While serving dinner to those in need as a volunteer at his local soup kitchen in 1967, John Van Hengel met the woman who would spark the idea for the nation's first food bank. She fed her 10 children using soup kitchens and the cast-offs she found in grocery-store dumpsters, according to the Washington Post, but she suggested that a place where people could "deposit" and "withdraw" food—like a bank—would be ideal. With help from St. Mary's Basilica, Van Hengel created St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, which accepted donations from individuals and companies with surplus food. A centralized food bank was able to serve a larger number of people by distributing donated food to member food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charities, and the concept spread across the country and the world.
Today, St. Mary’s annually distributes nearly 70 million pounds of food to its partner agencies across an 81,000-square-mile service area. These meals go to people of all ages, ranging from homebound seniors to children in more than 80 afterschool programs. In addition to its food network, St. Mary’s also prepares emergency food boxes to keep families fed during a temporary crisis and, through its Community Kitchen program, trains people to succeed at jobs in the culinary industry while providing meals to hungry individuals.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Between UV rays, humidity, and dry winter weather, hair takes a real beating. That's where KOR Beauty Academy comes in. Under the attentive tutelage of experienced master stylists, students develop innate hair-manipulation tactics and tailor cuts to an individual's unique face shape. Guests can also dip their toes into the salon's other beautifying services, which range from manicures to invigorating facials.
Ground Control at Verrado's founders, Sean and Tara, infuse the eatery’s casual atmosphere with a European vibe, plating a menu of gastropub delights that match with their 18 draft brews. During dinner, cherrywood bacon sneaks into creamy mac 'n' cheese ($9), beer-battered cod cozies up to hand-cut fries and homemade tartar sauce in the fish & chips ($12), and a medium-rare Angus burger ($10) tests jaw limits. Lunch promises leafy salads and packed sandwiches such as the Cowboy, loaded with layers of roast beef, bacon, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and special sauce ($7.95). Ground Control’s kitchen also churns out egg-centric breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, two fried eggs in a bog of cheddar, beans, and tortillas ($8). Whether sipping a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ($5) or cooling sweaty forearms against a creamy cup of gelato, diners can drink in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio. Inside, exposed-brick walls surround tables flanked by black leather chairs in an inviting and energetic loft-like atmosphere.
Village Health Clubs & Spas are one-stop shops for fitness training, spa services, and amenity-stuffed facilities. One month of access to their four locations allows visitors to use the Village fitness equipment, clean up in the available locker rooms, shoot hoops on basketball courts, swim in lap pools, and much more. The two-week guided fitness program kick-starts fitness routines long stymied by malaise, time constraints, and road-blocking donut holes; with the aid of a helpful Village staff member, you'll get started by figuring out precisely where your goals and interests lie on the muscle map. A nutrition warm-up will educate you in the ways of healthy food choices, and a 60-minute fitness intro with a certified personal trainer will get hearts pumping and tendons quivering. You'll also be introduced to the vast panoply of available cardio equipment and group yoga and Pilates classes. Finally, "adventure time" commences with a workout, hike, bike ride, or round of tennis, the sport most avidly followed by excitable canines.
Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run 6K pairs an obstacle-heavy running course with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Six kilometers’ worth of collective scampering awaits participants as muscle-testing obstacles impede progress to the finish line. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes. Gladiator Rock'n Run proceeds go toward a good cause, helping to raise money for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), an organization that provides education, support, and information to aid parents in helping their children diagnosed with autism.