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  • Carol Swartout Klein

Looking to help? Give your time & talent

By: Kurt Greenbaum

Volunteer Time and Talent

Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity? A way to use your skills to support your community? If volunteer work is something your children seek, the best place to start is by setting a good example for your children. PBS Parents suggests that being a volunteering role model is where to begin.

Create an Opportunity

Students at a St. Louis-area girls’ high school invited a Ferguson restaurant to provide their lunch one school day. The restaurant sustained damage during the unrest. The restaurant owners provided four menu items to the students, delivered the food, and students raised more than $3,000 to help the business by buying lunches from the restaurant that day. Consider how you might rally your own student organization, club, team or program around a specific fundraiser for a Ferguson business. PBS Parents acknowledges that finding ways for children to volunteer can be challenging; one strategy is to create your own opportunity: a walkathon, a friendly fundraising competition, a canned food drive, etc.

Visit the Ferguson City Website

The city of Ferguson promotes volunteer opportunities in the community. Most are not directly related to the issues raised by the Michael Brown shooting. But supporting the community as a volunteer is one way to show your concern and do something to help. You might also contact the Northwest Chamber of Commerce, which includes businesses in the Ferguson area, to ask about volunteer opportunities.

Check Online Resources

Sites such as and provide a catalogue of volunteer opportunities that you can filter for the kid or family-friendly ones. United Way of Greater St. Louis also can connect you with volunteer opportunities.

Reach Out to Local Organizations

Is there a particular cause or agency that does work you’d like to support? Directly contact organizations that serve causes you care about. Ask them for ideas about how you can help. has other suggestions about volunteering with children, as well.

Make Simple Blankets

Kids can help make simple “security blankets” that emergency responders offer to youngsters suffering from trauma. Look for details at the Project Linus website for chapter serving St. Louis and St. Charles counties.

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