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Care To Learn Raises Up the Region's Children

Care To Learn Raises Up the Region's Children

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From left to right, founder Doug Pitt is with executive VP of Operations at Mercy Donn Sorensen, who serves as Care to Learn’s advisory board chair.

Poverty can have lasting effects on youth as they pursue their educations. Care to Learn seeks to even the playing field by gifting schoolchildren with what they, at a most basic human level, deserve: access to food, clean hygiene and health care.

Founder Doug Pitt recalls community stories of three siblings sharing a toothbrush, or a little girl wearing her mother’s high-heeled shoes because she had no other options, or the fifth-grade boy who was teased for wearing his mother’s jeans. These tales drove him into action.

“If I could just find these kids, give them self-esteem and just let them be kids,” he recalls. “These things are simple fixes and, so, Care to Learn was born.”

The Greater St. Louis Region chapter hosts its annual fundraiser, a Venetian Masquerade Ball, to support the organization in its efforts. “We stretch the donation dollars a lot farther and get them right to the kids,” Pitt details. “A lot of young kids deal with adult situations. We can smooth this passage and get them back in the classroom.”

During the COVID-19 public health crisis, Care to Learn has taken action to assist children with their immediate health, hunger and hygiene needs. The organization hopes to sustain this effort but funds are going out faster than usual because of the heightened needs of the community. Your donations can ensure Care to Learn continues its great work.

Donn Sorensen, advisory board chair, believes people need community to flourish and that this happens through access to food, health care, education, infrastructure and justice. “Those in poverty don’t necessarily have access,” he says. “That’s what giving back does – it fixes injustices.”

According to him, the poverty and achievement gap are widening, with one in four children born into poverty in the greater St. Louis area. “To break that and get kids out of poverty, education is fundamental,” Sorensen states. “The horrible irony is that poverty itself is a barrier to attending school. Kids are born into poverty; it’s not their fault. We have a responsibility to help them break that cycle by staying in school.”

Do your part to better a child’s life today. Snag your seat at the upcoming Venetian Masquerade Ball or make a donation at

Care to Learn - Greater St. Louis Region, P.O. Box 21784, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-712-7882,


Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

Cocktail Reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dining & Program from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Palladium Saint Louis

The Greater St. Louis Region chapter of Care to Learn invites you to its annual fundraiser to support the nonprofit organization in unmasking health, hunger and hygiene barriers. Sponsorships start at $1,000, with VIP tickets priced at $250 a person. Creative dress, masks and black tie are all encouraged. Register at

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