Toy Box Connection aims to help all children receive the gift of a toy or a book year-round, serving as the connection between the families and businesses that donate these items and the children who need them. After accepting new and gently used toys, Toy Box Connection sorts and cleans them at its warehouse, then redistributes the toys and books to its partner nonprofit organizations. From there, the items are given directly to the children in need. Special projects include donating toys to children in the hospital, families of returning troops, and children in special needs or foster camps.
Every year, Feeding America supplies nutritious food to more than 37 million Americans, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. The organization distributes the 3 billion pounds of food through an expansive network of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies across the country. Grocery stores, government agencies, and individuals contribute funds and food, which Feeding America then transports to communities in need through member food banks, ensuring everyone in the area has access to meals. Feeding America also takes a leadership role on the local and national stage, advocating for efficient government programs that address the issue of food insecurity in communities nationwide.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
As advocates for clean, active travel, Active Transportation Alliance strives to make bicycling, walking, and using public transit convenient and safe. Staff members and volunteers organize fun events, such as Bike the Drive, designed to promote the active-transportation movement. Additionally, Safe Routes to School and other programs encourage physical activity—such as walking or bicycling to school—and work to make sure such activities are safe for children. Ultimately, Active Transportation Alliance envisions a Chicagoland where half of all trips are made by biking, walking, and public transit, a dramatic shift from environmentally harmful and sedentary forms of travel.
Will Allen has worn many hats in his lifetime. The son of a sharecropper, he founded his urban farming foundation Growing Power in 1993 after a brief career in professional basketball, going on to earn a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a spot on Time magazine's Top 100 of 2010 list. From Milwaukee to Chicago, his city farms thrive, tended by a volunteer team of all ages who gain the all-too-uncommon satisfaction of knowing the "who, when, where, and how" of their vegetables’ origins. Besides providing the seeds, tools, and educational resources to green the thumbs of any willing student, the farms also foster community bonds by filling the pantries of select local restaurants and locavore squirrels.
Each woman enrolled in the program is trained as an artisan papermaker, hand-crafting invitations, stationery, and notecards from recycled office paper and reclaimed flower petals. During their WomanCraft experience, participants sharpen their job-interviewing skills, build a resume and cover letter, and gain up-to-date employment references for future career opportunities.
Girls on the Run Chicago (GOTRC) is one such group that's discovered the power of the run. The organization offers a 12-week, afterschool, 5k training program for eight- to 13-year-old girls from the Chicagoland area. Participating in the program helps these girls develop a stronger sense of identity, a greater acceptance of themselves, a healthier body image, and an understanding of what it means to be part of a team.