Charity & Grassroots in Hesperia

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A multifarious but rarely nefarious array of local wineries, restaurants, artisans, crafters, and entertainers fortifies the stomping grounds at the Grape Harvest Festival, the oldest fete of its kind in California. But the main attraction is, without a doubt, the myriad buckets of squishy, sweet violet spheres waiting for aspirant tap dancers and resentful vegetable farmers to engage in one of the few remaining traditional grape stomps open to the public. Once you've finished gleefully purpling your heels, you'll get to taste the fermented fruits of local labor and celebrate the Rancho Cucamonga community’s vineyard heritage by sampling sips and nibbles from fine neighboring eateries, with each bite soundtracked by live music and other performances populating the various festival stages. Meanwhile, palates preferring motor oil to wine can salivate over the careful craftsmanship and luscious vroom-vrooms of the fest’s Saturday motorcycle rally and Sunday car show, which showcase a wide sampling of motos, including wine-powered Harleys and the rare ’82 vintage Ford Zinfandel. And with more than 100 arts and crafts options, the artsy-flatulentsy of any age can both make and take home handcrafted treasures.

7945 Vineyard Ave
Rancho Cucamonga,
CA
US

With its comfortable classrooms, computer lab, lounge, and private study areas, American English Institute gives newcomers to the country a preview of typical school settings. But, its curriculum is tailored entirely to nonnative English speakers. The Intensive English program, a nearly full-time eight-week course, represents the core of the curriculum. The course helps students climb through five levels of English aptitude, from beginner to advanced, and quickly shapes their reading and writing skills, grammar, and speaking and listening abilities. Students can also opt for goal-specific programs, such as GED or university prep.

5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Bldg. 400 Suite 450A
Riverside,
CA
US

Since it was founded in 1990, the nonprofit Celiac Disease Foundation has pioneered celiac disease education, awareness, and advocacy. Its network of national chapters have responded to the growing health care challenge of diagnosing celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The CDF Medical Advisory Board brings scientific knowledge to the cause and imparts crucial care information to individuals, medical professionals, and industry partners who confront celiac disease and gluten-related disorders on a daily basis. Through its annual CDF National Conference and Gluten-Free Expo, the organization opens the public's eyes to new ways of looking and living with foods that do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.

300 E Green St.
Pasadena,
CA
US

When The Charity Bomb’s staff purchases pink-, purple-, and blue-dyed cornstarch in bulk, they aren’t preparing to thicken the world’s biggest pan of tie-dyed gravy. Instead, they’re preparing for one of their festive 5K color runs, where runners are greeted at the finish line with cheers and handfuls of colorful powder. Each run, including the organization’s nighttime glow-in-the-dark run for sleep-runners, concludes with a party and benefits charities such as Boy Scout of America. ​

4621 Santiago Canyon Rd.
Silverado,
CA
US

Thousands of captive-bred exotic animals face abandonment, abuse, and neglect every year. Since readily available homes with trained caretakers are few and far between, euthanasia remains a common recourse for many of these animals. Joel and Chemaine wanted to prevent these deaths, so they founded Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization that rescues and rehabilitates creatures with nowhere else to go. The staff members obtain?but never purchase?animals from private owners as well as facilities that are no longer capable of providing adequate care and attention. The sanctuary then supports these exotic animals for the rest of their natural lives while allowing them to behave as naturally as possible within a protected environment.

Although Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary's primary mission is to save and protect at-risk creatures, educating the public is also a major goal. When staff members lead guided tours throughout the grounds, they not only teach guests about the sanctuary's exotic reptiles, birds, and big cats, but also explain the importance of preserving these species for future generations. Over the course of a visit, groups may have the opportunity to see everything from an African lion and a Canadian lynx to an Egyptian cobra and an Eclectus parrot. Most of the animals are protected in private enclosures, although, under the supervision of the guides, some tour groups may get the opportunity to examine select reptiles and non-exotic creatures.

8545 Buttemere Rd
Phelan,
CA
US

Broadway Theatricals' aim is to bring the scale and professionalism of the Great White Way to the Southern California community via hard-hitting musical numbers and incredibly elaborate production designs. The group estimates that its musicals and straight plays draw a consistent crowd of about 6,000, only a few of whom are ghosts that live in the theater’s basement. Numerous professional actors and musicians have passed through the sets of the company’s trademark crowd-pleasers since the company's 2011 inception.

8437 Sierra Ave
Fontana,
CA
US