Fed up with hearing about rude encounters between taxi drivers and the elderly, taxi dispatcher Dan Quiery decided to volunteer time in his retirement to righting these wrongs through Escorted Transportation Service Northwest (ETS/NW). Now the organization's 2011 Volunteer of the Year, according to the Daily Herald, Dan and a team of 70 volunteer drivers at ETS/NW offer both companionship and a vital service as they transport senior citizens to and from medical and dental appointments in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The seniors often have limited transportation options and would not be able to get to their appointments without aid. Though $12 donations are requested for each ride, the drivers chip in their own money to cover the cost of the trip's gas. Still, this does not deter founder Kathy Kasprowicz and her dedicated volunteers—honored with the 2012 STAR Merit Award from The Beverly Foundation—who were proud to have provided 2,453 roundtrip rides throughout the region in 2011 alone.
Selected as a featured startup for Common Pitch at New York City's Social Media Week, Good Karma Clothing for Kids is a social enterprise that employs a collaborative-consumption model by reusing and renting like-new clothing for babies ages newborn to 24 months. The company delivers hand-picked baby clothes to parents as part of its Basic Bundle subscription package. Each bundle includes seven complete outfits packed in a convenient prepaid, reusable shipping bag made of stork swaddling. When the baby outgrows the clothes in the bundle, parents simply ship them back and exchange the bundle for another one in a larger size. Because babies can go through approximately six or seven sizes of clothing during their first two years, the Basic Bundle program facilitates the reuse of miniature wardrobes to help parents reduce their consumption and prevents the need for uncomfortable rubber shirts that grow with the child. Good Karma reuses well-made baby clothes from popular brands such as Gap and Gymboree that are in great condition, and uses environmentally friendly detergent and high-efficiency washers to care for the clothing between owners. When clothing can no longer be used, the organization sends it on to be recycled into quilting, stuffed animals, and other enduring mementos of infancy.
With targeted, ongoing mailings, SuperSibs! recognizes shadow survivors’ feelings, helps them realize they are not alone, and comforts them with inspirational letters, activity books, wristbands, a SuperSib! courage trophy, and other support materials. These comfort and care packages inform and inspire shadow survivors with messages of strength and hope during their tough times. More than 25,000 children receive SuperSibs! support, and every year the organization expands its outreach by 25%. SuperSibs! materials and mailings reduce depression, anxiety, and grief and promote emotional healing and self-esteem, helping siblings function socially and share their feelings.
The faculty of Jane Addams School is proud of the environment it fosters. Focusing on instilling knowledge, skills, and independence, it educates elementary-age children for the 21st century. And that student population hints at the diversity the future will likely hold. From various neighborhoods and socio-economic backgrounds, the student body is roughly two-thirds hispanic and one quarter white with significant populations of black, asian, and Native American children. Together, they learn about the world and academics in a safe setting, participating in academics, a Lego robotics league, and sports teams.
CHERUBS has one goal: to help families affected by congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). By researching and raising awareness for this rare birth defect, CHERUBS's volunteers, as well as its board of CDH survivors, parents, grandparents, doctors, and nurses, help search for its cause, prevention, and best treatments while supporting families dealing with CDH. Ultimately, the organization strives to provide the most accurate, timely information possible for parents so they can make educated decisions for their babies. The CHERUBS H.O.P.E. (Helping Other Parents Expecting) tote-bag program, meanwhile, collects donated care items along with information for those who are expecting babies with CDH or who already have a hospitalized infant. In 2012, CHERUBS distributed more than 300 such totes to its members, which include more than 4,000 families in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
The result of a variety of visits to Italy by two childhood friends sharing an intense love of coffee, Blanell Coffee was brewed on a hotplate of passion to deliver American audiences fine Italian coffees and accessories. The distributor dispenses coffees from brands such as Lucaffe, Pellini, Passalacqua, and New York Caffe. These brands cater to coffee connoisseurs that prefer espresso pods, pre-ground batches, grinding their own beans with their shaking teeth. To brighten drinks with flavors such as passion fruit, almond, and amaretto, Blanell Coffee also purveys syrups from Monin—a century-old French company.