Summer is the Time to Volunteer

    It’s that time of the year again.

    The Missouri temperature warms your winter skin and the cool, blue water of the swimming pool calls your name.  Hot dogs and hamburgers are on the grill and the kids are playing in the backyard.

    And then…the second week of summer begins. The humid temperature skyrockets (as does your electric bill) and the pool needs constant maintenance. It’s so hot that the thought of cooking on the grill makes you want to pass out. The kids, who once had a jam-packed school year schedule, are bored and going crazy waiting for you to get off work everyday.

    Don’t let the summertime slouch set in. Get out and do something good for your community, yourself and your kids. Volunteer.

    I’ll even give you a jumpstart.

    Volunteer at a local shelter

    There are so many local shelters in our area, it’s hard to choose which one to donate your time to. Here are a few:

    1. Stray Rescue St. Louis
    2. Gateway Pet Guardians
    3. Open Door Animal Sanctuary

    St. Louis Zoo

    Want to volunteer with all kinds of animals? Look no further than the St. Louis Zoo! The Saint Louis Zoo welcomes enthusiastic volunteers who have a love for animals and a passion for serving the people of our community. Zoo volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and bring a variety of experience, knowledge and skill to the Zoo’s operations. Of course, no prior experience is necessary — they’ll teach you what you need to know. Whether you have just a few hours each month to spare, or are looking for a new avenue in life, there is a home for you at the Zoo.

    Life for Life Gym

    The mission of Lift For Life Gym is to offer at-risk St. Louis city children a safe, enriching environment in which to strengthen their bodies, enrich their minds, develop healthy social relationships, and learn to make positive life choices.

    Lift for Life is looking for fitness leaders and youth mentors and tutors.

    United Way

    Read to kids. Plan an event. Plant a garden.

    United Way’s Volunteer Center is the St. Louis region’s main resource for volunteering. They have a variety of programs, projects and resources to meet your needs. The United Way connects people to quality opportunities to serve, build capacity for local volunteering, raise awareness of the value volunteers bring to our communities and mobilize volunteers to effectively and efficiently meet local needs.

    Click here for their summer volunteering guide – great for youth and families!

    Big Brothers Big Sisters

    The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is “to build trusting and enduring relationships that encourage and support young people.”

    Relationships have the power to transform lives. Big Brothers Big Sister’s mission is shared by their Bigs, donors, partners, teachers, principals, friends, employees, board members and parents. Each of these groups plays such a powerful role and is there with Big Brothers Big Sisters engaging and connecting around the Little to change their life.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters make it possible for their Littles to live and learn in positive, opportunity rich environments.

    Operation Bright Side

    Operation Bright Side as been dedicated to cleaning and “greening” St. Louis since 1982.

    From graffiti removal to Project Blitz to the daffodils that sprout their blooms all around town, Brightside St. Louis is the city’s oldest and most comprehensive not-for-profit cleaning and greening group.

    There are many opportunities to volunteer with Brightside – from taking The Litter Pledge and downtown plantings to alley cleanups and planting daffodils along our area’s streets for the blooms we all anticipate in the Spring. If you have an interest in making the city more beautiful than it already is, Brightside needs your help.

    St. Louis Foodbank

    The St. Louis Foodbank had been feeding people for 35 years. It began its service to the community in 1975.  Today, the Foodbank continues to be an organization that relies on the generosity of others to make a difference in the lives of those in need of food assistance.  Since that time, they have grown to become the Bi-State region’s largest non-profit food distribution center dedicated to feeding those in need.

    St. Louis Children’s Hospital

    St. Louis Children’s Hospital volunteers create a difference in the lives of patients, families, visitors and staff everyday. Volunteers can be found throughout the hospital, delivering packages and mail to patients, greeting visitors at the Information Desks, bringing comfort and distraction to patients and their siblings through play and improving the overall hospital experience for all of our guests.

    American Red Cross

    From blazes and blizzards to floods and fires, the Greater St. Louis Region fulfills the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. For 97 years, the St. Louis Red Cross has provided comfort, care and necessities to those affected by disaster. On the scene following tornadoes, floods and power outages, the Greater St. Louis Region also responds to an average of three house fires every day. We provide immediate assistance for food, shelter, clothing and emotional support.

    From serving meals to disaster victims to helping with blood drives, volunteers contribute throughout the St. Louis community. Red Cross volunteers teach CPR and help soldiers arrange travel home for the birth of a child. They help them prepare for disaster and recover from the aftermath.

    If none of the above interests you, or you want to do even more, click here to find more volunteer opportunities in St. Louis.