Mark and Amy Meyers bought their first donkey, Izzy, more than a decade ago. Though they only sought a pet, their close relationship with Izzy inspired them to take up a cause. Soon after buying Izzy, they noticed that other donkeys in the neighborhood were suffering from abuse and neglect. They took immediate action: Amy began adopting the donkeys, and Mark spent his evenings talking to the donkeys and tending to their ailments. After they adopted their 25th donkey, they decided to start their own rescue organization, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.
Peaceful Valley, which currently cares for more than 1,500 donkeys, rescues domestic donkeys that have been abused or neglected and wild burros that have been displaced from their natural habitat. The donkeys are often found injured and wandering in the wilderness or are surrendered by their owners. After being rescued, they live in one of the farm sanctuaries in Texas, Oregon, or other satellite locations. Peaceful Valley has worked with capture programs, private landowners, and numerous government agencies—including the National Park Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife—to ensure that all donkeys have a safe place to live. Toward that aim, Peacefully Valley also holds clinics, trains donkey owners to better care for their animals, and educates the public about the nature and history of donkeys to improve their plight.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Per its name, OpenSesame, unlocks the secrets of diverse disciplines through more than 20,000 online trainings. Crafted by online training innovators such as FranklinCovey and MindLeaders, the sessions span more than 200 subjects. Some illuminate business-industry basics, such as accounting, marketing and standing out from other job applicants without turning your resume into an interpretive dance. Others focus on health care, or introducing software such as iMovie, Dreamweaver and Microsoft Office. Thanks to the tutorials’ flexible online formats, students can learn on their own schedule; after purchasing their training, they have a year to launch it, and another year to complete it.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
Capturing True Emotion is driven by a dynamic band of instructors who rove across the continent with cameras and teaching skills in hand. By fusing their narrative, tech-savvy minds together into one oversize head, the educators provide comprehensive guidance on both camera operation and creative visualization, giving participants complete control over all of their camera settings. During the hours spent in the company of other pupating shutterbugs, students convene at a tantalizing location to practice skills such as controlling depth of field by adjusting the aperture, composing a family portrait so there's not always a burning zeppelin in the background, using alternative angles to avoid red eye, and other techniques.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers work to torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room, ideal for drenching annoyingly dry towels. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
At Adorned Aesthetics, even the most familiar of skincare treatments, the facial, contains some surprises; the center's roster of nine different facials includes three services specifically designed for men as well as a Just Like Heaven exfoliation and massage treatment that lasts a full two hours. Two other services make use of some rare materials: the 24 kt. gold facial uses a gold serum and mask to reverse oxidation damage, and the Diamond Exfolight facial removes dead skin using the diamond-soled shoes that inspired Paul Simon to become a cobbler. When serums fall short, clients turn to the Bio-Roller, an FDA-approved micro-needle rolling system that treats wrinkles and acne without inflicting the downtime associated with surgery.
The spa can offer all of these treatments thanks to the expertise of Melanie Hamilton and Kathryn Hoffman, who are professionally certified and trained by Obagi Pharmaceutical Skin Care. This company also provides a few of the specialized products that they use during treatments on a variety of skin issues. Melanie and Kathryn, who are also trained in the formal modalities of the Valmont skincare line from Switzerland, stay sharp by attending classes, seminars, and conventions in the industry.