Are you a CDS patient or caregiver looking for ways to give back to the Saint Louis community? Whether you want to share an hour of your time or can commit for an entire season, there are plenty of engaging volunteer opportunities, from food delivery and animal care to business mentoring and teaching music classes.
Here’s our roundup of exceptional local organizations in St. Louis that could use your help.
- St. Louis Area Foodbank
St. Louis Area Foodbank partners with over 500 hunger-relief programs and agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters, to distribute food to people in need. There are several ways in which you can help. Volunteer activities include sorting, assembling, and distributing food bags as well as helping train, lead, and support other volunteers.
To find out how you can get involved, call 314-292-6262 or write to [email protected].
- Habitat for Humanity St. Louis
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis gives families who live in substandard rental housing the opportunity to build and purchase their own homes. The help of volunteers is vital to keeping the project going. They assist the construction staff, organize supplies, photograph building activities, and work in the ReStore that resells donated building materials.
If this is a cause that speaks to your heart, call 314-371-0400 for more information.
- Youth In Need
Youth In Need is dedicated to supporting children and teens who are exposed to abuse or neglect. The agency also offers encouragement and education to vulnerable families to help prevent future crises. As a volunteer, you can help prepare meals, assist at local events and community fairs, tend the garden, hold a donation drive, or help organize fundraisings.
- Forest Park Forever
Forest Park Forever partners with the City of St. Louis to ensure the daily maintenance of the park. If you love nature, you’ll enjoy volunteering with this nonprofit. You can contribute with planting, weeding, pruning, and watering in the park’s land management areas. Other volunteering opportunities include doing administrative tasks, helping at special events, and welcoming visitors at the information desk.
For more details about current volunteering positions, call 314-571-6072.
- St. Louis Public Library
St. Louis Public Library welcomes more than 2.3 million visitors each year at its 17 locations across the city. Volunteer commitment plays an essential role in strengthening the library community. If you’d like to share your time and skills, you can choose to work with children, lead adult literacy programs, or collect and organize books. Alternatively, you can apply to serve as a general volunteer at one of the library branches.
Call 314-338-7792 or send an email to [email protected] for details about what you can do.
- MusicLink Foundation
The MusicLink Foundation is a national non-profit organization that offers music classes to children from low-income families. If you have experience as a music teacher, you can volunteer your time to this worthy cause and teach anything from wind, brass, and string instruments to keyboard, percussion, and singing. You’ll be asked to contribute with at least one 45-60 minute class per week.
To volunteer, call 636-293-5501 or email [email protected]. MusicLink will contact you when a child in your area is nominated for music lessons.
- St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Tracing its roots to 1880 with the founding of the St. Louis Choral Society, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) is the nation’s second-oldest orchestra after the New York Philharmonic. Volunteers are needed for various music programs for school children, such as Picture the Music, Express the Music, and Instrument Playground. You can also become an SLSO ambassador, act as a Powell Symphony Hall tour guide, or serve as an assistant at youth orchestra auditions.
Contact [email protected] to find an opportunity that best matches your schedule and interests.
- Humane Society of Missouri
The Humane Society of Missouri has been serving the St. Louis community since 1870. Its mission is to offer a safe home to abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. Besides adoption programs, the society provides veterinary care, as well as pet obedience and behavior programs. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, teach children to take care of the animals, work at the gift shop, and help with all the different tasks that allow the shelter to run smoothly: doing laundry, assembling litter boxes and cage linings, and sorting donations.
To apply, get in touch with the Humane Society volunteer department at 314-951-1577.
- Tenth Life Cat Rescue
Tenth Life Cat Rescue provides veterinary care, foster homes, and adoptive placement to stray cats and kittens, with a focus on those with special needs. The organization relies on volunteers who help with writing, fundraising, event planning, and support. As a new volunteer, you’ll be required to spend some time working at the adoption center and attend monthly orientation training sessions. Tenth Life premises are wheelchair accessible and the organization provides sign language interpreters and other types of individual support for volunteers.
MicroMentor, a social innovation of the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, provides the expertise of mentors to help small businesses succeed in their early stages. The service is available at no cost to entrepreneurs and is powered exclusively by volunteers.
Becoming a volunteer is as simple as filling out the application form and searching for a small business that could benefit from your experience. Simply send them a message and start a conversation. You can meet business owners in person or communicate online if you don’t live in the same area. On average, mentoring pairs meet one hour per week for three months.
For more information, contact MicroMentor at 503-208-7302.
- SHARE! Southwest Region
A non-profit educational foundation, SHARE! has been providing international student exchange services since 1974. The SHARE! High School Exchange Program places hundreds of exchange students from 25 countries with volunteer host families. A student will stay with you for a 5-month semester program or a full 10-month academic year and you will need to provide a room, three meals per day, and transportation. You are free to choose a student that you feel would fit best into your family.
To participate in the program, call 800-941-3738 or fill out the request form to view available student applications.
- Gateway Region YMCA
The Gateway Region YMCA is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children and teens across the bi-state region. Founded in 1853, the charity serves more than 300,000 individuals through programs that focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The YMCA has around 5,000 annual volunteers who coach sports teams, motivate and support young people in building skills and making smart life choices, raise funds, and serve on committees or boards.
To join, call 314-776-7102.
- St. Luke’s Hospital
St. Luke’s Hospital is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare provider with a focus programs that help women and their families take action for improving their health. Every year, volunteers contribute over 80,000 hours to St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, St. Luke’s Des Peres Hospital, and some 30 outpatient locations in the St. Louis area. As a volunteer, you will be able to choose among various tasks: transport patients, help at the reception desks, work in the gift shop, or offer administrative support. Alternatively, as part of the Hospice Volunteer Program, you can provide companionship and comfort to patients with a life-limiting illness and their families.
To learn more, call 314-542-4768 or send an email to [email protected].
- St. Patrick Center
St. Patrick Center offers permanent housing to homeless individuals and families and provides additional support in the form of job training, employment placement, and behavioral health programs. St. Patrick Center is the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri, assisting more than 3,500 homeless people every year. The organization relies heavily on its network of volunteers who receive, sort, and distribute donated food and clothing, serve lunches, organize fundraising events, and work on administrative tasks. Shifts are flexible and it is also possible to volunteer from home.
For further details about volunteering opportunities, call 314-802-0700.
- St. Louis Science Center
The St. Louis Science Center is one of the few free nonprofit science museums and one of the largest science centers in the country, serving more than one million people each year. Volunteering opportunities at the museum include engaging young visitors with science and technology through the YES Volunteer Program, providing administrative support to the staff, and performing other museum roles. You are not required to have a science or museum background to volunteer.
For details, contact 314-289-4412 or [email protected].
- Explore St. Louis
Explore St. Louis partners with hundreds of local and regional businesses to attract leisure travelers, group tours, citywide conventions, meetings, and sporting events. As a volunteer, you can work at one of the Explore St. Louis visitor centers, serve as a Gateway Greeter at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, or offer assistance at one of the Explore St. Louis sporting events.
- Mission: St. Louis
Mission: St. Louis partners with local schools to identify students who are falling behind and those who are in need of additional resources. The charity’s mission is to equip underprivileged students with the necessary academic, social, and emotional tools to succeed in high school and beyond. There are several ways to volunteer your time here, such as helping students with their homework, serving as a mentor or job coach, preparing and serving meals, or offering income tax assistance.
For more information on Mission: St. Louis programs write to [email protected].
- Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis
The Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis was founded by a small group of black and white St. Louisans as a reaction to the East St. Louis race riot in 1910. With the generous help of its 600 volunteers, the Urban League works to empower African Americans and other minority groups by offering educational and job-training programs, assisting disadvantaged families, and advocating for civil rights. If you wish to make a difference, there are plenty of ways to contribute, from meal preparation and distributing food to mentoring and helping around the office.
For details about the available position, fill out the new volunteers’ interest form.
- Casa de Salud
Casa de Salud opened its doors in January 2010 with a mission to ensure better access to health care to the members of the St. Louis immigrant community. Casa de Salud delivers clinical and mental health services for uninsured and underinsured patients, particularly new immigrants and refugees who are not able to access other sources of health care.
The organization is looking for medically licensed and non-licensed volunteers to serve as interpreters, accompany patients to medical appointments, and help them with registration, scheduling, and the financial assistance procedures. Because the application process is rigorous and selective, it may take up to six weeks before you are contacted for an interview. Some of the positions require proficiency in Spanish.
If you’d like to lend your time and skills to this cause, call 314-977-1254 or write to mforrester@casadesaludstl.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities St. Louis
Ronald McDonald House Charities St. Louis provides accommodation for families of seriously ill children in one of their three Ronald McDonald Houses and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in pediatric hospitals. Since they first opened their doors in 1981, more than 40,000 families have used the service. If you join their team of volunteers, you’ll have the opportunity to welcome families to a Ronald McDonald House and help them settle, assist with maintenance tasks, or work at one of their special events or dinner auctions. Regular volunteers are asked to maintain a set schedule of weekly or biweekly three-hour shifts.
To apply, contact 314-400-4334 or [email protected].