The Tarzan Zerbini Circus, which is sponsored by Shriners Fraternity, thrills carnival-goers with high-flying acts, a bustling midway, and more than 40 rides. Huddle under the big top and feast peepers on hurtling human cannonballs, traffic-law-defying motorcycle stunts, and high-flying wirewalkers and sway-polers. Shriner circus clowns and a friendly elephant make for humorous cameos in between the death-defying deeds. After a rousing bout of tentertainment, browse kid- and family-friendly attractions or spin, drop, zoom, and flip on a collection of rides that keeps the adrenaline percolating for thrill-seekers, little ones, and oversized sentient plush gorillas.
In an effort to end the cycles of hunger and poverty, Stop Hunger Now partners with programs that provide food to schools to help feed hungry children and improve their nutrition, while encouraging them to attend school. The partner organizations have also noted an increase in overall school enrollment when meals are placed in schools. Atlanta-area volunteers pack and ship the nutritious meals, which contain rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin pack that form a rice-soy casserole when cooked in boiling water.
The tireless, all-volunteer team of court-appointed special advocates (CASA) at Children's Voice: CASA, Inc. give a voice to the unheard children of Douglas County. A chapter of the National CASA and Georgia CASA, the local outpost advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in juvenile-court deprivation proceedings, speaking up for the needs of children who might otherwise get lost in the overburdened legal and social-services system. The volunteers—each of whom has completed 30 hours of pre-service training and 10 hours of court observation—take on a wide range of responsibilities on behalf of children, including gathering information, appearing in court, seeking solutions, and explaining the process to the child.
Conceived in Seattle in 1976, National CASA originated as a way to empower abused and neglected children. Nationwide, advocates have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes since the organization’s founding. In the last year alone, volunteers have represented 243,000 children—about half of the children in the country’s child-welfare system at a given time.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Since banding together in 1979, the historians at Atlanta Preservation Center have helped ward off packs of angry bulldozers from more than 175 endangered buildings. Working alongside local government, businesses, and community leaders, the preservation team has saved elaborate structures including the Peters House and Winecoff Hotel. In addition, its headquarters—the 1856 Grant Mansion in Grant Park—is one of just three antebellum houses left in Atlanta and the team is currently working to restore the building to its architecturally accurate origins. When it isn’t keeping delicate treasures from crumbling, the Atlanta Preservation Center leads walking tours of historic areas and tells embarrassing stories from the days when the city’s buildings were just a bunch of baby bricks.
Piedmont Park preserves the luxury of yesteryear. Designed in the late 1800s, the park's facilities have withstood the test of time with recreational halls that reflect the simplicity of its lush landscapes, and wetlands. Over the past 20 years, the Piedmont Park Conservancy has restored the park to its historic natural beauty, transforming a dilapidated space into a frequented green space. A slew of activities engage the community with outdoor programs ranging from environmental day camps to team sports such as soccer and softball. Park tours explore the history of the neighborhood and the weekly Green Market whets appetites with fresh produce from local farmers and thieving rabbits.
WonderRoot fosters the next generation of artists in its Community Arts Center, including access to arts-education classes and all of the center's media production facilities. Young people ages 18 and under can enrich expressive skills in arts classes such as bookbinding and video editing and take advantage of resource spaces that include a darkroom, digital-media lab, and printing, recording, and ceramics studios. Professional development programs are also available to nurture budding artists. While membership to the center costs $60, WonderRoot strives to make their resources accessible to the community and has supported 88 young artists in the past year with free memberships.