Charity & Grassroots in Half Moon Bay

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Friends for Youth's Senior Friends volunteer to spend time with a Junior Friend between the ages of 8 and 17, solidifying a relationship of trust and support with weekly activities such as going to the movies, visiting the zoo, and reading together. Friends for Youth plans to send mentor and mentee pairs on an adventure trip to Lake Tahoe to help strengthen the bond between Friends and introduce youth to exciting outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding. With $300, a mentor-and-mentee pair can attend the trip, with funding to cover the cost of transportation, a meal, skiing or snowboarding lessons, and equipment rental.

1741 Broadway St
Redwood City,
CA
US

The first day of school can be one of excitement and anticipation. But it can also be a day of anxiety, of stress, of fearing that you'll stand out for all the wrong reasons. For kids from low-income families or families experiencing homelessness, the latter is more often the case. But My New Red Shoes works to eliminate that stress. Partnering with homeless shelters and community agencies, My New Red Shoes identifies homeless and very low-income children in need of clothing and shoes, and works with thousands of volunteers—from Girl Scouts to families—to meet that need. Children as young as four help the organization sort shoes and create cards to wish students luck on their first day. And equipped with their new footwear and that vote of confidence, the students can look forward to a new year.

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

330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 135
Redwood City,
CA
US

Squeals fill the room as children uncover beetles and worms. Although digging through mud isn't a standard classroom activity, this class is learning about microelements at the bottom of the food chain. And the kids get to get their hands dirty. In an interview with Palo Alto Online, Environmental Volunteers' Executive Director Allan Berkowitz explained that classroom lessons should move away from traditional lectures. Instead, he wants “kids to touch and taste and smell their way to science education."

To that end, Environmental Volunteers leads hands-on activities in nine natural-science subjects including Baylands ecology, energy and natural resources, and Nature in your Neighborhood. Every year, Environmental Volunteers conducts 90-minute classroom programs—where kids learn how Native Americans respected the environment or simulate earthquakes with an electric shake table—lead two-hour follow-up field trips, and host summer day camps to teach 10,000 children across the region. The organization also runs a nature center for the public that teaches about the natural world from its location in the Baylands Nature Preserve. For those who can’t make it, a webcam shows a 24/7 view of the marshes outside the center on San Francisco Bay.

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

2560 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto,
CA
US

Every week during the program, children bring home red Raising A Reader bags filled with four developmentally appropriate multicultural books to share with their parents. The program develops literacy skills and establishes a connection between families and the local library. After graduating the program, each child receives a blue library bag with a custom nametag and an included book to take home. Children can use the blue bags when returning to the library, cueing librarians to help them find appropriate books that build reading skills.

2440 W El Camino Real, Suite 300
Mountain View,
California
US

Members of City Carshare, the company reports on its website, drive 50% less than individual car owners, annually saving more than 20 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is exactly what the local nonprofit had in mind in 2001 when they opened more than 200 Bay Area lots full of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, and electric cars and sleighs pulled by Virginia creeper. These vehicles are the linchpin in their two-fold social commitment to creating healthy urban spaces and strong communities.

The first part of that is relatively straightforward: fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and smog and reduced demand for parking lots that could be transformed into parks that grow into concrete jungles. The company defrays the high monetary costs of car ownership by providing insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, and all the fuel your vehicle needs to get on the road. To foster a sense of community, they hook members up with a private ride-sharing program and entice them to explore the city via their key fob, which unlocks perks at other local businesses. Their mission is backed by a global network of transportation visionaries in the international CarSharing Association, of which City Carshare is a founding member.

1182 Market St, Ste 300
San Francisco,
CA
US

Food & Wine magazine has drawn editor-in-chief Dana Cowin's expertise of all things edible for 17 years. The monthly publication introduces readers to unique ingredients and up-and-coming chefs, as well as home-entertainment tips and wine-pairing advice. Restaurant reviews suggest new eateries to try when you don't want to dirty your dishes or attempt to pronounce “worcestershire sauce,” and articles about international food provide constant culinary inspiration.

"Travel + Leisure is a celebration of travel," says editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod. Browsing the magazine's table of contents reveals the truth of this statement; an affection for the road shines through in articles about domestic and international destinations, tech tips for sightseers, and glossy photos of stunning locales. Writers bring to life seasonal festivities around the world and weigh in on the best hotels, resorts, and wax museums with unobservant guards. Themes covered include adventure vacations, eco-travel, and kid-friendly trips.

235 Montgomery St
San Francisco,
CA
US