Around Town (01-02-14)

Phones sought for seniors

The Merced County Area Agency on Aging is requesting donations of unneeded cellphones for distribution to seniors age 60 and older in the county. They will only be able to call 911 with these phones. They should have a charger and a battery that will hold a charge. Call (209) 385-7550.

Vietnam Veterans welcome

The area Vietnam Veterans of America chapter, No. 0691, welcomes new members. To qualify, a person must have served during the Vietnam War era. For more information, call (209) 381-0451 or visit at 450 W. 21st St. in Merced.

Support for mental illness

Merced County’s branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness holds biweekly support groups for families affected by serious mental illness. For more information, call (209) 381-6844 and a volunteer will contact you within 48 hours.

Legal services available

Central California Legal Services offers no-cost legal advice and representation to eligible individuals regarding tenant rights and homelessness matters, Social Security and SSI disability claims, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, unemployment, CalFresh (food stamp) cases, and more. Call (209) 723-5466 for information, or go to 1640 N St., suite 200.

VFW helps vets, families

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9946 has been serving the needs of veterans and their families for more than 62 years and welcomes any veteran whose service included combat or a combat operation. The post can assist veterans in receiving benefits connected to their service at 1390 Broadway. Call (209) 358-7724.

Sunrise Toastmasters

The Sunrise Toastmasters Club meets at 6:30 a.m. every Friday at Carrows Restaurant, 720 Motel Drive. New members are always welcome. For more information, call (209) 384-7128 or (209) 756-3001.

Help with warming tent

Volunteers are needed to staff a warming tent for the community’s most needy and at-risk through March. Many people have nowhere else to spend cold nights and do not have access to official shelters. The tent is located on B Street near 13th Street. Volunteers work from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Contact Bruce Metcalf at (209) 480-3899 or Phil Schmauss at (209) 658-9558 for more information.

Shelter needs supplies

The D Street Shelter needs supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, deodorant and toothbrushes. Travel sizes work well. For more information, call Renee Mounce at (209) 725-8188 or (209) 947-8386.

Scholarships available

Bloss Scholarship applications are available to seniors and graduates of the Merced Union High School District who plan to attend an accredited California college or vocational school. Applicants must have graduated from MUHSD in June 1973 or after. Applications are available at the high schools or at Click on Departments, then College and Scholarship Info. Completed applications and official transcripts are due by March 18. For more information, contact college and scholarship counselor Gena Lanz at