Community Against Poverty volunteer fair planned

More than 30 local organizations that need volunteers to help in their efforts to combat poverty will be in attendance from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, when the Community Against Poverty (CAP) coalition sponsors its fourth annual Volunteer Fair. This year’s fair will take place at The Heights, 8001 Dale Avenue in Richmond Heights and will feature a keynote address by Bridget Flood, executive director of the Incarnate Word Foundation.

Participants will have an opportunity to talk with representatives from area nonprofit agencies to learn about their work and to learn about volunteer opportunities that are available. There will be a broad range of agencies present, with volunteer positions for all ages, interests and abilities.

“The CAP Fair is a great opportunity for those looking to volunteer in the community to do ‘one stop shopping’ and find the best volunteer fit for them,” said Roberta Gutwein, co-chair of this year’s event with Martha Scharff. CAP, a coalition of faith-based and civic organizations, was convened in 2008 by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and is dedicated to addressing the issue of poverty through education, advocacy and service.

The event is free and open to all. Those attending are asked to bring a donation of food to support area food pantries.


Barbara Schwartz is one past participant at a CAP Volunteer Fair who was able to find the perfect volunteer match at the fair. “I knew I wanted to give back by volunteering, and after doing some research I felt that a great way to make a difference in reducing poverty is to help very young children from low-income communities to develop a love of reading,” said Schwartz. “Then I went to the CAP Fair and found Ready Readers, which focuses on exactly that goal. I now volunteer weekly and it is a joy. The children are so welcoming. I get back far more than I give.”

In addition to the Jewish Community Relations Council, co-sponsors of the Volunteer Fair include Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri, International Institute, Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis,, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Missouri Association for Social Welfare, National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.

More information about the event, and a list of agencies participating, may be obtained by calling Gail Wechsler at 314-442-3894 or 314-503-5814 or visiting or