The name encompasses not only the mission, but the scope as well. Kids Matter International works to show children that they are important even if they live in poverty—even if they were abandoned or orphaned—setting their sights as close to home as Northern Texas and as far away as India and Honduras. In Texas, its work is apparent in children heading to school with new clothing and supplies. In India, an orphanage gives children a home through political unrest and natural disaster. And in Honduras, the organization provides transitional housing for young girls who have faced abuse.
Yet the people behind Kids Matter International know that when facing a foe as intractable as childhood poverty, no one can solve the problem alone. That’s why the organization—which comprises just four full-time staff members—teams up with hundreds of volunteers and dozens of corporate partners to put on programs that directly benefit disadvantaged children.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Imagine the moment when a shy, introverted young girl steps in front of a room full of people for the first time and speaks with confidence and clarity. This is a regular occurrence at Drama Kids International, where experienced teachers use a unique, copyrighted curriculum to help shape and focus outgoing children or draw shy children out of their shells. Classes for kids as young as 5 refine speech techniques, dramatic movement, and imagination, giving them the confidence to perform in front of an audience or finally ask their parents to change their names to Thespis. For older kids, aged 12–18, Drama Kids International offers the DKI Acting Academy, where serious theater kids can expand their speaking, acting, and auditioning skills through exercises and performances.
Bedford Blues & BBQ, a two-day festival held on the grounds adjacent to Bedford’s City Hall, enthralls attendees with performances from blues masters, barbecue-style edibles from local grill gurus, and purchasable crafts from artisans. Headlining act Buddy Guy, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee whose electric-blues playing style influenced guitar legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, entrances audiences with soulful guitar riffs and a spinning hypnosis wheel. Grammy-winning musician Jonny Lang also takes the stage, proving to skeptics that the child prodigy, with age, has matured in lyric-writing and beard-growing abilities. While vendor fare sates the appetites of concertgoers, a barbecue cookoff competition held on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (admission not included with Groupon) challenges local meat smokers to concoct culinary masterpieces, impressing ticketholders with small samples of brisket, burnt ends, and other grill-marked cuisine.
Unlike many of its brethren, the Arlington Museum of Art does not maintain a permanent collection. Instead, it celebrates the ever-changing nature of art by featuring local artists in traveling exhibitions and curated shows. Also, since opening in 1952, the museum has been a headquarters for promoting artistic expression throughout the community. Gallery talks and artist lectures give visitors the chance to interactively learn, and summer art camps get kids motivated to create masterpieces.
Big Barn Bar-B-Que's specialty dry-rubbed and pecan-smoked meats stock hungry mouths with succulent tastes backed by a cavalcade of sides. The menu enumerates a choice of 10 different meats, including two-meat plates that pair together savory combinations of carnivorous fare such as a tender arrangement of chopped brisket, classic baby back ribs, or jalapeño-cheddar sausage. Sides such as coleslaw and potato salad celebrate refreshing, cooling textures, and crisp fried okra and onion rings tantalize taste buds more completely than PhD students learn the alphabet. As duos, quartets, or sextets revel in smoky delights and share tastes, iced teas, fountain drinks, and coffee anoint liquid intake apparatuses in preparation for a finishing course of just desserts—seasonal cobblers packing a palatable punch of fruits such as strawberry or peach and Mama's famous banana pudding, which reveals a union of fresh-blended bananas and crisp vanilla wafers.
Vetro Glass Blowing Studio & Art Gallery, winner of the WFAA-List’s award for best art gallery, offers the public an inside peek at renowned glass artists working on fragile creations. In a 30-minute, artist-instructed session, students help create one hand-blown, fluted glass bowl, choosing colors from among the vibrant Vetro palette.