Friends for Youth's Senior Friends volunteer to spend time with a Junior Friend between the ages of 8 and 17, solidifying a relationship of trust and support with weekly activities such as going to the movies, visiting the zoo, and reading together. Friends for Youth plans to send mentor and mentee pairs on an adventure trip to Lake Tahoe to help strengthen the bond between Friends and introduce youth to exciting outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding. With $300, a mentor-and-mentee pair can attend the trip, with funding to cover the cost of transportation, a meal, skiing or snowboarding lessons, and equipment rental.
Members of City Carshare, the company reports on its website, drive 50% less than individual car owners, annually saving more than 20 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is exactly what the local nonprofit had in mind in 2001 when they opened more than 200 Bay Area lots full of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, and electric cars and sleighs pulled by Virginia creeper. These vehicles are the linchpin in their two-fold social commitment to creating healthy urban spaces and strong communities.
The first part of that is relatively straightforward: fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and smog and reduced demand for parking lots that could be transformed into parks that grow into concrete jungles. The company defrays the high monetary costs of car ownership by providing insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, and all the fuel your vehicle needs to get on the road. To foster a sense of community, they hook members up with a private ride-sharing program and entice them to explore the city via their key fob, which unlocks perks at other local businesses. Their mission is backed by a global network of transportation visionaries in the international CarSharing Association, of which City Carshare is a founding member.
Kiva started small. In April 2005, founders Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley funded seven Kiva loans, totaling $3,500, to entrepreneurs across the globe. By September, all seven borrowers had repaid in full. With this success in hand, Flannery and Jackley expanded, transforming Kiva into a full-fledged non-profit, operating under the belief that a relatively small amount of money can make a big difference in alleviating poverty. And also that there were people who wanted to lend money to underserved people they'd never met. All it took was establishing a link.
Now more than one million lenders send money to people in even the most remote areas of more than 70 countries to build businesses, fund home construction, and pay for school tuition. When lenders fund microloans as low as $25 on the website, field partners distribute them to highly motivated, low-income borrowers in developing areas. Once their efforts come to fruition, the borrowers repay the capital—at an average repayment rate of 99%—giving lenders the opportunity to relend to a different project.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Food & Wine magazine has drawn editor-in-chief Dana Cowin's expertise of all things edible for 17 years. The monthly publication introduces readers to unique ingredients and up-and-coming chefs, as well as home-entertainment tips and wine-pairing advice. Restaurant reviews suggest new eateries to try when you don't want to dirty your dishes or attempt to pronounce “worcestershire sauce,” and articles about international food provide constant culinary inspiration.
"Travel + Leisure is a celebration of travel," says editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod. Browsing the magazine's table of contents reveals the truth of this statement; an affection for the road shines through in articles about domestic and international destinations, tech tips for sightseers, and glossy photos of stunning locales. Writers bring to life seasonal festivities around the world and weigh in on the best hotels, resorts, and wax museums with unobservant guards. Themes covered include adventure vacations, eco-travel, and kid-friendly trips.
Since it was erected 75 years ago, the Golden Gate Bridge has welcomed thousands of commuters and connected two pieces of land that, like itself, stand as preserved national parks. Staffers at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy have maintained the Bridge and more than 40 other local parks for the past 30 years, working to keep them relevant and accessible to visitors while preserving their original structures and native wildlife. Today, guides lead walking tours along the Golden Gate Bridge, walking and ferry tours around Alcatraz Island during the day and at night, and bus tours through Muir Woods. Their conservation staff also hosts regular local events such as botany workshops, endangered species restoration efforts, and youth classes in the history of ethnobotany: the cultural use of plants for food, medicine, and toga-party accessories.