His skills are far beyond your wildest imagination: By day, he dons a black T-shirt and shorts as a personal trainer; by night, he can be found in wigs, tights, capes, feathers and mirrors. Meet Leo Stoff, one of the most versatile performance artists in St Louis, who excels in trick-roping, stilt-walking, aerial silks and Japanese Taiko drumming.
James Beethe could buy his HIV medication—or food. The cost of caring for the illness became increasingly difficult, eventually leaving him unable to pay rent. That’s when he stepped across the threshold of Doorways.
Sometimes—on very rare occasions—when something sounds too good to be true, it actually isn’t. Some 51,000 people found that out in the first quarter of this year alone, through the efforts of RxOutreach, Inc.
For families who live outside the 50-mile radius of St. Louis but who have children in a local hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provides them with a home away from home.
Since 2007, more than 200 post-9/11 veterans have been awarded fellowships to better themselves and their communities through St. Louis-based nonprofit The Mission Continues.
Natalie Blakemore, along with her husband, Todd, launched Unlimited Play Inc. in 2003. By spring of 2007, their dream of a fully accessible place for all to play came to fruition with Zachary’s Playground in Lake St. Louis.
When many people think back to childhood, they remember the stacks of books lining their bedroom walls or being read to every night at bedtime. But not all area children are so fortunate. That’s where Ready Readers steps in.
Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Johnston
When Keita arrived at Almost Home, she was homeless, depressed, and she had just had a baby. As she holds her now-5-month-old son, she describes what she’s gained in the last several months. “I’ve become a better person.”
For months, student Cordale Denton endured painful headaches and struggled to see the board in class. The teenager’s vision was suffering after his only pair of glasses had broken. That’s where Lifelong Vision Foundation came in.
As is often said, kids don’t come with an instruction manual. But for parents of kids with autism and developmental disabilities, Easter Seals Midwest provides a team of therapists and volunteers ready to help.
As one of the female pioneers of St. Louis PR, Joan Quicksilver—who is known not only among local PR circles, but throughout the community—has seen women go from being minimalized in the industry to now being dominant influences.
After years of eating only hybrid tomatoes, my first taste of an heirloom tomato eight years ago forever convinced me that hybrids no longer had a place on my plate. I was enlightened, to say the least. And so now with pork, according to Taste Network’s Brady Lowe, the founder of the Cochon 555 event (in St. Louis Aug. 25), it’s time to realize there is more to the pig, as well.
The self-proclaimed ‘living laboratory’ that is Laumeier Sculpture Park is focused on uniting contemporary artwork with the Missouri landscape. Throughout its 105 acres, the park welcomes some 300,000 visitors annually.
LN’s 2013 Charity Awards had something new this year: an online system that offered readers the opportunity to nominate individuals and organizations for their community service. Congratulations to our winners!
The devastating scene of an unwanted cat or dog being left in a box, on a curb or in the rain is not simply an emotive scene from the movies—it is the world many animals live in. With the earnest goal to help animals, the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) is there to take in lost, stray or unwanted pets and work to find them loving forever homes.
The Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Program’s (IRWP) clients come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and dozens of other countries. While each of the women served has a different story and faces her own challenges, they all share a desire to learn. “One of our first questions when we meet them is, Why do you want to learn English?” says executive director Pat Joshu. “I’ve had several look at me and say that nobody has ever asked them that before: What do they want?”
Retasha Smith arrived at The Haven of Grace’s doorstep alone, pregnant and confused. But the organization quickly came to her rescue. A dependable support system and resources to become independent led her to a productive family life.
An unusually warm summer night in Seattle in 2009 would forever change the lives of countless St. Louisans. A man trespassed through an open window of the residence St. Louis native Teresa Butz shared with her fiancée, Jennifer Hopper. The intruder sexually assaulted and stabbed the women, eventually killing Butz.
“We serve some of the most frail and fragile people in the whole world,” says Sue Hockensmith, co-founder of Pony Bird Inc., a care provider for non-ambulatory individuals with profound mental and physical disabilities.
There were merely seven Mexican gray wolves left worldwide in 1971. Today, the population is past 300 living in captivity, with more than 70 additional wolves living in the wild, thanks to Missouri’s Endangered Wolf Center.
In 2009, Gateway Children’s Charity was founded by a group of eight people who wanted to make a tangible difference in the lives of local kids. “In our opinion, there was a void or gap that existed in funding projects that were on the smaller side, which maybe didn’t qualify for or were overlooked by bigger charity groups. We wanted to help fill that void,” says Michael Todorovich II, the nonprofit’s president and one of the founding board members.
Michael Russell is realizing his dream as a biology major at Webster University. Thanks to ACCESS Academies, he is the first person in his family to go to college.
Countless clients credit Bethany Place with saving their lives.
Anyone can talk about making a difference in teens’ lives, but at Wyman Center it’s the numbers that do the talking. Take, for example, Brittany Woods Middle School in University City, where Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program is being offered to all seventh grade students. At the end of the first semester this year, school principal Jamie Jordan looked at the students’ comportment data, explains Wyman president/CEO Dave Hilliard. “Among the 200 sixth-graders, she had 40 referrals to the office for disruptive behavior,” he says. Among the seventh-graders, who had gone through half of the Wyman program, there were half as many referrals. “Among the eighth-graders, who had gone through the entire program, she had only four referrals to the office in the entire semester. There was a 95-percent difference among kids who had the program and learned how to use skills to be successful and avoid conflict.”