All Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunity: Foster Friend

Duties: Host and supervise fun, safe events for children in foster care at places like America’s Incredible Pizza and Circus Flora. Foster Friends receive exclusive opportunities to support children waiting in foster care to be adopted, and are invited to volunteer at other Coalition events throughout the year.

Length of Commitment: Foster Friends have the opportunity to help at an event about once per month, but participation is not mandatory. Foster Friends is a flexible volunteer opportunity, allowing you to help when your schedule allows. Membership is renewed once per year.

Times and Days Needed: Weekends or week nights

Requirements:  All Foster Friends must be 21 years or older and submit to an annual criminal background screening through the Family Care Safety Registry.

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Opportunity: reFresh: A Fashion Forward Resale Boutique

Duties:  Help at our resale store, REFRESH, which provides clothing to youth in foster care at 90% off and funds to support our programs. Volunteers sort clothing donations, tag clothing, dress mannequins in the latest fashions, assist foster families and other customers shopping in the store, and help with other tasks as needed.

Length of Commitment:   At least twenty hours

Times and Days Needed:   Volunteers can help in 3-4 hour shifts from Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Sundays between noon and 5 p.m.

Requirements:   ReFresh volunteers must be at least 15 years or older and submit to an annual criminal background screening through the Family Care Safety Registry. The fashion-minded are encouraged to volunteer at ReFresh.

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Opportunity:   Junior Board

Duties:  Act as an Ambassador for the Coalition in the community. The Junior Board host fundraisers, do community service projects with children in foster care, and help at other Coalition events. Fundraisers the Junior Board plans include an adult scavenger hunt, trivia night, happy hours and more.

Length of Commitment:   Renewable three year terms

Times and Days Needed:   Attend four weeknight or weekend meetings each year. In addition, Junior Board members need to join and participate on a committee, attend Junior Board fundraisers, and participate in the Junior Board service project.

Requirements:   Young professionals between 25 and 35 years of age

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Opportunity: Old Bags Committee

Duties:   Help plan one of the Coalition’s major fundraisers – Old Bags.  Old Bags is the best girls’ night out in town where guests bid on new and like-new designer handbags at the silent auction, while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Length of Commitment:   Eight months – from August to April

Times and Days Needed:   The Old Bags Committee meets on weeknights at our office in Brentwood.

Requirements:   Volunteers can help on the Arrangements, Donations, or Marketing subcommittees.

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Opportunity: Old Bags Day of Event Volunteer

Duties:  Help at one of the Coalition’s major fundraisers – Old Bags, a silent auction of new and like-new designer handbags

Length of Commitment:  One evening – the fourth Tuesday in April

Times and Days Needed:   5 to 9:15 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday in April

Requirements:  Volunteers should dress in business attire and will be standing for most of the evening.  Dinner and an orientation will be provided. Volunteers are not permitted to bid on handbags.

Contact:  Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229

Opportunity: Birthday Buddy

Duties:  Donate birthday presents to a child in foster care who has been identified as likely to receive very few or no gifts for his or her birthday. Sometimes donors ask that their party guests bring a present for a foster child in lieu of a birthday gift for him or her. Others simply enjoy being a Birthday Buddy to brighten a foster child’s birthday.

Times and Days Needed:  Donations are dropped off at a Birthday Buddy Coordinators’ home in Kirkwood, Missouri.

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Opportunity: Little Wishes “Elf”

Duties:  We receive thousands of Little Wish requests during the holidays. In December, our “Elf” volunteers shop online for toys and gifts for foster and adopted children and help us process the granted Little Wishes. In October, volunteers can help enter the children’s gift requests into our computer system.

Length of Commitment:   Six or more hours in December; three or more hours in October.

Times and Days Needed:  Weekdays between 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Requirements:  Volunteers must have significant Internet shopping experience and be available to volunteer on weekdays. Volunteers must also must have a clean criminal background screening through the Family Care Safety Registry.

Contact:  Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229

Opportunity: Scrapbook Volunteer

Duties:  Help foster children use our scrapbooking materials to create a Lifebook to display their photos and childhood memories.

Length of Commitment:  Four hours

Times and Days Needed: This activity typically takes place once a year on a Saturday afternooon in Florissant.

Requirements: Scrapbooking experience is very helpful. Volunteers must be 21 years or older.

Contact:  Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 for more information

Opportunity: Training Extravaganza Volunteer

Duties:  Play games with and supervise foster and adoptive children at one of the Coalition’s quarterly Training Extravaganza events in Florissant.

Length of Commitment:   3 hours

Times and Days Needed:  Saturday morning or afternoon in Florissant.

Requirements:  Volunteers must be 21 years or older and have a clean criminal background history.

Contact:   Shelley Thomas-Benke at at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229

Opportunity: Office Support

Duties:   Help with a special data entry or clerical project.  Most of these projects take 3-8 hours to complete.

Length of Commitment:   Project by project basis

Times and Days Needed:  Weekdays between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact:   Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 for more information

CLOTHING DRIVE ORGANIZER

Duties:  Organize a clothing drive at your church, school, company, or neighborhood to benefit foster children.  Gently used clothing donations for all ages and for any season are always appreciated.

Requirements:  Contact Shelley Thomas-Benke to receive flyers to advertise your clothing drive and for other information.

Contact:  Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 for more information

Opportunity: Backpack & School Supply Drive Organizer

Duties:  Collect new backpacks and school supplies at your company, church, school, child’s troop or sports team, or in your neighborhood. The Coalition distributes these items to children in foster care at a Training Extravaganza event the second Saturday in August.

Requirements & Contact:  Contact Contact Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 to receive flyers to advertise your backpack and school supplies drive.

FOSTERSERVE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Opportunity: Tutor

Duties:  Help a foster or adopted child who is a struggling reader improve his or her reading skills at a public library.

Length of Commitment:   9-12 month volunteer commitment.

Times and Days Needed:  Volunteer tutors meet with their learner twice a week for one hour each time, typically on weeknights and/or the weekend.

Location:  Volunteers choose public libraries where they are willing to tutor.  Then they are matched with a learner who is also able to meet at one of those libraries.

Requirements:  Volunteers must attend a tutor training, be 16 years or older, and have a clean criminal background screening.

Contact:   Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 for more information

Opportunity: Mentor      

Duties:   Meet one-on-one with a teen in foster care once every once every 1-2 weeks, being a positive role model and friend to the mentee.  Mentors plan fun activities and outings with their mentee.

Length of Commitment:   At least 12 months

Times and Days Needed:   Mentors typically meet with their mentee on Saturday or Sunday, but weeknight outings are also possible.

Location:  Agencies try to match mentors with mentees who live within 15-20 minutes from them.

Requirements:  Mentors must attend an orientation and training, be 21 years or older, and have a clean criminal background screening.

Contact: Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229 for more information

Opportunity: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)       

Duties:   Volunteer advocates serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court. They independently research and asses all aspects of their assigned child’s life (living condition, family, education, medical needs, other special needs, and more). They make sure the child is safe, and develop writ­ten, fac­tual reports and rec­om­men­da­tions to a judge about what is in the best interest of the child.

Length of Commitment:   Until permanency has been reached for the foster child (generally at least 12-18 months). The idea behind the CASA program, is that the volunteer is a constant in the child’s life. Many volunteers are advocates for that specific child or sibling group for years.

Times and Days Needed:   Volunteer advocates need sometime daytime flexibility, but much of the volunteer work can be done on evenings and weekends.

Location:  St. Louis City Court is on North Vandeventer (near St. Louis University), and the Family Court of St. Louis County is on South Brentwood Blvd. (just north of the Galleria Mall and south of downtown Clayton).

Requirements:  Volunteer advocates must complete 33 hours of training and typically spend 10-15 hours each month on their assigned case. CASAs must be 21 years or older, pass a criminal background screening and child abuse/neglect screening, go through a training, and be willing to make an 18 month minimum volunteer commitment.

Contact:   Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229