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.
Each year, more than 300 vendors and 10,000 lovers of food, wine, beauty, and charity assemble for the annual Portland Women's Expo. In the vendor area, companies with specialties ranging from fitness and spiritual healing to home decor and financial planning share their products and expert advice with attendees. But visitors needn't worry about weary feet and sore backs after exploring the expo, as pampering and relaxation is the name of the game. The Massage Garden connects attendees with a dozen massage therapists who ease tension for a modest donation, and the Beauty Bar brims with complimentary hairstyles and makeovers. Visitors can also kick back to watch the Love Yourself First fashion show, which features creative apparel from up-and-coming Portland designers. On top of everything, guests can sample free chocolate, charcuterie, cheeses, and other gourmet edibles along with wine and spirits from a bevy of local establishments.
Tickets don't just support each guest's beautification efforts, however. The expo serves as one of two yearly fundraisers for The Portland Women's Expo Foundation, an organization intent on building a temporary housing and assistance facility for homeless families.
Hands & Voices was originally founded to unite people within the deaf community who had chosen different methods of communication. It began when a parent-support group in Colorado witnessed a national debate over the merits of oral versus ASL communication within the deaf community in response to an exhibit at the Smithsonian. Aggrieved by anger that resulted in the exhibit being shut down, the parents worked to create an entity that would represent and aid all deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
A local autonomous chapter of this national movement, Hands & Voices of Oregon helps new parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. When children do not pass the newborn hearing screening, Hands & Voices of Oregon contacts their families with information about follow-up diagnostics and educational and communication services. Each family also gains access to a guide who can provide emotional support, connect parents to resources and other families, and attend developmental planning meetings at schools.
Since 1966, Outdoor School has been supplementing Oregon’s public-education system with lessons on the environment, ecology, natural resources, and flora and fauna held in a camp setting. Friends of Outdoor School was recently founded to preserve this experience for youth and to make it available to all students regardless of their socio-economic statuses.
During day-camp courses, student leaders from local high schools work with middle-school students to explore the wonders of science through hands-on outdoor activities and traditional camp experiences. Students remain active from sun up to sun down, conducting field studies, engaging in recreational activities, preparing meals, and building campfires. The student leaders emerge from the experience with greater leadership abilities and both sets of students can bring their newfound knowledge to their science and math classes.
When the First Presbyterian Church founded Friendly House—then named the Marshall Street Community Center—in 1926, it was dedicated to a spiritual mission. But when the 1930s gave rise to the Great Depression, its focus quickly shifted to social concerns out of a desire to help those affected by the economic catastrophe. Friendly House’s scope and reach continued to expand over the next few decades, and today it enriches the lives of community members from every age group with educational, recreational, and life-sustaining services.
The neighborhood center and social-services agency help prepare children for school through playgroup and preschool programs. Friendly House also provides housing assistance and transportation for seniors and homeless families and brings the community together through martial-arts classes and other workshops.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Whether they're dangling from a tree, a club's ceiling, or pull-up bars inside the studio, A-WOL's cohort of dancers dazzles with a unique combination of dance and aerial fitness. Classes range from aerial yoga to trapeze, helping participants fly through the air like projectile cream pies. Instructors ensure that each participant soars safely by building a strong foundation before testing out skills and tricks.