Charity & Grassroots in New Carrollton

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Pyramid Atlantic is a non-profit contemporary arts center that promotes artistic excellence in the fields of hand-papermaking, printmaking, digital media, and bookmaking. Among impressive facilities and tools are an antique letterpress, materials for hand-binding books, and the art gallery, which has a new solo show each month and is DC’s source for fine art prints and artistic activities. Members enjoy once-a-month, hands-on tutorials (such as screen-printing, bookmaking, and paper UFO folding), once-a-month tours of the new exhibits with the director of the Washington Printmaker’s Gallery (which curates Pyramid Atlantic’s exhibits), 10% off at the community arts store in Silver Spring, and 10% off live music and theater events.

8230 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring,
MD
US

Acupuncture Needles: Hair-Thin Instruments of Healing

Although many fear hospital needles, those used in acupuncture are much less scary. Check out Groupon’s examination of acupuncture needles to ease any lingering aichmophobia.

Acupuncture generally doesn’t draw blood—a testament to the skill of professional acupuncturists but also to the special needles they use. Unlike the needles commonly feared by hospital-goers, acupuncture needles are thin enough to slip through the skin without breaking any blood vessels. Although most are roughly the thickness of a hair or a pixie’s wand, they come in several varieties for different treatment types: thinner needles provide less stimulation and are often used for children or the elderly; shorter needles treat the head and face; and longer needles (up to 5 inches long) target the thighs and other fleshy areas to reach points along the body’s theoretical energy pathways, known as meridians.

Filiform needles are the most common, comprising a stainless-steel wire sharpened at one end and wrapped at the other to form a handle. With a quick, skilled hand—or the aid of an insertion tube—practitioners insert the tip just beneath the skin’s surface, and although a small prickle may be felt, once the needles are in, the patient shouldn’t feel them at all. Today, most acupuncturists use disposable needles due to their safety and simplicity, but some may use reusable steel or even gold needles, sterilizing them between use in the same way doctors or guitarists do their instruments.

The practice of acupuncture stretches back more than 5,000 years, well before stainless steel was a household commodity. Archaeologists have dug up traces of the implements early healers used to get energy, or chi, flowing properly through the body: sharpened stones were a popular choice, as were delicate needles of bone.

12911 Woodmore Road
Bowie,
MD
US

When she was a tutor to children from low-income families in Washington, DC, Kyle Zimmer was amazed by how excited students would get whenever given their own books. As she relayed in a 2011 New York Times story, this work inspired Zimmer to start First Book, an organization dedicated to making reading materials accessible to children in need.

Today, nearly 20 years after Zimmer's eureka moment, First Book works toward this goal through two channels: the First Book Marketplace, an online store with quality books—including Caldecott and Newbery award-winners—available at up to 90% below the retail price, and the First Book National Book Bank, a clearinghouse for publishers’ excess inventory. To date, the organization has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to 50,000 schools and programs throughout the United States and Canada—with more added each month.

The impact has been inspiring. An internal study found that 70% of children reported reading more at home after receiving books from First Book. In recognition of this and other accomplishments, the organization has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2005 Nonprofit Innovation Award and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.

1319 F St NW
Washington,
DC
US

During the summer Horton’s Kids Summer Camp helps provide students with a healthy, constructive environment, mitigating the "summer slide" in literacy that can occur during the long break and engaging kids with outings around the city. Throughout the six-week program, students focus on improving their literacy in half-day classes and exploring DC on daily field trips. Some excursions promote fitness, such as trips to the pool, and others focus on education, such as visits to museums. The summer camp also augments the class work and activities with healthy meals and snacks every day of the program.

110 Maryland Ave NE
Washington,
DC
US

One of the few American companies devoted to presenting operas in concert form, Washington Concert Opera sets patrons' spirits to soaring with rousing renditions of major works. Their forthcoming presentation of Jules Massenet's Werther seeks to showcase a stirring score and the talents of seven songbirds—including Met Opera regulars Jennifer Lamore (Charlotte) and Giuseppe Filianoti (Werther)—through a tale of star-crossed lovers, deathbed promises, and spontaneous, tuneful small talk. The vocal vamping takes place in the Lisner Auditorium, located on the George Washington University campus, whose tiered seating and cavernous playing chamber allow for ample views of vocalists and violinists alike. Attendees seated in Section C gaze upon the orchestra's harmonics from the rear terrace, enjoying unparalleled views of Waldo hiding behind the timpani section.

1808 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington,
DC
US

When Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green,” he obviously did not have access to today’s Groupon side deal. With this deal, you get a year-long membership to Live Green, an organization that puts the eco in economical. Plus, you get a $10 gift certificate for organic food and drink at Java Green Eco Café. Live Green has negotiated deals and discounts at 30+ green businesses in the DC-area. With your Live Green membership card handy, you can save $50 off a Zipcar membership, get 10% off everything at Sticky Fingers Bakery, buy $0.94 CFLs from ecobeco, and much, much more.

2452 18th St NW
Washington,
DC
US