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ALTON - At Alton’s 33rd Juneteenth celebration in James Killion Park, Alderwoman Stephanie Elliott shared information about her nonprofit Stephanie’s Place.

Stephanie’s Place is located at the corner of Riley and Johnson Streets in Alton. Elliott and her husband provide food and activities for kids throughout the year, with special events during the summer months and Christmas. For Elliott, giving back to the community is an obvious choice.

“We know it was God’s plan. It had nothing to do with us,” Elliott explained. “My husband and I are givers. When God gives you something, you’re supposed to share it, and he’s given us a lot.”

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Stephanie’s Place prioritizes food, fun and fellowship. The nonprofit has been in Alton since 2013. They have over 100 volunteers and a few donors who help offset the costs.

This summer, they plan to host monthly dinners, with a Walking Taco Tuesday scheduled for June 25, 2024. Providing meals for the community is one of their biggest missions.

“It’s a right. Every child should be able to go to bed at night and sleep on a full stomach and wake up in the morning and know they’ll get breakfast,” Elliott said. “School is out. School’s not there to help and support them. But somebody needs to do something, so if somebody wants to, we’ll welcome it. You have ideas, you want to partner up? Let us know. We’d love to share our place.”

Stephanie’s Place will also host a back-to-school celebration on Aug. 10, 2024, with giveaways, food and more. The Riverbend Community Choir will be present on Sept. 6 and 7, 2024, for two evenings of food and music. The nonprofit always sponsors a Christmas celebration, complete with a visit from Santa to all the kids in the community.

As Elliott and her husband get ready for the year ahead, they hope to share their faith and love with more kids in the Alton community. They encourage people to visit their official Stephanie’s Place Facebook page for more information and updates about their work, including ways to help out.

“The Bible says, if a house is divided, how is it going to come together?” Elliott added. “You can’t divide a house. If a house is divided, what do you have? You can’t possibly have anything happen. But if you show love, you show caring, you show compassion, if we can do that and help each other, this would be a whole lot of a better, bigger and wonderful world.”

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