Give Back and Get Involved: The St. Louis Giving Guide
Throughout the St. Louis region, passionate people and organizations are affecting positive change year-round, and especially during the holiday season. Below, we introduce a handful of our featured partners and show you why we believe that they are moving our community forward. Together, and with your help, we plan to make a difference.
Jazz St. Louis
As the region’s leading presenter of jazz, Jazz St. Louis teaches the cultural significance and historical importance of the genre while encouraging appreciation for the music itself. Jazz St. Louis aims to draw diverse groups of people from all walks of life into jazz music. The organization’s unique model of requiring visiting artists to engage in education and outreach activities such as lectures, master classes and in-school performances allows it to introduce children and adults to the music, develop current and future musicians and create a sense of community.
For more than a decade, Jazz St. Louis has worked with under-served districts such as Normandy and East St. Louis to provide arts programming and music education that gives students the opportunity to experience jazz, learn an instrument and be inspired by the power of music. Additionally, the new Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz is one of the St. Louis region’s prime cultural attractions and has had a significant economic impact on the Grand Center arts district.
When investigating ways to give back this season, we recommend considering Jazz St. Louis. The organization relies on financial support from individuals, corporations and foundations to ensure that it offers the highest quality performances to the community and continues to provide education and outreach opportunities at no cost to adults, students and schools.
Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria
To co-owners and operators Katie and Ted Collier, their successful restaurant is much more than a food service. “We are building our brand with value and hope. St. Louis has molded us into who we are today and we appreciate every opportunity the city has given us. We think it is only right to give back, and it benefits our neighbors, customers, friends and everyone in between,” Katie Collier says. The Giveback Tuesday program at Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria reserves 100 percent of all earned proceeds on one Tuesday each month for a designated charity or non-profit organization. “There are so many great charities in St. Louis, we couldn’t pick just one so we decided each month will benefit a different one, all very different. We like to choose charities that serve the neediest in our community,” Collier explains.
Since beginning the program in July of 2014, Katie and Ted have donated more than $80,000 to local non-profit initiatives. The team at Katie’s truly believes that giving back helps us all become better people. Collier continues, “Giveback Tuesday creates a healthy and positive culture for our staff. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community that supports us and our families.”
Artmart owner Keith Baizer is passionate about giving back to the community. Since 1952, the family business has adhered to the philosophy that good things come to those who create, and their generous support of the St. Louis art community is legendary. The Greater St. Louis Art Association (GSLAA) recently recognized Baizer by presenting him with the Champion for the Arts award. Baizer has worked within the St. Louis art community for more than 30 years to promote the importance of art and how it enriches the community. During this time, Baizer has generously donated supplies for hospital programs and space to host “Arts As Healing” art classes for cancer patients, provided supplies for Craft Alliance and St. Louis Artworks in support of local children’s programs, and endowed art scholarships at both Washington University in St. Louis and Webster University. “We support St. Louis artists and then they come back and support us,” says Baizer. “Caring and giving back is always at the core of my personal beliefs and our company culture at Artmart.”
Among Artmart’s many philanthropic initiatives is “Say Yes to Art,” which is dedicated to giving back to the local art community in St. Louis. As part of “Say Yes to Art,” Artmart supports a new local organization every month. The chosen organization receives a percentage of art supply sales and receives additional support through social media posts, professionally produced videos and a space in the store to showcase their organization. Clearly, this locally- owned gem values the importance of giving back.
Robust Wine Bar
If you believe good karma can extend to the success of small business, entrepreneurs Arlene and Stanley Browne have many happy lives to look forward to. The husband-and-wife team behind Robust Wine Bar is dedicated to giving back to the city they call home. “Arlene was born and raised in St. Louis. Together we have built businesses and are raising a family here. It is our responsibility and privilege to support the community in which we live, work and play,” Stanley says.
For the pair, it’s not just about donating money or auction items to fundraisers; it’s also about volunteering their time and supporting causes and organizations that they believe will truly make a difference in the community. “From soup kitchens to lemonade stands, it’s a family affair. Our kids volunteer with us. It’s our way of saying thank you to the community that supports us,” Stanley shares. In the past year, Robust has donated to more than 120 non-profit organizations, dedicating more than $30,000 in cash and in-kind donations and an additional 100 hours of volunteer time. Some beneficiaries of their goodwill have been Marygrove, Pedal The Cause, College Bound and Center of Creative Arts (COCA). The couple agrees, “When it comes to giving back, everyone wins.”
The 327 acres of this Clarksville, Missouri oasis serve as more than a backdrop for a beautiful evening. Owner Nathalie Pettus—along with her work family of more than 60—is dedicated to sustainable practices that extend to every piece of their business. Upon entering the many historic buildings on the farm, one is flooded with an inner peace that can only be granted by the fresh air and slow-living dedication to supporting nature.
Organic growing practices and soil rejuvenation are incorporated into farming to produce the healthiest, freshest and best-tasting food possible. Moreover, Overlook does not use soy or artificial sweeteners, nor does the farm source from the Gulf since the BP oil spill or from the Pacific since Fukushima. The farm-to-table plans are directly related to fruits and vegetables that flourish in Missouri, ensuring that guests receive the most high-quality product.
The farm houses a sizable animal rescue population that includes 39 goats, a llama, a donkey, two mules, more than 60 cats, a dog and five horses. The business allots no special funding for this; they simply believe in granting each animal a decent life. It is this same concern for decency that guides Overlook Farm in raising livestock. Hormones and antibiotics are avoided, as are chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Kindness, calm handling and humane practices are incorporated at every turn.
This post has been brought to you in part by the mentioned organizations. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE growing. Photos courtesy of those listed.