The Place to Be for St. Louis Teens Interested in Volunteering

Volunteering is a way for kids to spend their summer break, earn valuable service hours and experience first-hand the rewards that come with helping others. But finding the right volunteer opportunity is key.

St. Louis Volunteen and The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum, are teaming up to make it easier for St. Louis families to find the right opportunity to help, even for kids as young as 10. At the second annual St. Louis Youth and Family Volunteer Fair, 35 local agencies will be on hand to talk to families and teens interested in volunteer opportunities.

Local nonprofit agencies need help now more than ever, said Jake Bernstein of St. Louis Volunteen. And while St. Louisans rank among the most generous Americans for charitable giving, volunteer hours not only help nonprofits reach their goals, the volunteers gain meaningful experience as well, especially high schoolers looking toward college admission.

"Our goal is to engage and activate all youth and families in the St. Louis area to get involved," Bernstein said.

Jake is running St. Louis Volunteen, an organization founded by his sister, Simone, when she was still a student at Clayton High School. She is now a college freshman in New York studying medicine. (See our 2010 feature story on Simone Bernstein here.)

Simone Bernstein has received national recognition for her work in establishing St. Louis Volunteen. The organization filled a gap in the St. Louis area for connecting interested volunteers of all ages, but especially teens, with organizations in need, connecting more than 1500 local teens with local nonprofits that need their time and skills. Simone was chosen as one of L'Oreal's 2010 Women of Worth, has been recognized by Youth Service America, received a Prudential Spirit of Community Award, was voted a "Greatest Person of the Day" at www.huffingtonpost.com.

The St. Louis Youth and Family Volunteer Fair will be held Sunday, April 10 at The Magic House, 516 Kirkwood Road. Hours are 1-4 p.m. Admission to the event is free with one can of food donation per person. The food will be donated to a local food bank. For more information, go to www.stlouisvolunteen.com
 

Photo of the 2010 St. Louis Youth and Volunteer Fair courtesy of Jake Bernstein

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