lift for life gym logo



Lift for Life Gym is a great place to volunteer in St. Louis—and you don’t have to be all about personal fitness to help! There are several ways you can contribute to our cause and benefit the children and young adults we serve.


Since 1988, Lift for Life Gym’s mission has been to offer children from north city a safe after-school environment in which to strengthen their bodies, enrich their minds, develop healthy social relationships, and learn to make positive life choices.

Through free fitness, Olympic style weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit training, along with comprehensive mentoring and career and college readiness programming, the Gym supports over 450 youth aged 8 – 18 year-round.

Our goals are to:

  • Provide a safe and consistent community for youth in an area plagued by high crime rates, violence, and limited resources.
  • Offer ongoing, high-quality sports, fitness, and mentoring opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
  • Foster a lifelong commitment to maintaining fitness, good health, while meeting immediate nutritional needs.
  • Inspire confidence and a sense of self-worth in our members, positively influencing their choices throughout their lives.

Located at Cass Avenue and 14th Street in north St. Louis, the Gym addresses the pressing need for an after-school program in a community grappling with poverty, gun violence, and health-related challenges. Lift for Life Gym provides comprehensive programs and services to support the youth in this area with free round-trip transportation, in a safe environment at no cost:

Movement: We offer daily sports and fitness programming, including Olympic style weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, Basketball Training Program in partnership with Larry Hughes Basketball Academy and strength and conditioning serving 50 members each day. The Gym’s weightlifting team has received numerous local, national, and international awards.

Mentoring: Teen members are paired with a mentor who helps them explore their goals and develop actionable plans. A summer College and Career Readiness Camp prepares members for life after the Gym.

Meals: Our Evening Café serves 250 nutritious meals each week.

fitness leader and gym member interacting

Lift for Life Gym is no ordinary program – it’s a family. The Gym has made a major impact on my life. I love Lift for Life Gym not only because they loved me and saved me but because they saved my brothers from a life the streets were offering. Lift for Life Gym offered me and my siblings so many opportunities to better ourselves. They helped my mom raise all six of us. They fed us when we were hungry, sheltered us when it was cold outside, and loved us unconditionally. Lift for Life Gym is an amazing place. So many members have come through those doors looking for love, support, and a home away from home – and that is exactly what they get.

– Jerrica, Lift for Life Gym alum


Volunteering is a great way for the community to get involved with Lift for Life Gym. There are a variety of opportunities available throughout the year and you can find those listed below. To inquire or apply to be a Lift for Life Gym Volunteer, call 314-588-1186 or email to receive an application.

Coaches & Group Fitness Instructors

Individuals willing to facilitate a group fitness program. Individuals would need to be available to volunteer on a consistent basis (once a week, once every other week or once a month).  Volunteers are needed 4-6 pm on Monday, Wednesday & Friday evenings.

Mentor Match

Mentor Match volunteers are paired directly with a teen youth member to help motivate and inspire inner city teens to stay determined, overcome obstacles and become fully focused on their high school graduation and take their next steps beyond graduation.

Job Readiness Program

Provide opportunities to host a tour at your business or provide guest speakers that can visit the Gym and talk about career opportunities as well as the process of applying and interviewing for a job.

In Kind Collections & Projects

  • Gym Service Day: Organize a Service Day at Lift For Life Gym to help clean, organize, garden or other needed projects.
  • Youth Holiday Drive: Organize a collection drive or individually donate items needed for our Youth Holiday Party. A list of items needed can be provided.

Meal Prep

Providing already prepared meals that can be distributed to our youth members on a nightly basis.

Fundraising Events and Committees

  • MicroFest & MicroRun (May)
  • Raising the Bar Dinner Event (October)
  • Third Party Fundraisers (As needed)

young Professionals Board

Young Professionals logo

Our newly formed Young Professionals Group at Lift for Life is using the unique talents of our generation to support the Gym and all the important work it does in the St. Louis community. The group is looking for other young professionals seeking to hone their skills, build their resumes, gain leadership experience and solve problems creatively—all while making a difference in the community. If you’re interested in learning more, please send an email to

man and small child smiling at the camera