In 1991, Chandler youth were constantly in the news. Gang members were killing other gang members, turning children into statistics. Frustrated by the violence, Henry Salinas sought out gang leaders to ask why they spent their time on the streets instead of at youth centers. As a result of what he learned, he founded ICAN—Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods—a free program set in local parks and gymnasiums, designed to keep youth active and making more of their lives.
Today, ICAN continues this mission on a larger scale. ICAN's youth programs include homework help, job-skills development, non-traditional learning programs, and social and leadership development. Recently, its Peer Leaders program filmed a public service announcement to point out the dangers of drug use by comparing it to shoe licking, according to an article in AZ Central. A group of teens took part in the project, which will appear before every film for the next four weeks at Harkins theaters in the Chandler Fashion Center and Chandler Crossroads.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Sunbird Golf Resort lines up 18 picturesque holes in its par-66 executive course, which spreads over 4,384 yards amid a welcoming residential area. Though relatively short in overall length, the Gary Panks design brims with obstacles capable of ensnaring wayward balls, including greenside bunkers, water on 10 holes, and mischievous palm trees that drop coconuts to confuse searching golfers. Before a round, players can test green speed on practice putting greens next to the 1st and 10th tee boxes and warm up with shorter strokes on a slightly truncated driving range.
Course at a Glance:
The Desert Duel Charity Basketball Tournament pits AAU level basketball players for two days of invitational games. The high-flying two-day spectacular raises money for charity, raises attention for students who deserve scholarships, and raises the eyebrows of spectators who didn't know basketballs giggled quietly after being dunked. Fierce competition reins between more than 30 student basketball teams including the Memphis Magic, the Illinois Wolves, and the Arizona Stars. Nets swish and buzzers shriek in dozens of exciting games leading to the finale, at which tournament officials crown the national boys' basketball summer champion with a garland of Michael Jordan’s old jerseys. Profits from the tournament benefit Tom Crawford's Leadership Children's Foundation, which supports a variety of youth causes.
A volunteer-run and faith-based organization, The Clothes Cabin provides free clothing, shoes, and linens to low-income families. The organization accepts only new or gently used items that are then washed, ironed, and sorted by size to offer an experience similar to shopping at a retail store. Its volunteers served more than 1,000 families in 2011, providing more than 60,000 articles of clothing and household linens. The Clothes Cabin also has a free laundry service and, whenever possible, supplements clothing and linens with donations of books, hygiene items, toys, and diapers.
Aqua-Tots Swim School trains and encourages swimmers in the art of buoyancy through its array of services, specializing in instructing those aged 6 months–12 years in small groups. Instructors boast national certification, completing 32 hours in the company’s Lessons for Life training program and successfully completing the Water Safety Instructor exam.
Children are placed in one of eight class levels, from Tadpoles (6 months–18 months), which acquaints infants with the pool, to Stingrays, which is for children who have more experience and want to refine their strokes and one day sting a jellyfish. Each individual class contains no more than four students training under the watchful eye of the instructor in a climate-controlled indoor pool. In addition to the children’s program, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools also leads adult swim classes and provides training for both swim competition and first aid.
The Child Crisis Center (CCC) provides educational and developmental resources for families, operates the Arizona Adoption & Foster Care program, and runs an emergency shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
Since it's inception in 1981, the CCC has housed more than 12,700 children from infancy to age 11. The shelter now contains 42 beds and houses 300–350 children every year. Young guests get a warm place to sleep, meals and snacks, and meaningful recreational and educational activities, including regular homework time and opportunities to play outdoors.