There are volunteer opportunities that fit with every schedule and lifestyle at the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition. Read about each opportunity below, and fill out the contact form to request more information.
Joe Eikmeier is an amazing photographer and editor at KSDK NewsChannel 5 who has filmed A Place to Call Home for the last 10 years. We love Joe because he knows how to engage kids, highlighting what makes them special so prospective parents can fall in love at first sight. Our staff couldn’t stop raving about Joe’s incredible work. Summer Renne says that with Joe, “Nothing is an afterthought. He is always completely present with our kids.” That presence of mind produces clear results for children in foster care. Over 200 children featured on APTCH have been adopted, with over 175 more on their way to adoption. And what does Joe want everyone watching at home to take away from APTCH? Joe says, “I’d want everyone to know that these are typical kids just looking for the love of a family. Every kid deserves that.” Well said, Joe, and thanks for all you do!
Joe also runs the Erin Eickmeier Foundation, named after his daughter with special needs. They host about 75 children a year for a summer camp specifically designed for kids with special needs.
Shana Watkins is a phenomenal photographer who has gone above and beyond for every single foster child we’ve brought to her for photos. Shana says “I love
everything about the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition…the adorable kids, the amazing staff and a mission that compels me to do as much as I can for these children. Every child deserves to feel the security of being part of a loving family.” Our Extreme Recruiters couldn’t stop praising Shana. Angela Chewe says Shana is “so good with our kids, so humble, so giving, and her pictures are simply beautiful.” Heather Roberts added “she has such a heart for our kids. And she’s sooo good with them. She is able to engage the shyest of the kids, she is so accommodating.” Thank you Shana for all you do!
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. You can donate the gifts yourself, or ask your party guests to bring a present in lieu of a gift for you.
Times and Days Needed: Donations are dropped off at a Birthday Buddy Coordinator’s home in Kirkwood, MO or in Bethalto, IL.
For more information on becoming a Birthday Buddy, click here.
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. NEW socks and underwear are always needed, as well as diapers.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
Duties: Volunteer advocates serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court. They independently research and asess 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 provide 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 one specific child or sibling group for years.
Times and Days Needed: Volunteer advocates need 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, and be willing to make an 18 month minimum volunteer commitment.
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 who are 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.
Times and Days Needed: Weekends or week nights.
Requirements: All Foster Friends must be 21 years or older and submit an annual criminal background screening through the Family Care Safety Registry.
Duties: Act as an ambassador for the Coalition in the community. Junior Board members host fundraisers, do community service projects with children in foster care, and help at other Coalition events. Fundraisers that the Junior Board members have planned 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 are expected to join and participate on a committee, attend Junior Board fundraisers, and participate in the Junior Board service project.
Requirements: Young professionals under 40 years of age.
Duties: Meet one-on-one with a teen in foster care 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.
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 approximately one weeknight per month, plus extra workdays leading up to the event.
Requirements: Volunteers help on the Arrangements, Donations, or Marketing subcommittees.
Old Bags Day Of Event
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 in late April
Times and Days Needed: 5 to 9:15 p.m.
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.
Duties: Help with a special data entry or clerical projects. 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.
Duties: Help at our resale store, ReFresh, which provides clothing to youth in foster care at 90% off. Proceeds 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 Sunday.
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.
ReFresh Volunteer Group
Duties: Groups of 5-10 volunteers can sort through clothing donations and select the fashions to sell in the store, merchandise the store, use tagging guns to tag merchandise, and/or dress mannequins.
Times and Days Needed: Volunteer groups are scheduled for a 3 hour period between 11:30am-2:30pm on Thursdays or Saturdays.
Requirements: All volunteers in a group must be 13 years or older. An adult chaperone is required for every 4 youth.
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 impacted by foster care in August.
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.
Sizzling Celebration Volunteer
Duties: help plan a unique and fun party that originated as our 25th Anniversary Celebration, but was so much fun we were asked to continue!
Length of Commitment: several evening meetings at the Coalition
Requirements: Volunteers help on Arrangements, Donations, and Marketing Committees
Training Extravaganza Volunteer
Duties: Play games with and supervise foster and adoptive children at one of the Coalition’s Training Extravaganza events in Florissant while parents attend training.
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.
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.