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Turning Good into Greater Good

Summer Newsletter

The Value of Collaborative Partnerships: Casa de Salud and Eye Thrive

Partnerships and collaborations are one of the many ways non-profits broaden their reach and help address more of the needs of the underserved communities that they support.

Strategic partnerships are a metric that can reflect the overall strength of an agency. It may not be as obvious as looking at financials and other metrics, but partnerships between organizations demonstrate a broader understanding of the needs of a community and how to meet them. Partnerships can be beneficial to both agencies involved and ultimately serve the community more efficiently and effectively.

Partnerships exist between both non-profits and corporations and also non-profits and non-profits.

Some of the benefits that can be met when engaging in strategic and/or collaborative partnerships are:

  • Administrative cost savings
  • Improved range of services
  • Innovative idea creation
  • Additional leadership
  • Increased brand exposure
  • Strengthened advocacy voice
  • Expanded programs

Organizations with shared goals and aligned missions and visions can have greater impact in their communities when they work together to alleviate the needs of the community and support its members.

One such collaboration is between SOS’s grantees Casa de Salud and Eye Thrive. Together they have found and created a mutually beneficial program that broadens both organizations reach in different ways and effectively better serves the communities they serve.


Eye Thrive, the leading provider of vision services for kids in the region, brought their Mobile Vision Clinic to Casa de Salud twice this summer to help families in need of eye care for their children.


Casa de Salud is a trusted healthcare provider in the immigrant and refugee communities.

This partnership allowed Casa de Salud to offer their clients’ children eye exams and glasses in a familiar, trusted environment. Casa de Salud’s clients deal not only with the language and cultural barriers but trust is also a concern, especially for those immigrants who are undocumented This concern often results in avoiding health care altogether.

In this partnership the trust that Casa de Salud has established with their clients is leveraged by Eye Thrive and allows them to build credibility with the families and children to better meet their optical needs.

This particular population might never have engaged with Eye Thrive due to all of the aforementioned barriers, but because of the partnership, parents were able to book appointments with Eye Thrive through the same reliable bilingual staff at Casa de Salud with whom they had previously established care. Familiar faces were available for interpretation and for navigating parents and children through the appointments.

To date the Eye Thrive, Casa de Salud Partnership has distributed glasses to 28 children, and this is only the beginning.

Although this is not the only partnership between two of SOS’s grantees, it is a clear example of how partnerships can help broaden the reach of both agencies involved. Even though the creation of relationships between agencies is not central to the mission Of SOS it is undeniable that SOS’s community engagement lends itself to creating the opportunity for connection between grantees which in turn helps to build a stronger interconnected community.

Committee News

Do you have ideas about ways to retain our current members or how to engage potential members?

Do you like to plan events?

You could help out with planning one of our scheduled annual events. 

Join the SOS Membership Committee

All members are welcome to join our Membership Committee meetings. Meetings are virtual and occur on the second Monday of the month from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact Ally Melvin for Zoom Link information


Last year the Education committee organized three engaging events that introduced topics that are relevant to the St. Louis community: The Power of the Arts, Resettling of Refugees in St. Louis and Housing Inequity.

Look for save the dates for this coming year’s education events. They are informative and always present a new perspective on the community in which we live.

Here are some further thoughts about the Housing Inequity presentation. Often the topics of discussion are a jumping off point for deeper thought and discussion.

What is Intersectionality

In his March 8th SOS Education presentation: “Housing Inequities 101”, Beyond Housing’s Executive Director Chris Kreymeyer said

"Housing wasn’t an issue by itself. People who seek adequate or better housing have related issues of (inadequate) resources for health, education, jobs, economic development and infrastructure. All issues are tied together. This is how he define intersectionality."

Welcome New Members

Christy Potthast

Save the Date/Upcoming Events

New Member Information Session

Do you have a friend interested in joining SOS?

Membership Committee is hosting an SOS Information Session on Thursday August 11th at 11am-11:30am via zoom.

Please keep an eye out for the invitation.


SOS is pleased to announce the 2022-23 Board.

President - Katy Dowd

President Elect/Membership Chair - Ally Melvin

Secretary - Joni Karandjeff

Treasurer - Becky Courtney

Immediate Past President/Nominating - Amy Garrison

Education Chair - Nancy Garvey

Education Vice-Chair - Pat Crowe

Grants Chair - Kathleen Beckmann

Grants Vice Chair - Joan Gallagher

Impact Chair - Carol Rodriguez

Impact Vice-Chair - Nancy Hamilton

Marketing and Communication-Chair - Gretta Forrester

Marketing and Communication-Vice Chair - Tasha Borglum

Technology Chair & Philanos Liaison -  Amy Conard

Technology Vice Chair - Cynthia Pilling

At-Large - Sarah Woodburn

Shawntelle Fisher (Governance)

Rose Carnes-Bruce (Governance)

Ellen Schapiro (Book Club)

Advisory Council Chair/Founder Initial SOS Co-Chair - Shelby Schagrin

Founding Initial SOS Co-Chair/Member At-Large - Susan Block

A special thank you to retiring board members Sharon Abel, Amber Howlett, Elveeta Macon and Gwendolyn Wesley.

Volunteers About Town

Recently Eye Thrive welcomed SOS members Marcella Stevens, Lee Braff, Kathy Holman, Ann Desai and Marianne Baer

…and we are grateful for the volunteer hours they gave.


Nice article in the Ladue News about SOS. Here is the digital copy (see page 26-27).

Steps for Funders and Giving Circles Who Care About Equity

Read this article to find out four ways funders can better support non-profit staff:

Check out the article that STL Community Foundation posted about SOS on their website

Social Corner

Recently SOS members met for Lunch at the Boat House and a Tour of Forest Park by the Missouri History Museum with a focus on Women’s Accomplishments in the park.  

Next summer gathering…..

Tour of Central Library

Saturday, Aug 6 10:00-11:00am
Tuesday, Aug 9  5:00-6:30

Keep an eye out for invitation.

Pictured Barb DuBois, Marianne Baer, Kathleen Beckmann, Nancy Garvey, Barb Meyer, Beth Ann Riechman.

Not Pictured: Chris Schmiz

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