The Summit Area YMCA with its Berkeley Heights location and the Madison Area YMCA serve as community gathering places where principles are put into practice. The cause-driven organizations focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. The Learning Circle (Summit Area) and the F.M. Kirby Children's Center (Madison Area) take care of babies as young as 6 weeks old, and babysitting services afford parents the opportunity to explore the Y while childcare professionals watch little ones.
The Y also aims to keep kids and their families healthy with sports leagues, youth sports clinics, group fitness classes, and a fitness center equipped with a climbing wall, Olympic free-weight room, and a pool. All of the Y’s programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or perform a back handspring.
During Enable’s day program, five days of structured activities engage individuals with disabilities, allowing them to volunteer in their local community, interact socially with their peers and other adults, and improve their physical and cognitive well-being. Participants volunteer with Meals on Wheels and visit veterans, or learn new skills such as art, pet therapy, and horticulture. The day program empowers people with disabilities to tackle their goals and personal interests while building a recreational community in a structured environment.
Custom collages from Pixtac bring unadorned walls to life with clean, borderless personal photos printed on acrylic glass. After uploading favorite wedding, baby, or other personal photos to the design site, customers choose a template to piece together collages, using simple editing software to resize, crop, and filter pictures for the perfect look. Once submitted, user creations are then digitally printed and mounted to acrylic glass panels that create a floating appearance when hung.
The Watershed Butterfly Festival, presented by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, will teach families about their local environment. Kids can get face to antennae with butterflies and other insects at the insect zoo, and families can explore nature on hayrides, walks, and at the festival's interactive enviro-zones. After learning all about a butterfly's lifecycle and rambling along on a trail, guests can take in the fest's butterfly parade. Other entertainment will include live music from Grammy-nominated kids' artist Miss Amy and classic rock from The Dadz. Food and art will also be available from local artisans.
Helmed by lifelong artist Cindy Laliwala, The Painter's Loft unleashes children's and adults' inner creativity through welcoming workshops for all skill levels. Adult sessions allow guests to bring drinks and snacks, encouraging guests to socialize while they learn to paint a special themed picture. Children's classes, meanwhile, begin with lessons that focus on drawing and painting skills and advance to cover an array of art forms, teaching kids how to create watercolor paintings, carvings, and even mosaics.
The volunteers of Musicians On Call's Bedside Performance Program may not have gone through med school, but that doesn't mean they're not healers. In fact, in some cases the responses they're able to elicit from their small hospital-room audiences—a smile on a stress-racked face, a foot moving ever so slightly to the music—are enough to make most doctors jealous.
The concept is as simple as it is unconventional: a volunteer knocks on a hospital door and asks if the room's occupant would like to hear some music. Patients who agree are treated to a brief private concert, a respite from the anxiety and monotony that can characterize even brief hospital stays. These miniature performances are so effective that in its 14 years of existence the organization has garnered support from celebrities across the musical spectrum and has grown to include branches in six cities: New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Through these branches, it's arranged for more than 400,000 patients, family members, and caregivers to rest their minds and recharge their spirits through the power of live music.
Live music, however, isn't the only salve in Musicians On Call's arsenal. Hospitals in all 50 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and Ireland, have received comprehensive CD libraries, as well as CD players, as part of the organization's Music Pharmacy program.
NBC Nightly News features MOC from Ebie McFarland on Vimeo.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.