Charity & Grassroots in Chesterfield

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Opening hours are a little funky: both locations are open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, but alternate Tuesday evenings (2 p.m.–6 p.m.). On the first and third Tuesday of the month, stop by the Crestwood Court locale. On the second and fourth, head to the Chesterfield Mall instead. Load up on back-to-school supplies, back-to-school teaching materials, and back-to-school VHS copies of Back to School with today's side deal.

291 Chesterfield Mall
Chesterfield,
MO
US

In 2010, 2-year-old Ella McPheeters was diagnosed with autism. Her parents, Hope and Sam, soon became frustrated with the long waiting lists for behavioral-therapy programs and other services and decided to do something about it. They rallied the local community and won a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to found Ella's Hope for Autism. Ella’s Hope aims to raise awareness of autism and increase the availability of therapeutic resources for young children with autism-spectrum disorders. Working with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Ella's Hope also sponsors scholarships for families and maintains an autism lending library.

109 Windy Acres Estates Drive
Ballwin,
MO
US

Located near the intersection of I-70 and I-270, St. Louis Area Foodbank has easy access to 12 counties in Illinois and 14 counties in Missouri. It uses this real estate well, too, sending out trucks loaded up with more than 35 million pounds of food to 500 pantries and soup kitchens in those 26 counties. Those partner organizations then deliver that food to hungry families?something they've done since the Foodbank's inception in 1975.?

While feeding as many people as it does, the organization still makes an effort to follow the lives of the people it helps. In the past,?St. Louis Area Foodbank fed Doris, a senior citizen from Farmington who volunteers at the local food pantry, Ken and Krista from Carlyle, who had to choose between paying bills and feeding their children, and with Dianna from Salem, who lost everything in a fire. The organization feeds more than 57,000 people just like this every week, supporting them when they're unable to make ends meet.?

70 Corporate Woods Drive
Bridgeton,
MO
US

The astronauts deftly dodge the oncoming trickle of rocks and debris from the meteor shower, and as the rubble clears they see the Moon up ahead. It is at this site that they?ll soon establish the first permanent human base. Though it sounds like science fiction, novice astronauts attempt this feat daily at Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis. Part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education?a nonprofit founded by the families of the astronauts who died in the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle mission?the center educates visitors in science and teamwork with its space simulators. Whether navigating a spacecraft or abetting astronauts at a Mission Control modeled after NASA?s Johnson Space Center, student, community, and corporate groups must maintain a cooperative spirit while assembling a probe, or being the first human to land on Mars.

205 Brotherton Ln.
Saint Louis,
MO
US

While childhood obesity is a topic that receives widespread attention, registered nurse Jean Huelsing uncovered a facet of the issue that many have overlooked: some of the very "fat camps" designed to help overweight kids slim down were actually part of the problem. She takes issue with these camps? short-term approach, as they rely on fast-acting diets rather than instilling healthier lifestyle habits. Striving to succeed where other camps failed, Jean started Camp Jump Start in 2003 and, just three years and a score of happy campers later, founded The Living Well Foundation to extend the reach of her holistic-wellness principles.

The organization now hosts a wide range of camps for adults and children alike. They?re held at Living Well Village, which occupies 250 acres in the woods, where campers can develop a love for active pastimes through outdoor activities, such as navigating ropes courses, fishing, and juggling beavers.

3602 Lions Den Rd
Imperial,
MO
US

Working as a pediatrician in 2004, Dr. Joe Cangas noticed that many local children didn’t wear helmets while riding their bicycles. Concerned for their safety, he began talking to children at local schools and founded Helmets First! as his mission grew. As the Helmet Doctor, he conducts regular talks at neighborhood schools, clubs, and community centers, teaching youth about the importance of wearing helmets. His organization also runs events where it distributes free helmets to youth from low-income backgrounds after measuring their heads for the proper fit. Only with a proper fit are helmets effective at preventing traumatic head injuries. Since its inception, Helmet First! has donated more than 14,000 helmets to local youth.

109 W Legion Ave
Columbia,
IL
US