Charity & Grassroots in Castaic

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Camp Kindle, a Project Kindle program, holds events throughout the year—including nine-day summer camp sessions in the West and Midwest—that provide a safe, fun environment in which kids affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS can shed their self-consciousness about the disease and be open about their fears. During the camp sessions participants take part in a rich array of educational and recreational activities, including arts-and-crafts programs that help them find a creative means of expressing their feelings. Kids can work on bracelets, AIDS-ribbon lanyards, pictures for loved ones at home, and other artistic endeavors as they enjoy more than a week of social interaction that can strengthen self-esteem and relieve emotional stress. Campers attend Project Kindle's events at no expense to their families, including travel, meals, and program costs.

28245 Avenue Crocker
Valencia,
CA
US

Dr. Michael Lin knows skin inside and out. After founding the Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute?where he has mended the skin woes of such celebrities as Cindy Chiu?Dr. Lin turned his attention to his clients' outer appearances, and the Linage Dermatology Institute was born. In this clinic, he and his team of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and laser specialists harness advanced technology to lavish patients with clearer, smoother, and more youthful appearances. Light-based devices, such as the Sciton laser for hair removal, the ProFractional laser for wrinkle reduction, and the laser pointer for receptionist amusement, enhance exteriors with a noninvasive approach, and injectables such as Juv?derm and Botox help restore youthful radiance. For at-home care, the physician's signature line of Linage LINQ products helps keep newfound faces nourished and protected.

26357 McBean Pkwy
Valencia,
CA
US

Nothing can inspire change like the unfettered creativity of the young mind. Using this philosophy, David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman developed an eight-week seminar in 2005, during which students could build solutions for their own communities. They explored local needs, wrote grant proposals, and fostered a grassroots movement to create a community pocket garden. With a $10,000 city grant, the youth planted 12 trees and 300 plants and installed benches and a mosaic trash can, creating a green space that was open to everyone.

After the garden’s success, Youth Speak Collective began promoting more “for youth, by youth” year-round programs to help students gain confidence, contribute to their communities, and develop skills they could use to find jobs once they leave school. Subsequently, the organization’s reach has grown. The program sponsors a career internship program, family support, and 24/7 Dad class, which teaches fathering skills and financial literacy to young dads. Additionally, youth can play a fast-paced version of soccer in Club Futbolito or document and address problems in the community with the youth council. For the artistically minded, the visual- and design-arts programs teach youth basic street-design concepts and how to create short films for local businesses.

See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.

444 South Brand Blvd. #201
San Fernando,
CA
US

Keri Bowers is an autism advocate. She’s a speaker, author, filmmaker, mother, and the founder of Pause4Kids. Normal People Scare Me—her 2006 film made in conjunction with her son, an aspiring filmmaker with autism—interviewed 65 people with autism, exploring seldom-asked questions such as “Do you like being autistic?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Through her films, Keri has spread awareness about autism-spectrum disorders and other disabilities, but her work gets far more hands-on as well.

Pause4Kids aims to improve the quality of special education, empowers parents to support their children, and advocates for children’s legal and civil rights. Following a whole-child philosophy, the organization’s volunteers believe that special education should cover a variety of disciplines, including the academic, social-communication, emotional, and recreation realms to enable youth with disabilities to thrive among their peers. Staff members also sponsor a monthly advocacy group and regular recreational activities, such as Art-A-Thons and Abilities Awareness events.

See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.

101 Moody Ct
Thousand Oaks,
CA
US

Food Forward connects people with food by harvesting excess produce from local farms and public spaces, which it distributes to more than 20 food banks and pantries across Southern California. After receiving an invitation, an all-volunteer force meets at a property and picks produce for one to two hours. A pick leader provides tools, organizes the group, and delivers the fruit to a vetted hunger-relief organization that serves it to clients within 72 hours. By conducting 15–20 picks every month, Food Forward aims to demonstrate the abundance of available food that goes to waste and to raise the issues of urban hunger and food justice in the community.

7412 Fulton Ave
North Hollywood,
CA
US

Established: 1998
Reservations/Appointments: Required
Staff Size: 25–50 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: Complete the online registration process before coming for your first visit
Parking: Free street parking
Recommended Age Group: Kids

Q&A with the President of Golden State Gymnastics

I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
We send a welcome and information email that details how to register online, how to e-sign our waiver form, and what to wear and bring. We advise people to arrive in time to find parking.

As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
All staff members are CPR/First Aid and USA Gymnastics Safety Certified, as well as fingerprinted and background checked. Staff members attend regional and national level training. We have a disaster plan in place and conduct periodic disaster drills on site so that we are prepared for emergencies.

What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
Our mission is to offer a fun, safe and healthy gymnastics experience by providing the highest quality instruction and encouraging atmosphere to every child who walks through our doors. We want your child's favorite day of the week to be at Golden State Gymnastics. A highlight of the week is the inflatable water slide during water play. This year, the slide is scheduled for two days each week!

1828 N Keystone St
Burbank,
CA
US