Critical Need Programs

Therapeutic Child Care

Children’s Place has the only Therapeutic Childcare Program in the area; and one of only two of its kind in South Carolina. Serving ages 18 months to 5 years, this program focuses on enhancing social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive development within an early childcare and educational setting. Support therapies are offered including speech, occupational, physical, and play therapy. Their therapeutic childcare is trauma-informed and rooted in attachment theory, aimed at promoting positive, healthy relationships between children and their caregivers. (Children's Place, Inc.)

Parent Power Program

This research- and evidence-based programs allows Aiken Youth empowerment's certified Community Educators to Provide educational resources and programming for parents and caregivers which help empower them to improve parent/child relationship, enhance parenting skills and communicate their own values effectively with their children. (Aiken Youth Empowerment, a program of Helping Hands, Inc.)

Stewards of Children

Created by Darkness to Light, is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training program that educates adults in the community to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program believes and teaches that child safety is an adult's job.The 3-hour workshop integrates the simple principles of choice, consciousness, and personal power to promote an understanding of the nature and impact of child sexual abuse, and uses those principles to provide a context for empowered action. The curriculum is direct about holding each adult accountable and generous in providing powerful, specific support for personal change. (Children's Place, Inc. & Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County) **Aiken Youth Empowerment, a program of Helping Hands, Inc., also offers Stewards of Children Darkness to Light training**

Prime Time

Works in collaboration with Aiken County elementary schools. This after-school program offers structure and fun for everyone! Activities include nutritious snacks; homework time; tutoring; literacy, math & science games; arts and crafts; fitness activities; and outside play times. (The Family Y)

Youth Development 

Provides physical fitness programs for area youth that promotes self-esteem and discipline. Also offers one-on-one mentoring to encourage youth not to drop out of school. (Aiken Youth Development Center)

Social, Health & Life Skills Development

Diverts area youth from teen pregnancy, substance abuse, crime and juvenile delinquency by fostering self-esteem, community commitment and life skills training. Activities encourage youth fellowship and responsibility by exposure to positive role models through spiritual, recreational, educational and cultural components. (Aiken Youth Development Center, Boys & Girls Club and Brothers & Sisters)

Tutorial Services

Focuses on improving study habits, homework assistance, goal setting and enhancing computer skills. (Aiken Youth Development Center, Boys & Girls Club and Brothers & Sisters)

Youth Development through Girl Scouting

Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with over 100 years of empowering girls through hands-on, cooperative, girl-led learning. Using our nationally developed program model – the Girl Scout Leadership Experience – our volunteer leaders encourage girls to grow and develop in four core areas  -- life skills, entrepreneurial development, outdoor appreciation and environmental stewardship, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Working with their volunteer leaders, girls develop skills in these areas and use those skills to help themselves, their families and their communities. Girl Scouts is open to all girls in grades K5 – 12. (Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands, Inc.)

Youth Development Through Boy Scouting

Embraces the scouting mission "to serve others by helping instill values in young people and in other ways to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their potential." Scouting uses traditional values to address immediate community needs through a volunteer delivery system. Brings together a broad range of the community's positive behavior. Programs include: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing and Exploring. (Boy Scouts of America, Georgia-Carolina Council)

Boys & Girls Club

Works  in conjunction with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Aiken Public Safety and Aiken County Schools to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. (Salvation Army)

Nurture Home

Provides shelter housing for women and children who are homeless. Services include intensive case management, parenting classes , and independent living classes to enhance self-esteem, parenting ability, and overall self-sufficiency. (Mental Health America)

Success by 6

Acts as a catalyst in the community to ensure that all children enter school ready to achieve their full potential. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library encourages children and families to read together. Born Learning Trails provide interactive activities to foster learning skills. (United Way of Aiken County, Inc.)

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF)

Ensures that service members, veterans, and their families have worldwide, around-the-clock access to timely and reliable humanitarian services. emergency services, such as financial assistance, suicide prevention actions, emergency communications, and family follow-ups are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (American red Cross Aiken Area Chapter)

Mental Health Education and Advocacy

provides educational programs and referral services to alleviate stigma related to mental illness, offers suicide support group, access to confidential Mental Health screening on our website, and provides education to the community on suicide prevention, depression, and other mental health diagnoses. (Mental Health America)

Operation Santa

Provides annual Christmas gathering and gifts to over 250 adults with a diagnosed mental illness as well as a Thanksgiving dinner and spring cookout that provides both a social gathering for these individuals and a meal. (Mental Health America)

Congregate Dining Sites

Hot, nutritious meals are provided to adults (60+) in a group setting at meal locations throughout Aiken County. We also provide guest speakers, recreational, and health awareness activities to supply our senior population with information, education, fellowship, and resources for other services to meet their needs. (Aiken Senior Life Services)

Hot Delivered Meals

Dedicated volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals to homebound senior adults Monday through Friday. We also deliver pre-packaged meal kits (dry goods) and frozen meals on a weekly or monthly basis to senior adults who live beyond our volunteers' delivery area. (Aiken Senior Life Services)

Aiken and North Augusta Family Y Camp

A weeklong traditional day camp for ages 5-12 from 7am-6pm. The Leaders in Training program is also available for 13-17 year olds that would like to attend camp and learn the necessary tools to become a counselor. Campers enjoy crafts, games, songs, arts, character development activities and field trips. The fun themes and wonderful staff at the Y will Keep the kids engaged all summer long. (The Family Y)

Beds for Babies

Through a partnership with the Aiken County Safe Sleep Collaboration, they connect local families with safe sleep education for infants and provide safe cribs and bedding for families in need. Funded by the Women's Leadership Council of the United Way of Aiken County. (Children's Place, Inc.)

Real Talk for Youth

This research -- and evidence-based program allows the Aiken Youth Empowerment's certified Community Educators to create a safe space for boys and girls to talk about risky behaviors, build on personal strengths and improve peer-to-peer relationships (Aiken Youth Empowerment, a program of Helping Hands, Inc.)

Real Care Infant Simulators

This research -- and evidence -- based program allows Aiken Youth Empowerment's certified Community Educators to lend our 20+ simulators to community youth. The simulators give male and female adolescents the most realistic infant care experience possible including experiencing the emotional, financial and social consequences of teen parenting and helps improve parent/child communication. They can be requested by any local middle or high school, church or community organization.(Aiken Youth Empowerment, a program of Helping Hands, Inc.)

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programming

Replicates evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention models with fidelity in all Aiken County Public Schools in coordination with the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (Aiken Youth Empowerment, a program of Helping Hands)

Emerging Adults program

Educates young people, ages 19 to 23, on topics like where to get information about, and how to prevent pregnancies and/or STDs/HIV (Aiken Youth Empowerment a program of Helping Hands)

Medical Care

The Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County provides a medical home for low income and uninsured residents of Aiken County that have a diagnosed chronic health condition. Patients are provided medical office visits, medications and education classes free of charge. (Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County)

Welcome Baby

Provides support, educational resources, and basic infant necessities to every new baby and mother as well as provision of diapers to families in financial need. (Mental Health America)

Medication Assistance Program

MAP helps low-income, uninsured or underinsured clients complete pharmaceutical applications to ensure they are able to obtain medication prescribed by their physicians. (Lower Savannah Council of Governments, MAP)

Alley Cats

A bowling program for individuals with hearing, visual, intellectual and/or physical disabilities from our community that meets weekly during the months of September-May at Northside Lanes in North Augusta. Bowling provides the benefit of access to regular physical activity to promote good health, improve self-confidence, and increase self-esteem while learning new skills. (The RECing Crew)


A monthly social event for individuals with hearing, visual, intellectual and/or physical disabilities that provides an opportunity for them to enjoy our community while socializing with friends and peers. Activities include but are not limited to the Dances, Movies, Musicals, or Plays, Pizza Parties, playing Bingo, Holiday celebrations, attending Community events and Green Jacket Baseball games. These activities promote increased self-esteem, foster independence, and encourage social interaction while giving them the opportunity to be part of our community. (The RECing Crew)

Intellectual Disabilities Support

Focuses on ensuring that individuals' strengths and abilities are recognized. People with disabilities are vital and integral members of our community. Provides both vocational and residential habilitation for individuals with autism, head and spinal cord injuries, and intellectual disabilities in the Aiken County community. (Tri-Development Center)

Disabilities Prevention Services

An effort to avoid lifelong disabilities and deaths, this service includes presentations and collaboration with other agencies. This includes, but not limited to: holding car seat clinics, developing designated driver programs, offering senior driving programs and conducting alcohol and drug avoidance programs. It also includes increasing the public's commitment to and knowledge about reducing the incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome, mercury poisoning, lead poisoning, neural tube defects and other disabilities. (Tri-Development Center)

Prevention Education Programs

Community-based prevention education and awareness programs that aim to create safe and healthy communities by reducing problems associated with alcohol and other drugs through education and training. Services include: health promotion events to include informational display booths at community health fairs; Red Ribbon Week activities at elementary schools and middle schools; using mass media campaigns to increase community awareness on the dangers of substance use & misuse; Rx misuse prevention - a community based outreach to prevent prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) drug misuse utilizing Deterra Drug Deactivation System pouches that help our community to safely dispose of medication in their home as well as using the Prescription Medication Disposal Drop Box sites where expired and unneeded medication can be safely dropped off at law enforcement sites; Prescription Drug Take-Back Day takes place twice a year in April and October. PREP provides responsible beverage service training for establishments that sell alcohol and tobacco products. (Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services)

LifeSkills Training

The LifeSkills Training Program is a research-validated substance use prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug use/misuse and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. This comprehensive and exciting program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations. In addition to the Prevention Specialist teaching about the dangers of drug use/misuse, LifeSkills Training promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through class activities. (Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services)

Too Good for Drugs

Too Good for Drugs is an evidence-based prevention program designed to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among students. Students learn and practice setting reachable goals, identifying and managing emotions, effective communication, and managing peer pressure through independent, paired, and cooperative learning activities and games. (Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services)

Prevention Education & Health Promotion

Aiken Center Prevention Services staff are available to conduct presentations on a host of topics related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use for all ages and audiences. We develop and deliver trainings on specific topics. Our most popular topics include: Parenting for Prevention; Addiction; Prescription Drug Misuse; Narcan (an opioid overdose reversal nasal spray) Training; Tobacco/Vaping Prevention & Education curricula & workshops. These trainings are offered to the community, in schools, neighborhoods, businesses, churches, and other community groups. Aiken Center Prevention Services staff utilize information dissemination and social media to promote health and wellbeing throughout the county. (Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services)

Cancer Patient Assistance

Provides individual consultations, referrals and web-site assistance for cancer patients. Also provides financial assistance to qualified patients to help pay for cancer-related medications and transportation. (CanHope)

Cancer Prevention and Screening

Provides educational programs, materials and information to promote the early detection and prevention of cancer and to screen for certain common cancers (CanHope)

Domestic Violence, Shelter and Non-Shelter

comprised of (a) non-shelter counseling and legal advocacy and (b) emergency shelter service. (Cumbee Center)

Sexual Assault

serves as a rape crisis center targeted for adult (over 16) victims of sexual assault, and child victims of sexual assault. (Cumbee Center)

Children's Emergency Shelter/Foster Care Group Home

provides emergency shelter for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children from the ages of 0 - 21 years old placed with the agency through the South Carolina Department of Social Services or DJJ. Children receive shelter, meals and snacks, clothing, first aid and medical care, educational and tutorial assistance, pre-vocational/vocational guidance, therapy and counseling. (Helping Hands, Inc.)


provides 24/7/365-Information, Referrals and Crisis Intervention to all citizens of Aiken County. Dial 2-1-1 to be connected to a Call Specialist who will listen and provide information and referrals to agencies and programs in our community. These agencies may assist with multiple basic needs; food, clothing, housing and many more. You can also chat with us or search our statewide database online at 2-1-1 is free, confidential, and interpretation services are available. (Aiken County HELP LINE 2-1-1)

Prescription Assistance

provides emergency assistance to qualified individuals in need of payment for medical services including medications, medical or dental procedures and devices, or eyeglasses. (ACTS)

Utility Assistance

provides assistance with utility bills to prevent disconnection of service to qualified individuals. Portable heaters and fans are also available. Appointment is required for utility assistance. [ACTS, CMONA (does not require an appointment for utility assistance, The Salvation Army]

Client Assistance

provides emergency food, clothing, payment to prevent disconnection of utilities, payment of medical and dental needs to qualified individuals. (Salvation Army, CMONA, ACTS)

Emergency Services

provides emergency medical services to all who call. Assists Aiken County EMS with calls and offers "stand by" service when all of the county ambulances are on calls. (Jackson First Alert)

Disaster Relief Services

provides immediate assistance to individuals and families affected by house fires or other disasters. Red Cross assistance includes shelter, emotional counseling and financial assistance for food, clothing and medications that may have been lost in a disaster. Services are free and are provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (American Red Cross Aiken Area Chapter, Salvation Army)

Nutrition Assistance

provides food assistance to those in crisis via a network of 46 partner agencies in Aiken County. Serving Aiken County and 5 surrounding counties, the mission is to supply high quality food and other grocery products to families and individuals in need. Also distributes food for the weekend to at-risk children through the BackPack program and monthly food assistance to seniors through the Senior Food Box Program. (Golden Harvest Food Bank)

Emergency Shelter

provides an emergency shelter designed to assist homeless persons. (Salvation Army)

Child Advocacy

minimizes trauma to child victims of maltreatment and sexual abuse and promotes a collaborative agency approach to better meet the needs of child victims. This is accomplished through the provision of forensic interviews, medical examinations, Multidisciplinary Team Staffings (MDT), counseling, and prevention efforts. (Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County)

Vocational Rehabilitation

Enables eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment. (South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation)

Vocational, Developmental and Social Services for Adults with Disabilities

Focuses on individuals' abilities and not their disabilities. A variety of work and other habilitative options are provided permitting consumers with intellectual disabilities, autism, head injuries and related disabilities to develop and utilize their skills. Mobile work crews, enclaves, day activity center, a bakery and supported competitive employment are among the vocational choices available. Individuals from 31 TDC residential facilities as well as those living with their families participate. (Tri-Development Center)

Project VISION

Acts as a uniting force to address the on-going need for essential home repairs for low-income homeowners in Aiken County who are disabled or elderly. Project VISION collaborates with city and county governments, area churches, corporations, health and human service agencies, community leaders and volunteers to improve sub-standard housing conditions for low-income owner occupants. United Way partner agencies also benefit every spring via the Day of Caring. (United Way of Aiken County, Inc.)

Transportation Services

The Pony Express provides safe, ADA-compliant transportation to medical appointments, shopping, congregate meal sites, and other daily transit needs for disabled and/or elderly citizens in our community. In addition, public transit serving the general public in rural areas is available at no cost. We have three routes that cover Wagener, Salley, North Aiken, New Ellenton, Beech Island, Jackson, and North Augusta, which operate Monday through Saturday. (Aiken Senior Life Services)

Transportation Services

Best Friend Express Fixed Route Transit System and Dial-A-Ride ADA Paratransit transportation service serves the general public and persons with disabilities within the urbanized portion of Aiken County five days a week. (Lower Savannah Council of Governments)

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Provides free income tax preparation and filing services for taxpayers with low to moderate income. (H. Odell Weeks Activity Center VITA/ACTS)