Janette Fennell was locked in her own trunk with her husband—forced there at gunpoint—thinking only about her child. Their 9-month-old had been in the vehicle with them before the carjacking, but now they didn't know where he was and what kind of danger he was in. After escaping, she was fortunate enough to be reunited with their son, and she found her life's purpose. In the years following, she led a successful campaign to institute internal trunk-release mechanisms in all vehicles manufactured in the US. But this victory was just the beginning.
During the campaign, parents had contacted her to help with other incidents: cars being knocked into gear and children being left in overheated vehicles. So Janette made it her mission to inform the public about nontraffic motor-vehicle accidents and to help protect children from the dangers of automobiles. Today her organization, KidsAndCars.org, works to prevent more than 200 annual child deaths caused by such tragedies as backovers, heat stroke, and power-window strangulations. And KidsAndCars.org goes beyond advocacy too—it also collects data on fatalities and helps survivors deal with their grief through volunteer support systems.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Since 2010, Sleepyhead Beds' team of volunteers has collected new or gently used beds and bedding to give to children in need—working with the belief that all children deserve a good night’s sleep. The volunteers pick up donated mattresses, and then transport them to the organization's warehouse for sterilization before delivering the beds to the children. In 2011, Sleepyhead Beds delivered approximately 1,800 beds to Kansas City–area children.
Formed by a group of young professionals who wanted to leave a positive mark on their city, SocialHeart raises funds and awareness for Kansas City’s local nonprofit organizations. After two years of careful event planning and volunteering, the group held its first events in 2012, each based on its belief that raising money for a good cause should be fun. To that end, the team coordinates elaborate events throughout the year, such as themed costume parties, date auctions, pub crawls, and brewery tours—all of which benefit local nonprofit groups and clowns looking to socialize without being recognized. SocialHeart also provides social media, marketing support, graphic design, and website or technical support for organizations’ events, as well as organized volunteers for nonprofit events if needed.
Reach Out and Read Kansas City supports early literacy development in children from low-income families by distributing books during medical examinations. Every year children from birth to 5 years old visit pediatric doctors for vaccinations and checkups. Doctors partnering with Reach Out and Read Kansas City talk to families about the importance of reading aloud to children and give them an age-appropriate book to take home. Volunteers also distribute pamphlets and gently used books in waiting rooms for children to read and take and, when possible, read aloud to children while they wait to model techniques for parents. Reach Out and Read Kansas City gives books to more than 28,000 children every year though partnerships with 49 area clinics. The books mostly go to underserved families and come in 25 languages to reach a wide variety of communities.
Goods from dozens of local businesses and artisans will populate the ballroom floor of Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino & Hotel during the fifth annual Northland Holiday Mart, a charitable event presented by Safe Place for Kids and benefiting the Northland Early Education Center. Visitors can simultaneously get a leg up on holiday shopping and support a good cause as they peruse vendor booths and decide which siblings are worthy of gifts this year. Friday is Ladies’ Night Out with live music from Touch & Go to electrify the atmosphere and special wristbands to endow visitors with unlimited food and drink throughout the night.
Every year more than 6,500 animals enter Wayside Waifs, incapable of surviving on their own. They're injured or sick, mothers with babies, or orphans too young to feed themselves. But the shelter takes them all in. It even outsources?entrusting the youngest and most vulnerable to foster families who care for them and dote on them until they're old enough and socially ready to seek adoption.
At that point, the animals move back to the shelter. There they enjoy all the privileges of an adopted pet: dogs go on lengthy walks around a 50-acre campus, hear soothing spa music indoors, and play in a 5,000-square-foot fenced-in agility park; while cats lounge on towers in the sun room, sleep on plush beds in cage-free kennels, and play iPad games with a volunteer. As a result of this loving treatment, the animals are happy and healthy once it's time to move in with new families.