ST. LOUIS – The annual Annie Malone May Day Parade is coming up on Sunday, May 21. It is the biggest fundraiser for the non-profit organization that has provided care in the Ville neighborhood for over 135 years.

Annie Malone Children and Family Services have been serving the city of St. Louis, helping orphaned children and expecting mothers, providing a holistic approach to families, and providing treatment for all.

“From our crisis center, where we offer 24-hour crisis care to children coming from bad situations, and also a respite service for parents who may have fallen on hard times,” said Keisha Lee, CEO of Annie Malone Children and Family Services. “Also, we have our teen information program going to schools to provide drug prevention as well as treatment.”

At Annie, they have a room on the second floor called the safer space, providing care for children 12 to 18 years old with substance abuse.

“We’re inside schools providing harm reduction and evidence-based curriculum,” said Jacilynn Peacock, a director for the Safer Program at Annie Malone. “Working with each kid to explore their relationship with anxiety, depression, stress and anger. Things that all kids in the St. Louis area are dealing with, teaching them better-coping skills that are less harmful than drugs.”

From toiletries to toys, the men and women behind the scenes at Annie Malone are providing much-needed care to more than 500 families in St. Louis.

“We are in the donation room for the parenting program. So, we have toiletries, diapers, we have car seats, baby items, toys, anything that the parents need,” said Chloi Wright, a parent advocacy specialist with Annie Malone.

This proves why the organization is much more than its well-known parade.

“There’s one part of Annie Malone that a lot of people know what we do, but they don’t know the back side,” said Carl Washington, a youth specialist with Annie Malone. “We’re providing services for the children and families that keep them off the streets, keep food in their bellies, or keep them dry. So, the parade has always been a great transformative part for me.”

The organization is looking for volunteers, donations, and caring individuals intent on bettering the Ville neighborhood and the greater St. Louis community.