FREE RIDES HOME: The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office is offering free rides home through Jan. 2, no questions asked, for people who have had too much to drink. For a ride, call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501. People who live outside the parish will be taken to a sheriff's substation where they can arrange to be picked up. Callers will be given a ride home but not to a bar, nightclub or another party.  

HOLIDAY CAMP: Upturn Arts will present a Yuletide Gras holiday camp for ages 4-12, with activities preparing for Mardi Gras, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2-3 at 1719 Toledano St., New Orleans. Master artists will include the Creole Belle Baby Dolls, Mardi Gras Indians Uptown Warriors and percussionist Mike Dillon. The camp is sponsored by the nonprofit Positive Vibrations Foundation. The cost is $288.75 for all five days or $68.25 per day. To register, visit www.upturnarts/org or call (504) 390-8399.

FREE YOUNG ACTORS WORKSHOP: The River Region Drama Guild will present a series of four free workshops for actors ages 8-15 beginning with a session from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 6, at the River Region Performing Arts and Cultural Center, 15146 River Road, Norco. A final performance will be presented at 11 a.m. Jan. 30. For information, contact Henry Sorbet, (504) 331-0990.

NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT: The New Orleans Fire Department has made donations of $3,000 each to the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen New Orleans in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The money was raised through the sale of shirts sold from Engine 29 at Fire Department headquarters in 2017.

NEW ORLEANS MAN WITH NAVY IN INDIAN OCEAN: Quartermaster 3rd Class Jonathan Harris, a graduate of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, is serving with the Navy aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey. The Halsey is deployed with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, conducting maritime security, forward presence and theater security operations in the Indian Ocean. 

HELP CANCER PATIENTS: The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteer drivers for its New Orleans Road to Recovery program, which provides transportation to and from treatment for people who have cancer and do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. In 2016, the cancer society met the transportation needs of about 80 percent of patients, but its success rate fell to less than 40 percent in 2017 because of a lack of drivers. For information or to register as a volunteer, call (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

ALGIERS KIWANIS: Artist Terrance Osborne will be the guest speaker when the Kiwanis Club of Algiers meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, at the Aurora Tennis and Swim Club, 5244 Gen. Meyer Ave., New Orleans. Guests are welcome. For information, call (504) 391-0667.

METROPOLITAN REPUBLICAN WOMEN: As part of the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project of the National Federation of Republican Women, the Metropolitan Republican Women recently donated "Remember the Ladies" by Callista Gingrich and "Fighting for Freedom and General George Washington" by Michael Justin Lee to the Schneckenburger Elementary School library and to the North Kenner Library. The donations were accepted by Julie Broussard at Schneckenburger Elementary and by Charlene Heikemp at the North Kenner Library.

LIBERTY'S KITCHEN: Students in the Philanthropy and Social Change course at Tulane University recently awarded a $14,400 grant to Liberty's Kitchen to support its farm-to-school initiatives. Liberty's Kitchen serves 3,500 meals a day in partner schools through its school nutrition program. A grant from the Philanthropy Lab enabled the Tulane students to participate in the philanthropic process. The students themselves were entirely responsible for making the final funding decision.

OPERA GUILD: "Happy Birthday New Orleans" will be the theme of the Mad Hatter's luncheon and fashion show of the Women's Guild of the New Orleans Opera Association. The event will be Thursday, March 8, at the New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal St. The chairmen of the event are Faith Peperone and Jean Rice, with support from Opera Guild President Penny Baumer, Guild Fundraising Vice President Karen Villavaso and director of external affairs Baty Landis. The committee also includes Eileen Cappritto, Carol Comb, Debbie Alciatore Empy, Amanda Green and Jane Miller. For reservations, contact Mike Kilgore at (504) 267 9534 or supportgroupliaison@neworleansopera.org.

REPUBLICAN WOMEN'S CLUB OF JEFFERSON PARISH: The Republican Women's Club of Jefferson Parish recently made a donation to Wreaths Across America to purchase holiday wreaths for the headstones of veterans at Arlington Cemetery. For information on the club, contact Beverly Murphy at (504) 368-5488 or bpmurphy1209@cox.net.

DAR: The Spirit of ’76 Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, recently made a donation to Bastion, an intentionally designed neighborhood in New Orleans for returning warriors and families with lifelong rehabilitative needs. With a community model that empowers neighbors as volunteers in a warrior’s care plan, Bastion sustains thriving recovery from the wounds and casualties of war.

ST. JOHN SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Deputy Michael Harris has been honored as officer of the fourth quarter for the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office. St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre cited Harris' response upon encountering a car crash on the Twin Spans while returning home to Slidell after work on Dec. 2. Harris assisted the injured driver until Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported the Mandeville man to University Hospital. Upon arriving home, Harris received an alert that a man suspected of killing his wife, and considered armed and dangerous, was on the loose. He realized that the injured man he assisted in the accident fit the description of the suspect, who was taken into custody by the New Orleans Police Department after his release from the hospital. 

START THE ADVENTURE IN READING: Prospective volunteer tutors for Start the Adventure in Reading can complete training at any one of five 2½-hour training sessions in January. To become a volunteer tutor, register for a free training session at www.stairnola.org/how-to-help; email Margo Price, volunteer coordinator, at margo@stairnola.org; or call (504) 899-0820. Training sessions include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 6, 10 a.m., The Land Building, 1535 State St., New Orleans.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, 3 p.m., St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Metairie.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 23, 3 p.m., The Land Building, 1535 State St., New Orleans.
  • Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m., Woodland Presbyterian Church, 5824 Berkley Drive, New Orleans. 
  • Monday, Jan. 29, 3 p.m., The Land Building, 1535 State St., New Orleans.

RECREATION THERAPY: Wesley Cornelius, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist with C Hope Health Services, will present a workshop, “Recreation Therapy: Therapeutic Interventions that Work,” from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 6, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. The event is being organized by Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans, which works to empower and educate children and adults with disabilities and their families. To register for the workshop, call (504) 888-9111.

YOGA DEMONSTRATION: Rolf VanAnders, of the LSU Health Medical Center, will demonstrate the principles of mindfulness and yoga at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 8, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. There is no charge. 

FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR WOMEN: The Junior League of New Orleans is presenting a series of free seminars on financial literacy for women. The monthly seminars begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center, 3900 Gen. Taylor St., New Orleans. The seminar dates and topics are Jan. 9, saving through tax refunds; Feb. 20, rising food costs; March 13, limited-income earners; April 10, credit report; May 8, preventing foreclosure.

SANSEPOLCRO FLAG-WAVERS: The drummers, trumpeters and flag-wavers of the Sansepolcro Flag-Wavers of the Tuscan region of Italy will present a free performance at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, outside the front doors of the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Vernon N. Landry Chapter 1398 of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association will meet at 11 a.m. Jan. 10 in the Sicilian Room of Rocky and Carlo's Restaurant, 613 W. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette.

ALGIERS KIWANIS: The Kiwanis Club of Algiers will hold its annual prayer breakfast when it meets at 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Aurora Tennis and Swim Club, 5244 Gen. Meyer Ave., New Orleans. Guests are welcome. For information, call (504) 391-0667.

AUTHOR EVENT: Amy Stewart will discuss the third book in her Kopp Sisters series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at the St. Charles Parish East Regional Library, 160 W. Campus Drive, Destrehan. The event is part of Stewart's Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions tour. The phone number for the library is (985) 764-2366.

POSITIVE PARENTING PROGRAM Angela Golden from Child Advocacy Services will present the Triple P: Positive Parenting Program, for parents of children ages birth to 12, at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31, at the St. Charles Parish West Regional Library, 105 Lakewood Drive, Luling. The phone number for the library is (985) 785-8471.

PROPELLER CLUB: The Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans will honor Robert R. Barkerding Jr., chairman of the board of the Port of New Orleans and president of Admiral Security Services, as its 2017 maritime person of the year during a gala Thursday, Jan. 11, in the Blaine Kern Ballroom of the New Orleans Downtown Marriott, 859 Convention Center Blvd. Tickets are $125 at www.propclubnola.org/2017maritimegala through Jan. 4. For information, call the club office at (504) 779-5671 or email propclubnola@bellsouth.net.

COMMUNITY-POLICE MEDIATION: Applications are being accepted through Jan. 15 from people who would like to be one of 12 new mediators with the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program, which aims to improve relationships between the community and the New Orleans Police Department. Free training sessions will be held March 9-11 and again March 16-18. Mediators receive a $75 stipend per mediation. To download an application, visit communitypolicemediation.org/volunteer. For information, contact program director Jules Griff at jgriff@nolaipm.gov or (504) 304-7886.

LOUISIANA POLITICS: Tyler Bridges, co-author of "Long Shot," a book about John Bel Edwards' defeat of Sen. David Vitter in the 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial race, will discuss the book at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. For information about this free event, contact Chris Smith, manager of adult programming for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Laura S. Nata, programs supervisor for Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans, will present a workshop, "Know Your Rights: Section 504," from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Section 504 is a civil rights statute adopted in 1973 that requires providing children with disabilities to equal access to education. To register for the workshop, call (504) 888-9111.

NONPROFIT BOARD TRAINING: Registration is open through Jan. 12 for the Get on Board training program for nonprofit board members, in two sessions from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 20 and 27. The sessions will be at the headquarters of the Junior League of New Orleans, 4319 Carondelet St., New Orleans; the cost is $275. Participants will learn a board member’s responsibilities and how these relate to others within the organization. For information or to apply, visit www.jlno.org/getonboard.

"THE INCOMPARABLE MAGAZINE STREET": John Magill, a retired curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection, will discuss his new book, "The Incomparable Magazine Street," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. For information about this free event, contact Chris Smith, manager of adult programming for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

CHOOSING A COLLEGE: College guidance professional Carol Langston will discuss how students can find the best college fit and how to find scholarship opportunities during a free program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.  

SAVE OUR SPONGE: The Lost Bayou Ramblers and pianist Tom McDermott will perform during a Save Our Sponge concert benefiting the Woodlands Conservancy from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. "Sponge" refers to the 800-plus acres of bottomland hardwood forest serving as a protective stormwater and wind barrier for the area. Tickets are $30 and increase to $35 after Jan. 15, at saveoursponge.eventbrite.com.

DISABILITY RESOURCES FAIR: The Jefferson Parish Community Resource Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. The fair, for people of all ages and disabilities, is being organized by Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans, the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Jefferson Parish school system.