RIVERBEND - It’s time to get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions. If you want to help out your community in 2024, keep reading. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in the Riverbend region that might be a great fit for you.

Best Buddies — St. Louis

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The Best Buddies program matches up people with and without developmental/intellectual disabilities. Most people volunteer to be part of a one-on-one friendship, but the program also sponsors integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living opportunities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America — Belleville

If you’re interested in working one-on-one with a child, this program might be for you. Sign up to be a Big, and you’ll be matched with a kid who you will support for several years as a friend and mentor. This volunteer opportunity is pretty customizable depending on what you and your Little enjoy.

Boys and Girls Club — Alton

The Boys and Girls Club of Alton could always use help with after-school and summer programming, and they also accept volunteers to help keep up the facility. The Alton branch is one of many nearby branches in the Greater St. Louis area, so you can find the club near you where you can help out.

Friends of Hayner Library — Alton

This volunteer group meets once a week to sell books and raise money for Hayner Library.

Glen-Ed Pantry — Edwardsville

This food pantry needs help year-round to feed neighbors in the Metro East area. Seasonal events, food drives and day-to-day service all call for volunteers.

Kellsie’s Hope Foundation — Maryville

This organization funds gifts and trips for children with cancer. They need volunteers for their many events throughout the year, all of which fundraise to provide more opportunities for kids. Check out all of their programs, events and chances to get involved at KellsiesHopeFoundation.com.

Main Street Community Center — Edwardsville

This organization needs hundreds of volunteers to complete their programming, from delivering meals to helping with transportation and several other activities that assist elderly community members. Find out more information about how to volunteer online or call 618-656-0300.

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Nature Preserve Foundation — Edwardsville

The Nature Preserve Foundation has several volunteer opportunities at the Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville. They have monthly Restoration Days that require hands-on help, and there are multiple committees that volunteers can join to keep the foundation running.

Overnight Warming Location — Alton and Edwardsville

The Overnight Warming Location opens overnight when temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Unhoused community members can have dinner, take a shower, spend the night and have breakfast in the warmth of a church. They need volunteers to serve meals and monitor the church overnight. There are locations in Alton and Edwardsville.

Rebuilding Together — Southwestern Illinois

Do you like building and hands-on projects? This organization builds wheelchair ramps, decks, fences and more for veterans and senior citizens in the community. They could use volunteers to help with these home modification projects year-round.

Restore Décor — Edwardsville

You can volunteer to help paint or restore gently-used furniture. The items are then sold at Restore Décor in Edwardsville, and proceeds go to local families in need. Sign up to volunteer or donate online.

Salvation Army — Alton

The Salvation Army in Alton has several volunteer opportunities available, from helping with office and custodial work to serving as a volunteer with the youth and social services programs, including the food pantry. You can find volunteer opportunities online or call them at 618-465-7764.

Southwestern Pack-a-Sack — Brighton

This organization meets once a month to pack bags with extra food for Southwestern Community Unit School District #9 students to take home on weekends and holiday breaks. They need donations and help packing every month.

TWIGS for Kids — Granite City

TWIGS packs up food for students to take home during the weekends and summer months. They are always looking for donations; learn more at TWIGSForKids.com.

Do you know of a volunteer opportunity that isn’t listed here? Email sydney@riverbender.com to share.

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