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october 2018 magazine

make a difference


HEC Magazine

October 2018



ARTS/CULURAL St. Louis Arts Experience Bach Society of St. Louis Center of Creative Arts (COCA) Commission for Access and Local Original Programming (CALOP) Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Focus St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center International Institute of St. Louis Jazz St. Louis Missouri Botanical Garden Missouri Department of Conservation Missouri History Museum Missouri Humanities Council Museum of Transportation National Endowment for the Arts National Blues Museum Opera Theatre Saint Louis Regional Arts Commission Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) Saint Louis County Parks and Recreation Saint Louis Science Center Saint Louis Symphony Saint Louis Zoo The Sheldon Art Galleries and Concert Hall CIVIC Cortex Innovation Community Missouri Bar Association St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission St. Louis Economic Development Partnership St. Louis Regional Chamber EDUCATION Archdiocese of St. Louis 22 Area Universities and Colleges Education Plus 62 Elementary/Secondary School Districts in Metropolitan St. Louis

HEC-TV leadership Alan Winkleman, Acting President Ann Terry Johnson, Secretary James L. McHugh Sr., J.D., Treasurer Wayne Goode, Member Craig Larson, Member

HEC-TV team Dennis Riggs, President Boyd Pickup, Director of Operations Jayne Ballew, Director of Programming Christina Chastain, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships Manager Amanda Honigfort, Special Projects & Programs Producer Kristy Houle, Educational Opportunities Coordinator Tim Gore, Director of Educational Initiatives

Feat. walking out of prison into a bakery

By: George Sells


This is the story of an inner-city bakery, an Eastern religion, a group of convicted felons, and the woman that brings it all together. That woman, a Buddhist priest, makes hardened men light up at the mention of her name.

Magazine Design by Christina Chastain

October 2018

12/13 OPEN MIC W/executive director of world trade center st. louis

15 EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT By: Gabrielle Corley

Mark your calendars for October 18 for Making a Difference Day on Educate.Today, a full day dedicated to organizations that are leading the way, and classroom activities for you to partake in.



area events




October is a month of exciting art openings, fairs, festivals, and of course, SPOOKY happenings!


What does a Hyperloop, giraffe, and a growing global economy have in common? They’re all on our scheduel!

Yolanda Diaz is the director of a new bilingual preschool in South St. Louis.

where to volunteer

Oct. 27 is Make a Difference Day, so what better way to spend it than volunteering?




select dates frida libre

Inspired by the childhood of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Frida Libre is the uplifting story of young Frida who plans to become a doctor and her new friend Alex who secretly wishes to be a wrestler. When: Touring schools Sep. 25 - Nov. 2 Where: Locations vary $$ Free website:

1 RALPH NAGEL: being there

Bruno David Gallery continues its 13th season with a solo exhibition by Denver-based plein air artist Ralph Nagel. The exhibition, Being There, Nagel’s first show with the gallery, will feature an overview of his 15 years of practice and travels from around the world. When: Oct. 4 - Nov. 17 Where: Bruno David Gallery $$ Free website:

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1 memory & desire

Laumeier Sculpture Park’s 2018 exhibition will feauture neon artist and sign historian David Hutson. It will showcase two large scale outdoor neon works along with his extensive collection of vintage neon signs alongside about 15 neon sculptures from Hutson’s current body of work. When: Sept. 28 - Jan. 13, 2019 Where: Laumeier Sculpture Park $$ Free website:

6/7 historic shaw art fair

Located on the tree-lined parkway of beautiful Flora Place at Tower Grove Avenue, the Historic Shaw Art Fair is one of the premier fine art and fine craft fairs in the St. Louis area. Roughly 135 top caliber artists and craftspeople from around the country are selected each year to participate in the professionally juried event. When: Oct. 6, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Oct. 7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: 4100 & 4200 blocks of Flora Place $$ Free website:

Go to for a full listing of st. louis events and sign up for our newsletter at to get a weekly update of event reminders.

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19 16-30 Kehinde Wiley boo at the zoo Kehinde Wiley creates large-scale oil paintings of contemporary African American subjects in poses that recall grand traditions of European and American portraiture. His models—real people dressed in their own clothing—assume poses adapted from historic paintings. In 2018 Wiley became the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Former U.S. President Barack Obama selected Wiley for this honor. When: Oct. 19 - Feb. 10, 2019. Museum closed Mondays. Where: Saint Louis Art Museum $$ Free website:

Bring your little ghouls and goblins for a non-scary, kid-friendly Halloween experience. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. Children 12 and under will receive a treat bag upon exiting. Boo at the Zoo Nights is not a trick-or-treating experience. When: Oct. 16 - 30, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Where: St. Louis Zoo $$ $7 for members, $8 for non members, $1 off if in costume website:

5-7 best of missouri market

The Best of Missouri Market shawcases more than 120 outstanding food producers and artisans. Enjoy live music, a food court, wine and beer samples, a Kids’ Corner with barnyard animals, crafts, pumpkin decorating, and more! When: Oct. 5, noon - 8 p.m. Oct. 6 & 7, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Where: Missouri Botanical Garden $$ $7 for members, $15 for non members website:

27/28 Kimmswick apple butter festival

Hundreds of vendor booths will fill the city park and line the streets of Kimmswick selling a variety of crafts and food items. Live entertainment will also be provided by the city of Kimmswick and the Kimmswick Merchants. When: Oct. 27 & 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: Kimmswick, MO $$ Free website:


what to watch

HEC Magazine

Plans for High-Speed Travel with Hyperloop Route in Missouri Gain Momentum The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition will soon have answers to many questions under review by a feasibility study of a hyperloop route connecting St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City. The proposed will be built in the I-70 corridor, and constructed and operated by Virgin Hyperloop One. The hyperloop route connecting St. Louis and Kansas City would take about 30 minutes or less and initial results of the feasibility study are expected to be released in October.

Browsing at the St. Louis Zoo in Partnership with Ameren Missouri


We’ve all seen utility workers cutting down limbs along the side of the road. But did you know they were also likely doing more than just clearing the way for power lines? There’s a good chance they were also helping animals at the St. Louis Zoo. The Zoo has formed a partnership with Ameren to have the electric company bring all the tree branches it cuts down to the Zoo to be sorted and used either as food or enhancement objects for the animals. We’ll go behind the scenes at the Zoo to see the project in action.

Growing Global 2018 Each year, The World Trade Center St. Louis celebrates St. Louis’ role in the global economy and addresses timely issues affecting internationally focused companies in the region. This year, we look at the current state of international trade and the progress and developments the World Trade Center has made over the past year. We also discuss the current political and trade economy with three sitting ambassadors.

October 2018

how to watch who to watch HEC Media is the leading producer of local arts, cultural, and educational programming in St. Louis - reflecting our mission statement, “to strengthen and promote the education, arts, and cultural communities of the St. Louis Metropolitcan area.” HEC is affiliated with the St. Louis County for Educational Media. As a three-time winner of the prestigious Station of Excellence Award from the Mid-America Emmy Association, HEC is committed to producing television designed to engage and challenge viewers, and to illuminate topics that will “Make You Think!” In addition to providing local programming, all HEC productions are available free of charge to teachers, along with corresponding curriculum and classroom materials through www.Educate.Today.

stream all programs free at ch. 2.2 ktvi sundays ch. 989 spectrum ch. 99 at&t

connect with us




yolanda diaz In South St. Louis, a small, but growing Hispanic community is seeing a need met that most people take for granted. At St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church, long the hub for St. Louis’ Latino community, they have opened what they believe to be the metro area’s first bilingual pre-school. It’s called Hola! Santa Teresita.

“Our idea is to have them speak and read in English and Spanish before they go to school,” said Yolanda Diaz, the director of the new school. Yolanda Diaz is well prepared to teach languages. The Argentinean native just retired after 46 years in education at institutions including Saint Louis University and Harris-Stowe University. She came to St. Louis as one of the very first foreign exchange students at Kirkwood High School and believes she can help underrepresented kids by catching them when they are ripe to learn. “I thought we really need to teach Spanish and English to the English speaker and the Spanish speaker. So they will really be bilingual. And if we really do it in the early childhood, that’s it. They learn by playing.” Diaz said. “We have six kids, and three of them don’t speak English and three of them don’t speak Spanish. This is their third day and they’re already saying words in English.” They hope to eventually grow to fit their demand, but resources will play a role in that decision. If the resources are there, to Diaz, it’s all very simple.



“Their life will be easier,” she said.


HEC Magazine

walking out of prison into a kitchen By: George Sells


This is the story of an inner-city bakery, an Eastern religion, a group of convicted felons, and the woman that brings it all together. That woman, a Buddhist priest, makes hardened men light up at the mention of her name. When we asked Travis Jones who has spent much of his life in prison about her, a smile suddenly took over his face and lit up the room. All you have to say is “Kalen.” “She’s cool. Kalen’s cool. I like Kalen. She’s a live wire,” Jones said through a grin. He is one of nearly 30 people who has walked out of prison and into a kitchen of Kalen McAllister’s making: The Laughing Bear Bakery, and it has quite a story. One that has turned the heads of a small documentary group in New York City. What’s the draw? “I think it’s the fact that you have to have a felony to work at the bakery,” McAllister surmised with a knowing grin of her own. And that fact is changing the lives of those who work here. Start with Jones, whose checkered past has made basic survival on the outside a challenge. “I’m 32, and out of 32 years I’ve spent 14 behind bars,” he told us. “I’ve been to Bonne Terre, Bowling Green, Tipton, Charleston, Crossroads...I’ve been to a few prisons.” And, as it is for so many inmates, getting out has not offered much. “If they did their full time they got a bus ticket back to where the crime was committed,” McAllister said. “Not necessarily home, but where the crime was committed, and like $8.50 if they didn’t save up any money and they

were on the street basically.” She knows this because she spent more than five years as the Chaplin at the state prison in Farmington, the only Buddhist who ever held such a position in the state of Missouri. “People would come up to me after they got their notice they would be released in a couple of weeks and they would be panicking because they would say they’re going to be on the streets,” McAllister recalls. “I promised the guys that I’m going to do something about this. I’m going to have a job for people when they come out of prison.” But what kind of jobs? She had noticed over the years most places that hired convicts offered their own version of hard labor, difficult work that required little skill. Her goal was to provide something different. “I thought, ‘I like to bake. I can’t cook. But I like to bake.”’ Baking would prove the be the answer to the panic she saw in the eyes of all those men. The Laughing Bear Bakery was established with a goal of allowing those recently released inmates to have a chance upon getting out, not only at supporting themselves in the short term, but finding better paying jobs with benefits in the long term. The newly released fellons have an advantage at the bakery -- they are surrounded by people who will help them succeed at freedom. And it starts at the top. “They tell me they have to go see a parole officer, I go, cool, come back when you’re done, because they’re

October 2018

required to do that,” McAllister explained. “In most other jobs they wouldn’t let them off most likely, to do that. They’d have to arrange it. So we understand what some of their issues are, and they kind of come into a family here.”

You see you’re not used to being locked up because it’s not your walk. My walk, I’ve been locked up for a substantial amount of time throughout my life.”

Jones says it goes even farther than that.

The baked goods are available at places like Straub’s Groceries and St. Louis Cinemas. Growing the business will allow them to grow those good deeds.

“[They] give us clothes, give us food, make sure we’re all right. That we can take care of ourselves.”

“The more we can sell our product the more people we can hire. And people see films like this and they instantly

How much difference is it making? Well consider the fact that most people who get out of prison go back in. The recidivism rate, as it’s called, is nearly 70 percent within three years of release according to the National Institute for Justice. Twenty-four people have worked at the Laughing Bear over the last three years. Only one has gone back to prison. That’s just over four percent. “And without a job and education, you’re going back. It’s just, if you can’t have a few dollars in your pocket, pay rent, pay utilities, buy yourself some food, then you will commit crimes to get same,” Mike Gann said.


And Gann would know. He was the deputy warden at the Farmington prison, and Kalen McAllister’s boss there, before retiring and taking the position of board president at Kalen’s bakery. “It’s rewarding both for providing the employment and seeing the success rate, and frankly for the quality of product we put out. Lord we make some good stuff,” Gann said, unable to contain a laugh. So what about all this draws the attention of a documentary film crew? Not so much the success as the good deed. The film, Second Chances is part of a series produced by a group of Buddhist Documentarians called, On Buddha’s Path: Compassion in Action. What is being done here is giving hope to those who return to society with very little. “In Buddhism we have a saying that for a bird to fly it takes two wings. One is wisdom and one is compassion and it takes both to fly,” McAllister said. “They walk out of there, sometimes with just the clothes on their back, and they’re supposed to make it. “Some people come in with a lot of skill, some people have none. But we’re supportive,” she continued. Jones reiterated that point. “I’m not used to freedom.

contact us to fill out an application, to get a job here, and I would love to take every one of them in. But we’re limited,” McAllister said. What is seemingly unlimited is the potential for a program that is effective in helping those who get out to stay out. “You cannot change anybody,” McAllister cautions. “There’s no way you can ever change a person, but if they’re in a compassionate environment and they’re doing something they enjoy doing and they feel successful and they feel valued, they’ll change themselves.”

HEC Magazine

oct. 27 is make a difference day Have you ever been at line at Starbucks and have the person in front of you pay for your order? It starts a chaineffect, called paying it forward, that will put a smile on your face for the rest of the day. Or has someone sincerely complimented you or helped you out in a situation where you were not expecting it? Everyone can appreciate an act of kindness. Research shows that being kind to others can actually make us genuinely happy in a number of different ways. We know that deciding to be generous or cooperating with others activates an area of the brain, which is the same area that responds to things we find rewarding, such as sugar or puppies. The feel-good emotion from helping has been termed “warm glow” and the activity we see in the brain is the likely biological basis of that feeling. Of course, you don’t have to scan brains to see that kindness has this kind of benefit. Research in psychology shows a link between kindness and well-being throughout life, starting at a very young age. In fact, even just reflecting on having been kind in the past may be enough to improve someone’s mood. Research has also shown that spending extra money on other people may be more powerful in increasing happiness than spending it on yourself. Make A Difference Day is almost upon us and it’s time to start rallying your friends, family, coworkers, and peers to join this global movement of doing good on Oct. 27. Here are some ideas and places to volunteer around the area for this day of doing good and making a difference.


st. patrick’s center

united way of greater st. louis

St. Patrick Center provides many opportunities to assist homeless persons through various programs and classes. They are always in need to volunteers from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm each day in their Shamrock Club, which is open 364 days a year. Volunteers are also needed in the evening to plan, prepare, and serve dinner for 15 women who stay as part of the Women’s Night Program. Website:

It takes just a single person to initiate change. United Way connects people with causes close to their hearts and inspires them to roll up their sleeves in their community. Website:

big brothers big sisters When children and teens have the influence of a caring adult, they are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and to focus on academics. Today's youth face a variety of challenges, and being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister can help them navigate these challenges and reach their potential. Website:

animal shelters/fostering

brightside st. louis Brightside St. Louis is the city’s oldest and most comprehensive not-for-profit cleaning and greening group. Website:

As you begin to work with an animal, you can see a change in their personality almost instantly and their personalities start to shine. Most shelter pets are strays and have had limited interactions with humans. Giving them love and attention they have never had, will be entirely rewarding for you and the animal! Websites:,,,, needypaws. org,

October 2018

It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act. The Dalai Lama

make a difference programming on hec

Search for all these features and more heart-warming stories at under our “Culture” tab! Bringing Free Libraries to the Community: St. Louis Promise Zone The St. Louis Promise Zone has partnered with the St. Louis County Library to provide 50 community library boxes all around the Promise Zone in north St. Louis County. Their aim is to increase literacy and readership and strengthen education outcomes in high poverty communities. The stencil design for the boxes was created by local African-American artist, Cbabi Bayoc, in hope of empowering and inspiring children the community. In partnership with the residents of the Promise Zone, the program allows volunteers to paint the boxes themselves. Learn more about the St. Louis Promise Zone at Baby Cuddlers Help Drug-Exposed Babies A St. Louis-based hospital is expanding its new ‘baby cuddlers’ program as the need for support for drugexposed babies grows. SSM St. Mary’s Hospital already has a unique program that helps pregnant women who’ve taken drugs. That relationship means many of those women deliver their babies at St. Mary’s. Growing research supports greater human touch rather than drugs to help drug-exposed babies. Volunteer baby cuddlers go through training and then help as a back-up for parents, nurses and other medical providers.

We Stories, Raising Big Hearted Kids We Stories utilizes the power of children’s literature to create conversations about race and racism. By connecting families across our community, We Stories’ goal is to create a more inclusive community. Food Pantry For Pets It’s an organization created by two women who love animals. They knew food pantries for people existed when someone finds themselves in financial difficulties but what about their animals? They created the Bi-State Pet Food Pantry to fill the void. Their idea became a nonprofit that now helps thousands of pets each year stay in their homes instead of being dropped off at shelters because their families can no longer afford them. Hope in the Baking Most bakers will tell you there’s an almost therapeutic aspect of turning simple ingredients like flour, water and butter into something satisfying. That’s certainly true at Bridge Bread Bakery where not only are delicious goods made, but hope is restored. We follow baker Daryl Pitchford along on a typical day in the bakery, learning his remarkable story, and taking a tour of Bridge Bread’s new location.


HEC Magazine

n e Op ic: M

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the World Trade Center St. Louis and the 20th anniversary of Growing Global. Over the past 25-years we have all witnessed the profound effects of an increasingly interconnected global economy.


Depending on one’s perspective, globalization represents an opportunity to pry open new markets for exports or source goods and services at a lower cost. Globalization can be viewed as an opportunity for new work and innovation or a threat to one’s current job or career. It can be viewed as drawing us all closer, creating a better understanding of our differences, or an unwanted intrusion into deeply rooted cultural traditions. No matter your perspective, globalization is a potent force transforming our societies and commercial activities in countless ways.

In St. Louis, I’m proud to note, we have chosen to embrace it. By launching the World Trade Center St. Louis in 1993 – and housing it within the only City-

tim nowak Executive Director World Trade Center St. Louis County economic development agency – now known as the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the region responded with a vision and commitment to global engagement. Beyond this vision, the World Trade Center has taken the lead on strategy development to encourage and support new trade activity, increased investment and foreign-born talent. And today, we take the opportunity to highlight a few of those examples. Six years ago, in partnership with many local leaders, we formed the St. Louis Mosaic Project – an initiative to make St. Louis the fastest growing metropolitan area for immigration by 2020. People remain the most important ingredient to any community. Those who can attract and retain the best and the brightest from around the globe are better prepared to compete in a global economy dominated by information, technology, and new ideas.

Companies and communities find themselves mandatory participants in this new global marketplace.

The Mosaic Project is shaping our future by welcoming and integrating new talent - and their families - to this region.

And, while all cities are affected by globalization, not all are seizing its benefits.

And it is already bearing fruit with an unprecedented response locally and nationally, placing St. Louis

October 2018

among the top five fastest growing Metros for foreign born talent each of the past two years. To increase investment and expand the region’s economic base, last year we published St. Louis’ first ever comprehensive Foreign Direct Investment Plan. This plan is a result of our work with the Brookings Institute, JP Morgan Chase and the prestigious Global Cities Initiative. As a result of this work, we welcome one of our newest investors to St. Louis. CGS Infotech is a global technology company based in Mumbai, India with more than 5,000 clients in 40 countries. Working with our partners at the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Missouri Partnership, we met Hiten Bhuta, the Chief Executive of CGS and his team in June at the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington DC. Following a visit to St. Louis and an introduction to many local connections, including Ranken Technical College, CGS is in the process of opening offices at Cortex and launching a digital tourism marketing program that includes 20 Ranken students. Finally, we often say that trade and investment begin with relationships. For the World Trade Center, in no other project has this been truer than the consulting deal between HuiCi Health Management in Suzhou, China, Washington University School of Medicine, and Siteman Cancer Center. This story began 15 years ago with an international student from Suzhou, China named Eric Tong Jiang. While completing his

MBA at Washington University, Eric collaborated with me at the international healthcare department at Barnes Jewish Hospital, and ultimately worked in our office for another year after graduating.

completed, throught this project, we are seeing first-hand the advantages of these long-term relationships and St. Louis’ greater global connectivity.

Eric has always maintained a connection to and love of St. Louis and the many relationships he developed during his time here.

Macroeconomic forces such as regulations, free trade agreements, and immigration laws are still beyond the control of any one given community. But cities that prioritize global engagement will seize the benefits, including increased exports, foreign investment, global talent, and playing an active role in international networks that foster innovation.

When asked to lead the China National Development Bank and Huici Healthcare’s search for a medical school partner in the United States, it was Eric who championed St. Louis and the connections to Washington University. Healthcare is a center of innovation and technology in St. Louis. It represents a strong opportunity for future global investment and service related exports – to China and throughout the world. While the agreement is not officially

Growing global is challenging.

The combined strategies led by the World Trade Center seek to prepare St. Louis for long-term economic growth tied to global, rather than just national, economies. Thank you for your tremendous support over the past 25-years and your continued partnership during the next.


HEC Magazine

Pulitzer Arts Foundation Features the Work of Pioneering Women By Kerry Marks


The sculptures of Ruth Asawa and the photography of Lola Álvarez Bravo at first appear to have nothing in common. Asawa’s art includes three dimensional objects that seem to float effortlessly in the air despite consisting of metal wire, with more grounded pieces cast in bronze or copper-plated and line-based two dimensional art. Álvarez Bravo’s photographs depict the people and landscapes of 20th century Mexico in a series of brilliant black and white images. It’s the themes that overlap – studies of pattern, light, nature, and modernism. There’s also a resonance within the lives of the two artists. Both women enjoyed more regional appreciation than wide-spread recognition. Ruth Asawa was born in southern California in 1926. She worked on her family’s farm during the Great Depression as a young child. Then as a first-generation Japanese-American, faced internment during World War II in New Mexico and then in Arkansas, surrounded by barbed-wire fence. She later attended the progressive and experimental Black Mountain College, but it would be a summer trip to Mexico that would inspire her life’s work. It was there that she developed a love for the wire baskets that would traditionally be used to hold eggs. The techniques used by local craftsmen would become foundational to her work as a sculptress. Asawa became a determined advocate for the arts in education, viewing it as essential to creating “greater awareness” and becoming “more highly skilled in thinking.” Her campaign for arts in education led to the prestigious Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. Asawa’s philosophy in art and education went back to her formative years on the farm. “When you put a seed in the ground, it doesn’t stop growing after eight hours. It keeps going every minute that it’s in the earth. We, too, need to keep growing every moment of every day that we are on this earth,” she said. Dolores Martinez de Anda was born in 1903 in Mexico. Her parents both died when she was still a child and Dolores or “Lola” moved to Mexico City to live with her brothers. Lola married Manuel Álvarez Bravo in 1925. Her husband would become one of the most important photographers in Latin America, winning significant international acclaim. After their divorce in 1934, Lola took up her own career as a photojournalist and portraitist, pioneering the way for women in that field. Branching out, Álvarez Bravo later became the Director of Photography at the National Institute of Fine Arts and opened her own gallery where she was the first and only person in Mexico City to feature the work of Frida Kahlo. Her work documents the changing landscape, industry, and society of Mexico with a humanistic and experimental eye. Her art is at once candid and composed, observational and fantastical. Speaking of her career, Álvarez Bravo said “If my photos have any value, it’s because they show a Mexico that no longer exists.” With “Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work” and “Lola Álvarez Bravo: Picturing Mexico,” the Pulitzer Arts Foundation spotlights art born of two fascinating women – survivors, fighters, and innovators. They are women who left a remarkable, if underappreciated legacy.

October 2018

interactive activities on, how to make the world a better place By Gabrielle Corley

What does cuddling a newborn, pulling trash out of a watershed, and giving middle school classrooms a new coat of paint have in common? Well, you might be surprised to find all those activities and much more, happening on the last weekend in October on National Make a Difference Day 2018. Since 1992, Make A Difference Day has inspired hundreds of thousands of volunteers to give back in their local communities, and shows that anyone, any age, any background, can make a positive impact. The Nonprofit Times estimated the number of volunteers in the United States was 63 million in 2017, and the time they give to others is worth about $24.69 an hour.* All efforts, large and small, make a difference. There are many things that motivate humans to join a cause or lend a hand without expecting a paycheck in return. Most common, is the feeling useful activities bring us. It’s that warm glow you get when you know you’ve done a good thing. Volunteering is also a good way to get experience doing something new, or to improve a skill set that you already have. Many high schools encourage students to put in some hours of community service for the experience it provides them. Students learn to negotiate work spaces, deal with a wide variety of people, and gain that very important ‘real world’ knowledge about a topic that interests them by volunteering. In our local communities opportunities to make a difference are plenty. Although we celebrate with a ‘day’, there are year-round events and activities to keep the spirit of giving alive, including on Educate.Today! On Educate.Today, just click on “Character Education” and you can watch so many videos relating to the importance of teaching kindness, the importance of developing empathy, and so much more! Also, mark your calendars for October 18 for Making a Difference Day on Educate.Today, a full day dedicated to organizations that are leading the way, and classroom activities for you to partake in. Stay tuned to Educate.Today for more information on these programs. Want to get out in the community? A good way to start

is to visit the FUN4STLKids website where you can find organizations, events, and places where families can volunteer with their kids and where teens can complete their required volunteer hours for school in the St. Louis area. Another good place to search for opportunities is the volunteer Match website at https://www.volunteermatch. org/. You can filter opportunities by age group and interest to find the ‘just right’ volunteer activity for your needs. And of course, your local community groups such as churches, schools, and civic organizations are always offering opportunities to “Make a Difference” right in your own neighborhood. Many schools, hospitals, animal shelters, and special events depend on volunteers to help things run smoothly. You can volunteer to help run concession stands at sporting events (and watch the game to boot)! You can volunteer in hospitals to man the help desks, sell gifts in the gift store, sit with lonely people, or run errands. You can even volunteer to count butterflies for a wildlife group or tutor a teenager in algebra! Let’s say that you have a BIG idea and want to start a project to address that need. The Points of Light foundation is a good place to start (https://www. They can help connect you with others and can provide funds for worthwhile endeavors. You can also register an existing organization to be displayed on their website. Some examples of large community-based projects are 5K runs that raise funds for a charity, or school supply drives for kids who need a little help to get outfitted for learning. So, what can you do on your own? Maybe take your scout troop for a walk and pick up trash. Volunteer to read to little kids in local schools. You can even visit an elderly neighbor and offer to rake leaves or run errands for them. Remember, it all adds up and really does ‘Make a Difference’. * volunteer-value-2-3-percent-24-69-hour


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Make a Difference  

Did you know Oct. 27 is Make a Difference Day? We have loads of volunteer ideas and programming to make the most out of this special day! Al...

Make a Difference  

Did you know Oct. 27 is Make a Difference Day? We have loads of volunteer ideas and programming to make the most out of this special day! Al...