Community Against Poverty Volunteer Fair planned

A representative from Big Brothers Big Sisters talks with visitors to last year’s Community Against Poverty Volunteer Fair.

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. 23, when the Community Against Poverty coalition sponsors its fifth annual Volunteer Fair, taking place at The Heights, 8001 Dale Avenue in Richmond Heights. The event features a keynote address by Martin Rafanan, executive director of Gateway 180: Homeless Reversed. 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 event that enables us to meet people in our community who want to help others,” said Pat Joshu, executive director of Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Program, an agency that provides volunteer tutors to recent immigrant and refugee women who are unable to attend classes outside their homes.


CAP, a coalition of faith-based and civic organizations, was convened in 2008 by the Jewish Community Relations Council 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.

Paige Anderson attended the CAP Fair last year as president of Brentwood High School’s National Honor Society Chapter. “I found a lot of groups and organizations at the CAP Fair that were willing and eager to work with teens like those in our group,” said Anderson.  “The CAP Fair not only gave me some great connections for National Honor Society, but also introduced me to some really awesome and caring people who love giving back to our community as much as I do.”

Along with JCRC, Jewish Family & Children’s Service and National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section are co-sponsors of the event along with a variety of interfaith organizations.

For more information, including a list of the more than 25 nonprofit agencies participating, call Gail Wechsler at 314-442-3894 or 314-503-5814 or visit or This year’s co-chairs are Roberta Gutwein and Martha Scharff.