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Who Is 'Doing the Most Good' in Your Community?

Patch and the Salvation Army are teaming up to recognize the individual who is Doing the Most Good as a volunteer in his or her community. Who would you nominate?

OPEN FOR ONE MORE WEEK: We're leaving the nomination period open for an additional week. Watch for our finalists Oct. 23! Read below for more details.

Do you know a crossing guard who has been walking youngsters across the street for decades? Or a volunteer who has taught reading skills to dozens of adults? Maybe you know someone who has spent hundreds of dollars to provide goods or services to the needy, or a someone who has spent thousands of hours in service to the poor, injured, grieving or sick?

As the holidays approach, Patch and the Salvation Army Midland Division are teaming up to recognize some of the people who are "Doing the Most Good" in the St. Louis area.

With your help, we'll name the person who is "Doing the Most Good" and award him or her with an overnight stay at the Moonrise Hotel in the Loop, a $50 gift card toward a dinner and two tickets to a show at a St. Louis-area venue.

For the next seven days, we're asking you to nominate a friend, neighbor, co-worker or colleague you believe is "Doing the Most Good" in your community. Here's how you can share your nomination:

  • Post a message in the comments below. Describe your nominee. Give us his or her name and why you think he or she is "Doing the Most Good." Remember to tell us where!
  • Click the "Upload Photos and Video" button on this article. Share a photo of nominees doing what they do, or upload a video showing what they do in the community. In the caption, remember to tell us the person's name and which community he or she serves.

On Oct. 22, we'll move to the next round and give readers a chance to see and read more about some of your nominees. At the end of October, we'll profile our finalists and give you the chance to vote on the person you believe is Doing the Most Good.

Patch and the Salvation Army will recognize your winner with their prizes at the Salvation Army's annual Turkey Tweet-Up on Nov. 15.

Patch has always been motivated by helping people find the connections in and around their community, and helping people see how they can contribute. Meanwhile, you may recognize "Doing the Most Good" as a core slogan of the Salvation Army: "It is a promise the organization makes to its contributors, clients, associates, officers and employees. The Salvation Army pledges to do the most good with contributions of money, time and resources."

Now, for the stuff our lawyers want you to know:

  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, submit nominees like we asked earlier. Later, you'll get a chance to vote.
  • All nominations must be received by noon St. Louis time on Oct. 15.
  • You may nominate as many people as you'd like!
  • One winner will be selected by readers.
  • The prize includes a one-night stay at the Moonrise Hotel, valued at $100; a $50 gift card toward dinner at the restaurant of your choice; and two tickets for a show, approximate $100. Transportation is NOT included in the prize and will be the responsibility of the winner.
  • See the attached PDF for the official rules.
Karl October 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I would like to nominate Steve Blacksher, Pastor at Church of the Shepherd (COS). Steve leads the 6:08 Sunday evening worship at COS that is extremely community service oriented. Go here to see, http://www.coswired.org/blogs/608/category/service-opp/ At COS 6:08 the theme is "The Service That Serves". The folks that worship at COS 6:08, and other COS worship services, are constantly in service. Most recently was the COS Feed My Starving Children meal packing event. See about it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYwHJGs6SXg&feature=player_embedded . COS has also made a commitment to send a mission team to Joplin every month for two years. See more about this here. http://www.coswired.org/get-involved/missions-menu/missionblog.html
Pamela Guest October 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
We are nominating one of our very dedicated senior center volunteers. Diane Brayfield has been delivering meals to homebound senior citizens in the Lemay, Mehlville/Oakville area for 10 years! Diane regularly delivers 3 to 5 days per week, and neither rain, sleet, snow or scorching heat deters her from making sure the folks on her route get their meal. She doesn't just deliver that meal, she makes sure each person is feeling well and is quick to alert the proper authorities if there is concern or if help is needed. Diane has become friends with many of our homebound, visiting with them when they are in the hospital or giving them a call if she knows they need a bit of cheering up. Diane has had her own health issues and attributes much of her healing to remaining active by volunteering to help others. Diane's dedication is more than admirable; she regularly goes above and beyond in helping at the senior center as well as our homebound. She even rented a car when hers was in the shop because she "would miss seeing her people"! Diane also volunteers for County Older Resident Program, providing seniors transportation to medical appointments.
Justin Dixon October 10, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I would like to nominate Otis Woodard, who has been serving the needy and homeless in North St. Louis for several decades. He maintains a "Peace Park" in the community in order to provide meals to the community and provide a safe place for the residents of the neighborhood. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of knowing Otis knows that his smile and laughter are infectious. Even in the worst of situations, he has a positive word and a positive message for all of those around him. All of the work he does, he does without any regard for himself. Here is an article from earlier this year: http://wentzville.patch.com/articles/outreach-otis-lives-out-his-love Here's a video about his Peace Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnui_SgtCB0&feature=related
Robin Tidwell October 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I'll second that nomination for Otis! I first met him through my church, 35 years ago when he first began his ministry.
East side October 10, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Ditto on Otis Woodard...
Pauline October 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I agree with the nomination of Steve Blacksher from United Methodist Church of the Shepherd. He is dedicated to serving others in the St. Charles area, in Joplin, and all over the world. Steve Blacksher is deserving of this award.
Kenny Biermann October 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Ed Walton helps with the salvation army hes just a good man that spreads the word going door to door handing out the war cry here in the Northern part of st.charles, always positvie and looks out for others. Keep up the mission Ed. Kenny Biermann
inkcyclegroup October 15, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Sam Klein age 12, is the founder, CEO and sole staff member of InkCycle, a business he started in 2009 at age 9 to dispose properly of toxic recyclables such as inkjet cartridges, laser toners, cell phones, laptops and i-pods. Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, concern for the earth, belief that we all can make small choices that improve the environment, and wish to raise money to donate to causes close to his heart, he began researching companies that recycle these products safely. To date, he has recycled over 200 inkjet cartridges, 190 toners, 120 cell phones, 3 laptops, and 8 i-Pods. He is a powerhouse salesman on the topic of how each individual can play a part in environmental protection, but the impact of InkCycle goes beyond changing minds and behaviors and beyond helping the planet. He has donated the majority of his earnings to the charities of the Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis and the American Heart Association. He has also conducted three service projects at this time donating to the Ronald McDonald House, The St. Patricks Center of St. Louis as well as the Peter and Paul Community Services of St. Louis. Donations have totaled over 1000 dollars in cash donations to these facilities as well as several van loads of groceries to all of these facilities. Sam was featured on NBC Nightly News for these efforts-- http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/47667367. He organized a tab top initiative at his middle school to collect for Ronald McDonald House in 9/11
Heidi Klein October 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I am Sam's mom, Heidi Klein. Little did I know that his love for helping our garbage men at age 4 would someday have him erect his own recycling business at age nine! He has safely disposed of countless items that now are not in the landfills and all proceeds earned have gone to charity. He is as determined as they come in making the environment a safer place but holds even more dear to his heart his desire to help homeless people. He someday wants to build more shelters in st Louis that offer "nicer amenities" for them as well as job training. I am so proud that Sam is being recognized among this group of very special people in St. Louis! They all deserve to win in my opinion!
Kimberly Brandon October 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I have the privilege of working with Sam as his principal at Parkway Northeast Middle School. Sam never ceases to amaze me. He is selfless in his efforts to help those in need. I love celebrating all the wonderful things Sam does for our community!
Liz Nelson October 15, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I've known Sam since he was born and have watched him grow into a young man with a kind heart and the drive of a businessman. Our church (Trinity Presbyterian in U City) is one of the pick-up points for the toners, cell phones, etc. that he collects and recycles. Not only is he helping the environment (no small goal!!), but he is teaching us to be mindful ourselves of how we dispose of things AND he gives us an easy way to be good stewards of the earth through his recycling program. Plus, he gives the money made to local charities after paying his business expenses AND he stands outside all day at Dierbergs every few months to gather needed items for these charities--real hands-on work that is creating tangible results for the clients. I'm proud of him as a kid "doing the most good in his community," I am lucky as a place of employment (I work at the church) to have a go-to guy for easy disposal of toxic recyclables, and I can't wait to see what he will do as he gets older!
Linda Blaine October 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Please recognize Sam Klein, a 12 year old superstar of community service. Sam is a 7th Grader at Parkway Northeast Middle School. I recently had the privilege of helping Sam recycle cast off treasures on eBay to raise funds for an organization he established called InkCycle. With Sam's energy and enthusiasm, he raised nearly $1,000 by selling a volume of simple everyday items. Although Sam is just 12 years old, he has remarkably been a philanthropist since age 4. He was featured on local TV for his commitment to recycling. He was recently featured nationally on NBC Nightly News in the Making a Difference segment. Possibly the most remarkable attribute of Sam is his ability, despite receiving so much attention for his good work, he remains a humble and respectful person, grateful for the right things in this life.
Dan Anderson-Little October 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Oh my gosh, Sam Klein is a most amazing young man and is doing the most amazing things in our community. At 12 years old, he puts us "oldsters" to shame. Sam is visionary, kind, committed and relentless. So many of us talk about making the world a better, cleaner and most just place. While we're talking, Sam is working. And Sam has gotten my church, Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City involved in his philanthropic efforts. We are delighted to be in partnership with Sam and I am delighted to nominate him for this award! Dan Anderson-Little, Pastor Trinity Presbyterian Church University City, MO
Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Yosef October 17, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Although it might be tempting to bring to light the good deeds of another, the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) are very clear about how we are to treat our good deeds. It says, "When you do good deeds, don't draw attention to yourself. Because if you do, you won't get a reward from G-d in heaven. When you give to the poor, don't blow a shofar (ram's horn). That is what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that this is the only reward they will receive. When you give to the poor, don't let anyone know about it. Then your reward will be given to you in secret. G-d knows what is done in secret, and will reward you." People who do good deeds for the sake of others may not want you to draw attention to them.
Pamela Coaxum October 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM
I nominate Clarence Goldthree and his other volunteer coaches who have given of their time and resources, above and beyond to the children of East St. Louis. For over 20 years they have sponsored many recreational programs so poor children can lean and anti-violence skills through recreational opportunities. P. Coaxum , Greater East St. Louis Community Fund
Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Yosef October 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I have a wonderful story that illustrates my point. At a local O'Fallon Church, a young man would put a generous sum of money into a blank envelope and place it in the donation plate each Sunday. The only words written on the envelope were taken from scripture itself, "But you, whenever you do good deeds, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing." In other words, 'This is a proverbial expression, signifying that our good deeds should be done as secretly as possible. " Soon, it came time for this particular church to nominate members to serve on the church board of directors. This generous person's name was floated as a possible candidate. However, the church treasurer looked into the financial books and announced to everyone in the room that this person had never given any money on Sundays when the collection was taken. So the person was passed-over for a post on the church board. Little did they know this person, who did his good deeds in secret had given more each Sunday than any other person in the entire congregation, including the pastor.
Kurt Greenbaum October 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Rabbi, thank you for your comments. I certainly understand the theological point you're making. It was our hope not that people would be blowing their own shofar, but that others might be willing to blow it on their behalf.
Shalom Yisrael November 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM
One more vote for Sam Klein for this "Doing the Most Good" competition. Taking care of his business provides him with the opportunity to make a difference despite being a victim of bullying. Stand up against bullies. It would be cool if he won. Voting only goes until 5pm today, so thanks!
Shalom Yisrael November 09, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Good luck to your daughter Heidi's friend ... Glad to do a favor for Liz for such an outstanding young man like Sam Klein.

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