EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is expanding operations in order to make a difference in the lives of thousands.

People from both sides of the Mississippi River gathered Saturday to celebrate the grand opening in East St. Louis, a place many say sparked the birth of the organization.

“Today is a historic homecoming for the Urban League to be back in the city of East St. Louis, where we were founded,” said Michael McMillan, President of the Urban League.

“The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis was actually born out of the riots of East St. Louis,” said Patricia Washington, Executive Vice President for Communication for the Urban League. “As Black and whites came together to build a better community, they formed an organization which later became the Urban League.”

With the hard work and dedication that Urban League has put towards the community for decades, they have just opened a new program for the East St. Louis area.

“We’ve already been able to serve 250 people just in the program before the grand opening,” said McMillan.

Urban League has 350 staff members that help at 20 different locations. They serve more than 200,000 people with 60 different programs each year. These programs help people from as young as six weeks old in Head Start to more than 100 years old in our senior citizen centers.

McMillan said he is just happy he can help the thousands of people around him with his staff supporting every step of the way.

“We are truly blessed with the generosity the support the partnership the collaboration, the volunteerism, and everything we get out of the community here that gives us the ability to serve others,” said McMillan.