Helping St. Louis

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Posts Tagged ‘Young Professionals’

Shalom Outreach Society

Posted by Schevus on November 26, 2008

One of the organizations that I am most active with in St. Louis is the Shalom House Women’s Shelter. Shalom House (formerly known as Metro Homeless Center) provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless women suffering from chemical dependency, substance abuse, and mental health issues. For more information on Shalom House itself, you can visit their website.

Most of the supporters, financial or otherwise, of Shalom House are older and aging. This is true of many of the charities in the city and around the country. Because of this, the staff wanted to find a way to build investment in the organization with younger people in order to provide continuity of support when the older supporters pass on.  Thus, the Shalom Outreach Society was created.

The idea of the the Outreach Society is to bring young professionals together in a more social atmosphere in order to promote advocacy for the shelter, and further build interest among the younger population. The society has a very informal structure, without the designated roles that are found in most similar organizations. We share and rotate the responsibilities of facilitating meetings, attending board meetings for the shelter, etc. This allows everyone to build their leadership abilities, and prevents single points of failure.

The Outreach Society sponsors fund raising events targeting young people to benefit the shelter. Our signature event, which went well this year despite a fast moving weather cell, is the Tri-Ball-Athon. This event consists of teams of up to 10 participating in kickball, volleyball, and bocce ball. There is also music and food and drink vendors, with proceeds going to Shalom House. Next year (2009) Tri-Ball-Athon will be held May 30th in Forest Park.

In addition to Tri-Ball-Athon, the Outreach Society also sponsors at least one other fundraising event a year. This past Thursday we had an awesome happy hour event at Newstead Tower Public House. They graciously donated 25% of all proceeds to Shalom House. We haven’t got totals back yet, but we had a packed house and a great time was had by all.

If you are interested in the Shalom Outreach Society please drop me a note. We are a very friendly and enjoyable group and are ALWAYS looking for new members. Also, please share any stories of organizations for young people that you know of or are a part of (even if they aren’t in St. Louis!!).

Note: Shalom House and the Shalom Outreach Society have no Jewish connection. I’m not saying anything would be wrong with that, just clarifying because that is often a point of confusion.


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