Safe Families for Children – Southeast Missouri

Safe Families for Children seeks to help parents in crisis get on their feet by providing short-term care for their children for as little as a couple of days to several months. Safe Families is not a foster care or adoption agency. Instead, Safe Families seeks to act like extended family to keep children safe and a family intact. Safe Families remains integrally linked to local churches. By extending hospitality to others in need, Safe Families for Children returns the Church to its historic role of caring for the orphan and the widow.

Safe Families’ three objectives are:

  • Keep children safe during a family crisis such as homelessness, hospitalization or domestic violence in an effort to prevent child abuse and/or neglect.
  • Support and stabilize families in crisis by surrounding them with caring, compassionate community.
  • Reunite families and reduce the number of children entering the child welfare System.

Voluntarily host children in your home on a temporary basis.

Encourage and support host families and families in need.

Provide goods and services to families in need.

Help families in need reach their goals and provide encouragement to host families.

Contact Laura Findley at 573.270.9103 for more information.

Prison Ministry

La Croix Prison Ministry (LPM) provides services to offenders currently residing at the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Missouri. Programs include weekly Bible Studies, StoryLink, Global Leadership Summit/Global Leadership Network, and periodic service opportunities such as assisting with food packing for Feed My Starving Children.

All volunteers who would be going to SECC on a regular basis must go through the Volunteer in Corrections (VIC) process which includes a background screening and drug screening, mandatory annual training for volunteers, and required vaccinations and tuberculosis testing. One time volunteers must be cleared prior to being allowed on the SECC campus but do not have to go through the VIC process.

Teams of volunteers go to the prison to conduct Bible Study or conduct book studies on leadership from a Biblical perspective. Volunteers meet with small groups of offenders in the SECC auditorium and conference rooms.

La Croix Church assists in simulcasting the Global Leadership Summit at SECC. Between sessions, volunteers assist in leading breakout groups surrounding the talks at the GLS. La Croix also provides volunteer technical support at SECC to allow the broadcast to be viewed. At least twice a year, follow-up events are provided by the Global Leadership Network. These broadcasts also allow the opportunity for breakout groups led by La Croix volunteers.

Volunteers assist offenders in reading and recording stories which are then given to the offenders’ children. This allows a bridge between the offender and his family and promotes a continued family connection.


For more information, contact John Wade.

Options for Women, Help for Families

The mission of Options for Women is to foster Biblical values of human life, family life, and sexuality by offering hope and compassionate help and enabling positive and life-affirming choices in Cape Girardeau surrounding area. 

Provide childcare during parenting classes to allow parents the opportunity to concentrate on material presented. 

Teach classes on basic infant and child care.

Complete minor repairs and office maintenance

Assist with routine office jobs such as filing and answering the phone.

For more information, contact Michelle Scherer or email


FaithWorks is primarily a carpentry ministry to assist the elderly or community members who are in need of small scale carpentry/construction projects. Team members who are interested in or have skills in painting, installing weather stripping, constructing wheelchair ramps or other like projects are encouraged to participate.

For more information, contact Sue Anne Bartelsmeyer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to build trusting and enduring relationships that encourage and support young people.

For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their life. Play a board game. Make fun crafts. Hit the playground together. Just as your options are unlimited, so is your Little’s potential.

For more information, contact  Ashley Seiler at (573) 339-0184 or check their website.


CarePortal is an online church engagement tool that connects the State of Missouri (Children’s Division) to the Church. When a need is identified by Children’s Division, a request for help is submitted. The Church is informed of the need and given the opportunity to answer the call.

Interested small groups would identify a point person to receive emails from CarePortal that would detail a given need (clothing, bedding, etc) for a child or family. Your group would then provide for the need and develop a relationship with the recipient family. 

For more info, contact Shelly Gerard.

Cape Girardeau County Jail Ministry

Spend an hour providing a short Bible study and devotional time to men/women incarcerated in Cape Girardeau County Jail.

Tuesday 7:00-8:00 PM (cancelled if the city of Jackson is under weather warning)

For more info, Text Karen Bangert at (573) 587-9862.

Juvenile Offenders Ministry

This mission serves juvenile males assigned to the Girardot Center to provide a worship service. La Croix provides services every Saturday for a month at a time two times a year.

Help share a bible study or message to a group of young men at the Girardot Center. There is a background check required. Documents to get this started can be obtained at the church from Ruth Ann Orr, Missions Director.

Saturdays 4:00-5:00 PM (2 non-consecutive months throughout the year)

For more info, Text Karen Bangert at (573) 587-9862.

Christian Boxing/Life Skills Academy

The Christian Boxing Academy is a partner organization that provides supervised physical activity, welding training, small engine repair training, and minor care repair/restoration opportunities.

Tuesday & Thursday Evenings

Supervise young men as they warm-up, condition, and learn to box. This is an opportunity for older youth and college-aged and older men to work with youth. During this time, volunteers can witness to the power of Christ in their lives and help keep participants accountable. The Boxing Club uses an incentive program to promote delayed gratification towards a goal.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9-11 a.m.
Work 1:1 with men diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, getting them to work on therapy goals using traditional boxing training methods. Trained therapists are there to offer suggestions for each man. Gatherings open with prayer and then close with prayer for any specific needs of the group.

Help renovate the bathroom and kitchen areas to provide adequate water and electrical that would meet building code and allow full use of both areas.

Contact Danny Rees for additional information.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)

FCA challenges coaches and athletes at all levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. FCA needs volunteers to lead student and coach bible studies, serve as team captains or character coaches, to establish chapel service at local sports tournaments, serve at the FCA summer camp, join in prayer over schools and participate in the annual Fields of Faith event.

Contact Mike Litz for information on ways to serve.

Fish Volunteers of Cape Girardeau

FISH serves the Cape Girardeau area by providing food to families in need. With help from churches like First Presbyterian, civic organizations and dedicated individuals, FISH helps 3300-3600 people a year. It relies heavily on word of mouth, rather than organized solicitation for the food that it distributes. For more info, call (573)-334-0207.

Hope for One More

Hope for One More provides emergency shelter for foster children in Cape Girardeau and surrounding counties. The children receive nurturing care, a meal, clothing, a warm bed and a full medical, dental and psychological screening while arrangements for an appropriate foster home can be made.

Volunteers can become members of the Caring Adult Network, volunteer at the Hope Chest, events and activities, host Foster Parent Link Meetings, child care through respite nights and Parents Day Out, provide meals and service projects.

For more information, contact Chrissy Mayberry.

Central Academy

Provide individual faculty and staff members with uplifting messages and inexpensive treats to help build positive morale.

Provide the faculty and staff of Central Academy with hospitality through food at the beginning of school, conferences, and Teacher Appreciation Week.

If you would like to get involved, contact Sharon Shelton.

Kelly Schools

La Croix partners with Kelly Schools (Scott County R IV school district) to build relationships and positively impact an under-resourced area of our community.

For more information, contact Collin Smith.

One City

One City is a faith-based organization committed to understanding the struggles of our neighbors and how we, as a community, can work toward transformation and holistically restoring our community. One City provides community gatherings and development opportunities, job training and employment, as well as child enrichment opportunities.  

Work Life is designed for people who are unemployed or underemployed. The program inspires, guides, and equips participants as they prepare to find and keep meaningful employment. Throughout each course,  participants work with an ally (mentor) who walks alongside them throughout the program.  The allies are volunteers from our community who attend classes and serve as an additional support system to the class participants. They also serve as a connection after class is complete and may use their current connections and resources to help the participant identify potential jobs in the community. 


Refreshments in the way of pastries, juices, cookies, etc. are needed for the allies and the participants during the days the group meets for instruction. You may sign up at

Each Sunday, women from the Family Counseling Center watch the 9:00 service at OneCity. The ladies divide up into smaller groups to discuss the sermon and develop relationships with members of La Croix Church.

Contact for more info.

Room for One More Child

Room for One More Child is passionate about helping orphan children find homes by lowering the cost of adoption through adoption grant assistance and by helping the orphans that may never be adopted by providing food, shelter and access to medical care and education.

Work with families who are interested in walking through the adoption process. Room for One More works through adoption grants. However, the process of preparing for home studies and being approved as a family who could adopt can be daunting. Room for One More helps facilitate the process to encourage more families to consider adoption.

For more information, contact Shari Stroup or visit their website.

Safe House for Women

The Safe House for Women is a local partner that is not-for-profit organization agency that provides safe shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline services, intensive case management, counseling, court advocacy, referral services, and education programs. The Safe House was established in 1991, providing safe shelter and a crisis hotline as a source of immediate help for victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Prepare meals shared by all residents of the shelter, allowing them to build a sense of community through the gift of hospitality.

Provide women in the program with a positive role model, guiding parenting, helping navigate relationships and teaching typical life skills (like meal planning or budgeting). A mentor would help guide women who would be transitioning out of the Safe House into housing of their own.

Individuals or small groups may adopt a room at the shelter to decorate with curtains, bed linens, covers, pillows, etc. Upon leaving the shelter, families will be gifted the bedding. Adopting a room would be an ongoing project with turn-over expected about every 90-120 days.

Volunteers at the thrift store and outreach office handle typical retail or clerical duties that will free employees of the Safe House to do more specialized work with the women and their families.

For more info, contact Jessica M. Hill at

Stop Needless Acts of Violence, Please (SNAP)

Local organization dedicated to serving those in the Cape Girardeau community who have been affected by an act of violence. SNAP also helps family members who have been affected by the trauma of losing a loved one, providing trauma counseling and group support.

Tuesday Prayer Opportunities 4:45-5:15 PM (at SNAP Headquarters), 5:30 PM (in the community)

For more info, contact Felice Patton.

Bridge Outreach Center

Assist in setting up the building for the children and adults attending the Meet Me at The Bridge event the third Saturday of each month. This would include handing out flyers that would announce the event to people in the neighborhood. Volunteers are needed to do crafts with the children and/or organize games. This mission is open to any other types of activities that might interest children and youth in the area (music ministry, cooking classes for young parents, etc).

For more info, contact Kaye Hood.

The Amen Center

The Amen Center is a Christian-based, inter-denominational crisis and restoration center located in Delta, MO that assists families and individuals in recovering from a setback, crisis or tragedy that would require a place of refuge for a transitional period. For more info, Text Karen Bangert at (573) 587-9862.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

For more info, contact Lt. Matt DeGonia at

The People’s Shelter

Assist in preparing and serving breakfast to the residents who stay overnight at the warming center located at St. James AME church. The center is open only if the temperature is projected to fall below 35 degrees.

For more information contact Teresa Pagano at

Young Life

Young Life doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults who are concerned enough about kids to go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight they take time, patience, trust and consistency.

This team is a “behind the scenes” ministry that would help with leadership and accountability of the direct service teams of YoungLife. Three-year commitment to weekly meetings and possible leadership of certain areas of ministry connected to SEMO YoungLife.

Commit to receiving updates and requests for prayer from students going through a pivotal transitional point in their lives.

Provide mentoring and leadership to students. Position requires a two-year commitment to 10-12 hours a week with kids and the leadership team after completing a nine-week training.

For more info, contact