Available through the Child Day Care Association's library for childcare centers, a toddler-naptime package includes a cot, child's blanket, and an educational book to help provide a clean, cozy naptime. The children can also take the books home to read before bedtime.
Beyond its tile mosaic and granite façade, Water Street's chefs create dinners from locally acquired ingredients. Modern and retro decorations backdrop bartenders as they fill delicate vintage coupes and other glassware with beers, wines, and cocktails, such as the vintage cocktail of the week. They also mix mainstays such as the Immortal Clay by shaking together tequila, cherry heering, and agave nectar. Dinnertime brings a menu of dishes such as polenta with sauteed mushrooms, chicken pot pie enveloped in a puff pastry, and golden trout layered with bacon over a white bean ragout with green beans. The kitchen also stays open late, whipping up deviled eggs, dates stuffed with goat cheese, and other bar noshes.
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.
Fire. Hammers. A pottery wheel. Some of humanity’s most elemental and primitive tools, yet into the 21st century they remain. And Craft Alliance Program Director Susan Donahue Yates attests that they’re some of the coolest. With each season’s catalog of classes, some of the most popular, according to Yates, let students play with fire, hammer metal into jewelry, or shape a lump of clay into something as fundamentally beautiful as a baby seal mimicking the Mona Lisa’s wry smirk.
At Craft Alliance, the focus is art in all its forms. Whether the tool is the raw flame fusing cut copper or a Mac loaded with Photoshop image-editing software, the intention to inspire and to create remains the same. Its two locations schedule seasonal terms with four- to six-week classes, as well as intensive workshops and children’s classes. Guiding each student along his or her adventure, skilled faculty instruct from experience. Most are working artists who exhibit their work and who have reaped their experience from the trenches of the art world.
Craft Alliance is not just empowering people with knowledge; they are also helping people make mugs, bowls, wooden spinning tops, rings, rugs, and digital photo albums. Many of these things are practical and serve a functional purpose. But many do not—they’re just beautiful things, like vestigial tails. A good number of these pieces are created by hand and are meant to remind us, as Yates remarked, that everyone can do something different from their everyday, workaday lives by adding beauty to a world that truly needs it.
The student and faculty artists backbone the Craft Alliance community, which in 2014 celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Grand Center location represents a regeneration of an arts district already pillared by the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall, and St. Louis University.
Cornerstone Corporation aims to provide new roofs and weatherproofing for two houses to ensure a warm, dry winter. The homes accommodate two single-parent families and a third cornerstone resident. The current roofs have been patched many times and are still weathered and leaking. A group of volunteers will tear off the existing roofs in preparation for Republic Roofing to install new ones. Cornerstone Corporation is in need of funds to purchase tools, tarps, and supplies and to rent dumpsters so the volunteers can remove the existing roofs.
Operation Food Search’s Operation Backpack program distributes nutritious weekend meals to chronically hungry children, as identified by their teachers or administrators. Each Friday for 32 weeks during the school year, each child enrolled in the program discreetly receives a backpack filled with simple recipes, nutrition information, and nutritious food that they can easily prepare and eat at home. Each backpack contains canned fruit, canned vegetables, two cereal items, two entrees, a dairy item, and two healthy snacks, providing enough wholesome food for two days' worth of meals.