Operation Toy Soldier: This holiday season, Powles Funeral Home and Carolina Cremation will participate in Operation Toy Soldier, a toy drive for the children of local active and non-active military service members. New, unwrapped toys can be donated Dec. 1-21 so they can be delivered right before Christmas. Donate at Powles Funeral Home, 913 W. Main St., Rockwell, or at Carolina Cremation locations: 650 Industrial Ave., Salisbury, and or 8517 Davis Lake Parkway, Suite D-3, Charlotte, Operation Toy Soldier is sponsored by Veterans Funeral Care. For details visit www.OperationToySoldier.com.
Blood drive: The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will have a blood drive 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 2 at Carolinas Medical Center–University, 8800 N. Tryon St., Charlotte. Donors must weigh at least 120 pounds. During November and December, every blood donor may sign a gift tag to be attached to a stuffed puppy and delivered to children in the local hospitals as part of CBCC’s 10th annual Puppies for Patients program.
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Art exhibition: The Storrs Gallery at UNC Charlotte will exhibit “False Front,” works by Ted Lott, through Jan. 15. Lott is an artist, designer and craftsperson. Born and raised on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lott has lived in 12 different states and has visited them all except Alaska. He was artist-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Haystack School and the Vermont Studio Center. Lott received his master of fine arts degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his bachelor of fine arts from the Maine College of Art. His work encompasses sculpture, architecture, furniture and public art and has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the country.
Winter break camps: Children in kindergarten through third grade can join full-day Winter Break Camps at Discovery Place Dec. 22-Jan. 2. Campers join for an individual day or a whole week. The camps are designed to keep young minds energized and small hands engaged during school vacation.
Camps for kindergartners and first-graders are Paleontologists (Dec. 22 or 30), Blast Off! (Dec. 23 or 31), Young Einstein (Dec. 26 or Jan. 1) and Push, Pull and Lift (Dec. 29 or Jan. 2). Second- and third-graders can attend Paleohistory (Dec. 22 or 30), Astronaut Academy (Dec. 23 or 31), Junior Innovators (Dec. 26 or Jan. 1) and Destination: Earth (Dec. 29 or Jan. 2).
Winter Break Camps will meet 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (closed Dec. 24-25). Campers will have a supervised lunch between noon and 1 p.m. and should bring a bag lunch and nut-free snacks. Camps are $55 per session or $45 for Discovery Place members. Register online at discoveryplace.org or call 704-372-6261 ext. 300 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.