Volunteer work has always been in Miriam Like's blood. She volunteered her time towards helping others in her home county of Franklin, up until the time she moved to St. Louis in late 2009. Upon her relocation, Like knew she wanted to continue volunteering as a way to give back to the community, and furthermore, she knew she wanted to volunteer her time in the after school setting.

Her search led her to ARCHS, who referred her to the After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) service delivery partner Stray Dog Theatre. Since January 2011, Like has been volunteering her time at Mason Elementary School in St. Louis two nights a week.

"I help the students with their homework, I play with them - just basic interaction with all the kids. It's a blessing for me," Like said.

"I knew I wanted to do an after school program because I wanted to work with kids. I work in the corporate world during the day, so I look forward to coming to Mason Elementary like a kid looks forward to candy. The kids have so much energy and life that coming here a few days is the light of my week."

ARCHS' programs have more than 88,000 volunteer hours (including ASAP) to support their work. That 88,000 hours is the savings equivalent to 42 full-time positions. A savings which is as important as ever in these tough economic times.

"I volunteer because in some way I hope it will impact the kids' lives who I see," Like said. "I hope some of them will look back one day and say 'Oh, remember that one teacher who played with me?' I hope it will mean something to them."