To help all children start the school year prepared with necessary supplies and resources, the Center for Family Services’ Operation Backpack initiative provides backpacks filled with school supplies to children ages 4–19. By alleviating students’ fears or stresses related to not having the required school supplies, the program helps to ensure that kids and teens can concentrate on their classes, thus laying a foundation for academic success and ideally propelling them toward finishing high school and attending college.
Vitale’s Italian Bistro brings more than 50 years of culinary know-how to its menu of fine Italian cuisine, arming its skilled chefs with a time-tested litany of signature recipes. Steamed with garlic, olive oil, and italian spices, cold-water mussels cannonball into fragrant lochs of white wine and butter. The clams casino's baked Littleneck clams partner up with bacon, peppers, and breadcrumbs and regale taste buds with tales of a place filled with merfolk, sea-ponies, and clams that can talk.
The Youth Rally Committee creates a community for young people with rare medical conditions to bond over shared experiences, learn about symptom management, and find relief from the sense of alienation that accompanies these rare conditions. Kids aged 11–17 with bowel and bladder disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and cancers of the bowel or bladder come together once a year for a weeklong rally on a college campus. During their stay, they take part in outdoor games and off-campus trips to local museums, and learn how to manage their conditions with activities overseen by nurses and counselors who also have similar conditions. Counselor skits and a camp dances relieve stress in the evenings, while off-campus events promote medical self-management in a public setting.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Sensory overload doesn’t begin to describe Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt’s folk-art-inspired installations—assemblages of found objects and recycled materials—and the young artist’s view of the art world changed. “I didn't know that I was looking at art,” Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat “copying” Schmidt’s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ‘60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace—specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah’s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio—the project would become Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.
Armed with an army of innovative and certified shutterbugs, Olan Mills Portrait Studio provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to recreate look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea-battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
Bartending is quickly becoming America's favorite profession, as reported by Sports Illustrated. For $150, today's Groupon gets you schooled in the extraordinary art of martini slinging and perfect pouring with 12 hours of mixology courses at Bucks County School of Bartending, a $325 value. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.