Remember When

Remember When

Everyone grows up differently, but many of us share that same nostalgia for the place where we were raised. Whether you miss walking to the park with your friends, learning the day's gossip from your next door neighbor or visiting your favorite local restaurant, the safety and love you felt in your first neighborhood stays with you forever. For many residents living near our new office, that is Lindell Park.

Although our new building officially sits inside the larger neighborhood of Jeff Vander Lou, we are also a part of the smaller community of Lindell Park. We were lucky enough to sit down with five residents of Lindell Park to learn more about their home.

Four of the five residents we spoke with grew up in Lindell Park and their families have lived here since the 60s. Mr. Robert's family moved into the neighborhood in 1961. He remembers watching baseball and even football at Sportsman's Park, and as a young man he made extra money as a valet for spectators who drove into the city for the games. Ms. May's parents moved here in 1968 as first time homeowners moving from a large apartment complex.  Mr. Will's grandparents purchased their home in Lindell Park in 1966. What he remembers most about growing up here is "the closeness of the neighborhood". He remembers being able to walk safely to Fairground Park, Herbert Hoover and the YMCA where we are situated today.  Mr. Robert told us that "Whatever you needed, you didn't have to go far". There was a Woolworths up the street and Percy's Barber Shop on the corner. There were mom and pop restaurants in walking distance, dry cleaners and even a movie theater on Natural Bridge and Grand.

It's easy to get caught up in reminiscing, but here, there are also goals for the future. Long time residents worry about decreasing home ownership and hope that more sit-down restaurants will move in and play an active role in the community. They also want to see systemic change such as faster response times and better relationships with local police. 

Today, this neighborhood is still close-knit. Neighbors take care of each other and pray for each other. Ms. May and Ms. Marilyn regularly pick up trash on their street that flows in from Grand, a neighborhood organization meets once a month at Jubilee Community Church and residents stay in contact with local politicians to push for positive change throughout their community. 

We asked Ms. May what she wants supporters of Mission: St. Louis to know about Lindell Park. She said,

“This is a loving, caring, family oriented neighborhood that just needs a little revitalization".

We hope that our relationship with Lindell Park and all of Jeff Vander Lou will continue to grow and we are excited to see what our shared future will bring. 

Meet Mission: St. Louis' Ambassadors Board

Meet Mission: St. Louis' Ambassadors Board

The Mission: St. Louis Ambassadors Board is a group of dedicated individuals who work together to plan, promote and participate in events supporting our programs and mission.  We would like to showcase our committed members of the Ambassadors Broad to celebrate the board's two year anniversary. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us at mandy@missionstl.org. 

Get to know the current members of the Ambassadors Board!

From top left to bottom right; Daniel, Natasha, Morgan, Pam, Crystal, Barrett, Nate, Cate, Michelle

Natasha: It was an opportunity to support Mission: St. Louis with one of my favorite pastimes; event planning. When I was younger, I aspired to be a celebrity event planner (probably needless to say that it didn’t work out). But I was excited to be able to incorporate some fun into philanthropy!

Pam: I wanted to spread the word about Mission St. Louis and come up with creative ways for young professionals to learn about it.

Daniel: I moved back to St. Louis after being abroad and wanted to reconnect with the St Louis community by getting involved.

Michelle: I decided to become an ambassador because I had been volunteering for specific events for MSTL since 2007, but wanted to get more involved. I also was looking for the opportunity to meet new friends, and , as a professional, it's a great resume builder!  So far, it's met all my expectations!

Crystal: I wanted to be a part of something highly needed in this city and Christ centered. 

Natasha: Seeing the finished product, when the event comes together.

Barrett: Spreading the word.

Crystal: The team I get to work with and how it keeps me aware of the reality of the needs of others in my city.

Cate: Learning about all the different programs and witnessing real positive change happen in the St. Louis community.

Daniel: Being able to provide support to a great non-profit and working with other ambassadors to come up with new fundraising events to benefit Mission St Louis's different programs.

Pam: Meeting other young professionals who are passionate about supporting Mission St. Louis and seeing new people become involved.

Natasha: I love that Mission: St. Louis strives for empowerment, giving people the tools to succeed rather than a handout. I’m proud to support an organization that is focused on those fundamental steps to overcome poverty.

Crystal: When I hear the success and accomplishments of this organization, I get goosebumps.  It’s truly making a lasting impact. 

Daniel: I believe in the work that Mission St. Louis does and want to help by using the resources and experience that I have from my career.

Cate: Their mission is holistic and very rooted in relationship-building. I think the only way to really make a difference in a person's life is to build a relationship with them. That takes time, energy, and is challenging to do well, but MSTL isn't afraid to put that at the core of it's programs.

Natasha: I spend a lot of time playing with spreadsheets. Though outside of the office, I love to travel, go to shows or dabble in some up-cycle craft projects.

Crystal: I enjoy doing a variety of things with interior design, decorating and real estate.

Daniel: My work as an engineer regularly takes me abroad to support our other sites. Outside of work, I play music or train for my next race.

Pam: I'm active in local politics.

Morgan: I love reading, being outdoors and looking for new places to hike across Missouri.
 

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Crystal: All things foodie and festival related.  We’ve got some great food and music! -Blue City Deli has the best smoked pulled pork sandwich ever!!

Cate: My husband and I are members at the Botanical Garden so I love to visit when the weather is nice. I also love tossing around a Frisbee in Tower Grove Park and catching matinee movies at the Hi-Pointe theater. As for food, I'd have to say all the Bailey's restaurants for dinner and dessert, Union Loafers for lunch, and SweetArt or Rise Coffee House for a latte and breakfast sandwich that is out of this world.

Daniel: Vista Ramen is a new favorite restaurant of mine. 

Pam: I love Tower Grove Park and Garden on Grand. 

 

Michelle: My favorite thing to do in St. Louis is probably the Tower Grove farmers market and free yoga on Saturday mornings.  Also hiking in Castlewood Park. My favorite place to eat right now is Lulu's Local Eatery. Try the cauliflower bites! 

MorganEating! My favorite restaurant is Guerrilla Street Food and favorite place for ice cream is Clementine's Creamery.  

Natasha: I could probably live in Forest Park; there’s so much to do! My favorite place to eat is The Vine, without a doubt.

Natasha: My advice is to consider your hobby or expertise; then think about how that can be be put into action for a cause that you’re passionate about. And most importantly, say yes! There are lots of opportunities out there, so don’t be afraid to take one.

MorganThe great thing about St. Louis is there are volunteer opportunities all around. I think people should decide on a cause that is important to them and do some research. It's important to believe in an agency's mission and know who or what their programs serve.

PamFind something you're interested in or care about - and lookup local groups related to it. It's amazing how many circles overlap in St. Louis, which makes it a lot easier to meet people once you start getting involved. 

Daniel: Look to friends and family who are already involved in something. They will be your best resource for helping you find something that will work for you. 

Barrett: It's easy! Reach out to an organization that you feel strongly about.

Michelle: There are so many avenues! Find something that interests you and volunteer to try it out.  Network!  Go to your neighborhood association meetings.  The key is to find something that excites you and spend more time doing it.  Don't worry about how long you'll be in St. Louis or if you'll be good at something; anything that makes you smile is worth whatever time you can give.  This city needs everyone to get involved doing what they love!!!  Get your kids/family/friends to do it too!  The more the merrier!

Cate: Spend time in the neighborhood you live in and learn more about the causes that really resonate with you. Build relationships with people who are different from you. I think people's passions are really developed when they invest in and observe the spaces that they spend time in and when they really pay attention to what is going on.

Crystal: For low commitment but very helpful: Join our Ambassador Network to attend and invite friends to social activities with a cause.  For more commitment: Apply to be an Ambassador to help plan future fundraising events. Or check out volunteer opportunities directly with Mission: St. Louis and their programs.

 

THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW TO GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

If you thrive on planning events and relish at the chance to meet new people, the Ambassadors Board is looking for you. We want to bring together enthusiastic and self motivated leaders to champion our mission and develop partnerships throughout the St. Louis Community. Join the Ambassador Board Facebook to keep updated on events or contact Mandy at mandy@missionstl.org to learn more. 

 

2016 Top Ten Social Media Favorites

2016 Top Ten Social Media Favorites

2016 was a year of new adventures for Mission: St. Louis. From successful volunteer events to tough conversations to great parties, 2016 had it all. Let’s take some time to remember the year and reflect on your favorite social media moments! 

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Thank you St. Louligans for choosing us as your Charity Du Jour last August! We love supporting St. Louis sports and love it when they support us! Go St. Louligans! 

 

Number Nine: Suave Creations Barbershop

Looking your best can make a big difference in the professional world. Rico of Suave Creations Barbershop helped make that possible for our summer JLT class by providing haircuts for graduation.  We are honored by the hard working men who graduated our four JLT sessions last year. 

Number Eight: Night for the Town

Once again, Night for the Town was a night to remember! With music from Jake Gehret and the Broke Down Sound, delicious food, inspiring speakers and a great after party, we won't soon forget our time there. Our photo album for the event received 113 likes on Facebook and reached 2,316 viewers!

Number Seven: Affordable Christmas

With your help, we raised $15,966, collected and purchased more than 2000 toys, and served 228 families and 816 kids in 2016! We had 160 volunteers, toy drives by 6 different organizations, and received donations from countless individuals. You made it happen!

 

 

 

 

Number Six: Meet DeAndre

Our JLT graduates work hard. They have to overcome personal struggle, past mistakes and inequality. One student who stood out this year was DeAndre. Our first intern and hiree at BJC HealthCare worked hard to make his own success. His story was liked 81 times and shared 32 times on Facebook, liked 54 times on Instagram, and his blog had 114 views! 

Number Five: Church's Loves St. Louis

When Church's Chicken decided to feature both Josh and Jason in their documentary on St. Louis, we were honored. The final product is a beautiful representation of our city. 

Number Four: The Big Move! 

Our 3.6 mile step was big news in 2016. Thank you for 110 Likes on Facebook and 52 likes on Instagram. This also marks one of our most popular blogs with 367 views!  

Number Three: Beyond School and The Mission Continues

Our Partnerships with other organizations have created amazing experiences for the individuals we serve. In early January, we partnered with the Mission Continues to bring police officers to speak with Beyond School students. They discussed what to do when in danger, how to approach an officer without fear and career goals. We hope to facilitate more important conversations in the future. 

Number Two: Happy Birthday Revive!

Revive celebrated it's 2nd Birthday on April 30th and Rack+Clutch, Noonday Jewlery, and The Cup joined us for the party. 

Number One: Brackets for Good and great dancing

Everyone knows the best bracket competition of year isn't March Madness or Fantasy Football. It's Brackets for Good! Last year we made it all the way to the fourth round, when we were sadly defeated by Athletes for Animals. The competition became really intense when Beyond School got involved. Erin Malone, Director of Beyond School, and several talented students created our most shared post of the year. 22,918 people saw our post and 1,169 people watched our video. 

Thank you for a great year. We can't wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2017.

Meet Jeramie

Meet Jeramie

Meet Jeramie. Jeramie graduated JLT in 2013, but his relationship with Mission: St. Louis and Beyond Jobs didn’t end there. After graduating, he stayed in touch with the Beyond Jobs staff, especially Chris Hill. When personal struggle struck, Chris and Beyond Jobs were there to provide support.  “I was on my way down..., but they kept me grounded”. Right away, Jeramie was connected with Hire: St. Louis.  

Hire St. Louis, which began in 2014, is an expansion of Mission: St. Louis’ Beyond Jobs programming. This staffing agency acts as a catalyst to create successful relationships between employees and businesses. That’s just what happened for Jeramie and his new employer, Patch Properties. By connecting Jeramie with Patch Properties, Jeramie found a job that he could feel good about, and he continues to be a committed and dedicated employee.

Today Jeramie works at an apartment complex owned by Patch Properties doing daily maintenance for the building. He says that what he really likes about the position is knowing there are people who depend on him. He is able to positively impact people by keeping the building in good shape. Not only has Jeramie found a good job, but through this position he found housing where he works. Now he can live independently, work with his hands and provide support to others everyday.

If you are interested in looking for employment through Hire St. Louis or getting involved as an employer, you can learn more on our web page here and fill out an application.