After tracking attendance patterns at several local low-income elementary schools, workers at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank discovered that many students who arrived late had not eaten at home and missed cafeteria breakfast at school. To prevent the consequences of inadequate food intake, such as learning and development issues, the organization established a breakfast-bags program that provides students who miss their school’s cafeteria breakfast with healthy, protein-laden food. Each breakfast bag contains at least four stomach-filling items, such as a cereal box, fruit cup, applesauce, and peanut butter and crackers.
Nearly two decades ago, a group of 14 religious communities founded Sisters Place, Inc. to provide housing and support services to single-parent families. To ensure the families settled into a larger community, the organization purchased 16 apartments in the 450-unit Century Townhomes complex. Today, Sisters Place works to empower 32 families to escape the cycle of poverty by completing education and securing employment. After receiving a recommendation from a social-service agency, families who have been victims of abuse, lived with a mental illness, or struggled with addiction can move into housing and take part in support programs. Single parents with physical or mental disabilities or substance-abuse issues can live in permanent housing, whereas young parents between the ages of 18 and 35 can live in rent-assisted housing for up to two years. While in the housing, families benefit from support services including childcare, transportation, cultural opportunities, and case management to get them on the path to self-sufficiency.
Working toward the vision that no one in Northern Allegheny County should be hungry, cold, or alone, North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) assists those dealing with hardship and poverty through a variety of services. These services include free computer training, utility assistance, college scholarships for non-traditional students, and emergency financial help. Thanks to the volunteers who work in the Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden—a community-based, organic garden—NHCO has helped grow and share fresh produce at its two area food pantries. In 2012, the garden produced approximately 4,500 pounds of organic food.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Now in its 49th season, the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society continues to attract renowned chamber ensembles, from virtuosic string quartets to ivory-pounding pianists. With this deal, you can catch any of the remaining shows in the 2010–11 season, including the upcoming November 8 show with clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu, who'll perform a Brahms sonata, a Mendelssohn piece, and more. Those lobbying to put Beethoven on the cover of Teen Beat can immerse themselves in the hunky German's melodies on November 29, when the acclaimed Pacifica Quartet comes to town. Or celebrate the holiday season with Christmas classics at the Empire Brass's festive concert on December 13, guest starring vocalist Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of Baron Georg and Maria von Trapp from MTV's classic reality show, The Sound of Music.
RIF Pittsburgh annually gives 60,000 free books and motivational literacy activities to children in more than 100 schools, community centers, and public housing across the city. Increasing the number of books in low-income homes can directly affect how often children will read on their own or with their families, which helps strengthen their essential literacy skills. Through RIF Pittsburgh’s programs, students can select their own stories or books to take home to keep and peruse with their families, sparking their desire to read in a positive environment.
The 42nd annual Mexican War Streets Society House & Garden Tour guides patrons through Victorian-style homes and gardens, raising funds to preserve the historic north-side neighborhood. Paired patrons stroll through the federally designated historic district, taking in late-19th-century architecture, commenting on flowering and waterfalling gardens, and ducking their top hats beneath doorframes. Character-filled homes open up to show their modern renovations and restorations of chandeliers, hardwood floors, fireplaces, and carved trim and crown molding. Guests can direct questions to knowledgeable domicile docents, stop in at an array of refreshment areas and local-art exhibits, and get advice from restoration specialists on their own historic renovation projects, such as repairing the stained glass in an antique doghouse.