualify! (3:48) January 8, 2020

The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre is keeping the 'A Christmas Carol' tradition going by opening this holiday standard once again December 12. Even after six years, artistic director QUIN GRESHAM says each year is different than the last; he says this year expect some new supernatural effects! Additional guest: AMY WILDER | Also, Voluntary Action Center executive director NICK FOSTER is still in need of help from the community. 952 households will receive services this year, but technically not all of those families are sponsored at this time (yes, even at this late date). If you're interested in adopting a family this Christmas, call or log on today! (3:10) December 5, 2019

"Just wanted a little help with my children's Christmas so I don't get behind on my bills." Voluntary Action Center's NICK FOSTER shares a couple of "statements of need," or stories of why VAC's holiday program is the answer to a number of families' seasonal shortcomings. Also, the man who wrote Ronald Reagan's famous Berlin Wall speech ("...tear down this wall") will be in Fulton TONIGHT, and you're invited! National Churchill Museum curator TIM RILEY says it's all in honor of the demise of the wall's 30th anniversary. (4:50) November 7, 2019

What do you really know about the 2020 census? If the answer is 'not much', you're in luck! MARILYN McLEOD says the next League of Women Voters-sponsored 'Lunch and Learn' program will (hopefully) fill you in on what you don't know! Also, NICK FOSTER says families have until noon on October 11th to sign up for Voluntary Action Center's annual Holiday Program. (After the 11th, the search is on for sponsors for those families.) Nick shares a couple of moving thank-you notes from families who benefitted from last year's program. (4:38) October 8, 2019

This past Labor Day played host to the 60th annual Heart of America Marathon. In case you missed it, check out our recap - including photos from the event - with Columbia Track Club's KATHY LEE! Also, NICK FOSTER invites everyone to a party at Columbia's Burr Oak Brewery next month in honor of Voluntary Action Center's 50th anniversary! (3:15) September 9, 2019

If you've never heard of pickleball, SUE KERRIGAN tells us that it's a combination of tennis, table tennis, racketball and badminton (among others). If that sounds like fun to you, the Jefferson City Pickleball Club is the place to be! Also, Voluntary Action Center's annual Boone County Back to School Health Fair is coming up next Saturday in Columbia. NICK FOSTER says they expect to serve at least 800 students. (3:46) July 17, 2019

Voluntary Action Center's annual Fan Club program has been going since May, but the need for more fans is still there. Executive director NICK FOSTER tells us why this program is so important and how you can help! Also, JEANNINE BRICKEY invites everyone to Bittersweet Garden Club's 20th annual Garden Tour this Sunday in Jefferson City. Five "best-dressed" gardens will be featured on the tour! (4:45) June 25, 2019

Which category are you in? The one that says I eat a variety of foods or the one that says I eat the same 10 things all the time? JEAN HOWARD, RN, says that if you take the time to write down what you eat, "you'd be surprised how your food comes in just a few headlines." Also, NICK FOSTER tells us about Voluntary Action Center's early days, and how - after 50 years - it is still an important resource in our community. (4:00) April 9, 2019

To say this winter has been a challenge is a bit of an understatement. Nobody knows that better than ADAM SAUNDERS, who says the cold weather - and therefore the cold ground - has delayed the grand opening of Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture's new Agriculture Park. And speaking of the winter weather, NICK FOSTER tells us about Voluntary Action Center's efforts to shelter those without during the extreme cold, and to help those in need of rent assistance. (3:55) March 7, 2019

Thanks to you, Voluntary Action Center's 2018 Holiday Program was a resounding success. Executive director NICK FOSTER shares some takeaway statistics and tells us a story about its impact on one particular individual. Also, native plant expert NADIA NAVARRETE-TINDALL is back with tips on how, with just a little planning, you can turn nature into art! (4:30) January 9, 2019

DR. JOHN LAURIELLO tells us about the services provided at the Missouri Psychiatric Center, a division of MU Health Care. If you or someone you know is feeling depressed this holiday season, John says the first thing you need to do is tell someone. Also, it's not too late to adopt a family participating in Voluntary Action Center's annual Holiday Program. DIAMOND SCOTT says "this is one of the largest years that we've had, and we still have families in need." (5:12) December 10, 2018

Voluntary Action Center's NICK FOSTER gives us an update on their annual adopt-a-family holiday program. If interested, it's not too late to sign up; in fact, Nick says they've been "busier than before, of late" with requests from families in need. Also, NANCY GRIGGS tells us about this year's Holiday Home Tour, an annual fundraiser for the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory. Four homes, three days, one weekend only - don't miss it! (5:31) November 29, 2018

Adam Long, Patty Muenks, Nadine King, Jerry Brown..."the list goes on and on of wonderful artists" at the 9th annual Fall Into Art, happening this weekend at the Parkade Center in Columbia! Guest: MELYNDA LOTVEN | Also, Voluntary Action Center's holiday program will serve roughly 1,000 families and disabled adults and seniors in our community this year. Executive director NICK FOSTER is asking for your help in making their season bright. (4:47) November 13, 2018

You hear it all the time, but there really is something for everyone during the 2018-2019 University Concert Series season, beginning next month in Columbia. Whether you're in Jesse Auditorium or the Missouri Theatre, guest ROBERT WELLS guarantees "outstanding" performances all year long. Also, NICK FOSTER tells us about Voluntary Action Center's 'Warm Up Columbia' program, which is now accepting donations! (3:43) September 10, 2018

Columbia's Voluntary Action Center is looking for sponsors, participants and volunteers for its annual Holiday Program, kicking off next week. This is a great way to help give families and individuals who qualify a prosperous holiday season. KATE KING and CHRISTY LOWE tell us that signing up is easy! Also, CHRIS HEESE and CURT WOHLEBER invite everyone to grab their deerstalker and help solve the mystery behind Maplewood Barn Theatre's "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club," opening this Thursday! (5:25) August 27, 2018

Meet Sweeney Todd himself, AARON HUNSLEY, as well as CATHERINE BARNARD, who plays Johanna, in Maplewood Barn Theatre's production of 'Sweeney Todd', opening this Thursday in Columbia! Also, NICK FOSTER tells us about this Saturday's 'Back-to-School Health Fair', sponsored by Voluntary Action Center, Family Impact Center and Family Health Center. This year, the fair will be held at Derby Ridge Elementary School. (4:16) July 24, 2018

Director ROB CROUSE says that this will be the Central Missouri premiere of Disney's Tony award-winning musical "Newsies." ALEX ARMSTRONG plays Jack, the leader of the on-strike newsies who are preparing to go toe-to-toe with "the rich and powerful men who own New York City." | Also, NICK FOSTER is looking for donations to help keep low-income families and individuals cool this summer through Voluntary Action Center's fan program. Find out how you can get involved! (5:38) June 11, 2018

MU grad students SARAH PEACOCK, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, and DREW MALLINAK, School of Natural Resources, give us the two-minute version of their recent Science on Tap CoMo presentations. Plus, NICK FOSTER looks ahead to the many programs Voluntary Action Center supports during the spring and summer months. [4:47] March 26, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with actors RAYA ABERBACH and MORGAN MILLER about Hickman High School Theatre's production of the classic, "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." This popular musical-comedy runs this weekend only - don't miss it! At [4:05] NICK FOSTER tells us how Voluntary Action Center plans to commemorate their 50th anniversary this year, and what a half-century worth of services have meant to low-income individuals living in Columbia! March 5, 2018

Forty refurbished computers will find new homes in Columbia this Saturday.

The City of Columbia partnered with the Voluntary Action Center and the Downtown Optimist Club to deliver the computers to low-income families as part of the Homes for Computers Program. The City of Columbia established this program in 2003 to assist families with children in the public-school system.

Today Paul Pepper visits with MARILYN McLEOD about the League of Women Voters' annual Legislative Night next Thursday at the Columbia Public Library. This is your chance to hear from, and ask questions of, our State Legislative Delegation. At [4:45] NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, talks about the percentage of individuals living at or below the federal poverty level in our community. That number: 24.6%. Nick has some thoughts as to why is that number is so high in an area with such low unemployment figures. February 1, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with NICK FOSTER, Executive Director, Voluntary Action Center, about the upcoming 'Homes For Computers' program. To qualify, you must live in Columbia; you must have a school-aged child; and you must currently be without a computer in the home. 40 families received a computer in 2016. Watch for details! January 9, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, about the need for more people to sponsor a family this Christmas. Even if you can't do the shopping yourself, a monetary donation or a gift card will still go a long way in making someone's holiday season extra-special! At [4:34] DICK DALTON invites everyone to come see Capital City Productions' take on 'A Christmas Carol'. According to Dick, musical director Brandon Sankpill has chosen music that isn't necessarily Christmas music to further this modern-day retelling of the classic story. December 4, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, about tomorrow's Warm Up Columbia event at the Armory in downtown Columbia. If your family qualifies for free coats, hats, scarves, blankets and more, now is your chance to collect. Watch for details! At [3:33] JOAN STACK and GREIG THOMPSON invite everyone to come visit the State Historical Society's latest exhibit dedicated to local artist and veteran, Robert Bussabarger. Bussabarger's work is a reflection of his time spent in the military during WWII. November 3, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with TODD DAVISON, Artistic Director of Maples Repertory Theatre, about their upcoming fall season! Three great shows and two special events are guaranteed to entertain. Watch for details! At [4:33] NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, tells us about a couple of annual programs in which you can get involved. 'Warm Up Columbia' is in need of gently-used winter-related items; and the 'Holiday Program' will soon be looking for volunteers to adopt a family. August 30, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with CATHERINE PARKE about this Saturday's 'Second Saturdays for Kids' event at Orr Street Studios in Columbia! The activities this month will revolve around a solar eclipse/science theme. Catherine says, "we're doing hard science, surreal science; both sides of the brain." At [4:43] NICK FOSTER joins us to talk about 'Christmas in July'! This family-friendly event is a fundraiser for Voluntary Action Center and, as you might expect, features an appearance by everyone's favorite jolly ol' elf. Watch for details! July 6, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Columbia's Voluntary Action Center, about the many summer programs like 'Lunch in the Park' and the 'Fan Program' that are facilitated by VAC. Donations are always welcome. Find out how you can get involved! At [4:36] SHRISTI BASHISTA, former Youth Ambassador for Partners of  the Americas, encourages everyone to get involved with Centro Latino, an organization that helps Latinos and other minority communities in Central Missouri. May 16, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with DIANA MOXON, Executive Director of Columbia Art League, about their new show that (unofficially) opens today called "Quintessence." What is 'quintessence'? Diana says this is "a show about the natural elements: fire, air, earth, water...and quintessence - the fifth element." At [3:55] NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of the Voluntary Action Center, tells us how their 'Adopt-a-Family' program went this past Christmas, as well as what to expect in 2017. Nick says the area they're looking to grow the most in is housing because, "the need is just tremendous." January 17, 2017