Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) protects and defends more than two million acres of natural spaces across the northern Yosemite region. The organization’s staff works to reduce clear cutting, road construction, and pollution to ensure that the forest, water, and meadow wilderness areas remain pristine. Apart from educational outreach to schools and communities, the staff gets its hands dirty sampling the water quality in forest streams and surveying meadows to locate areas of environmental damage. CSERC also sponsors restoration projects for meadows and streams, maintains remote camera stations to detect rare wildlife species, and works to find solutions to difficult environmental issues.
Sweet sounds and spicy flavors permeate the annual Taste of San Joaquin, which attracts local merchants and bands for a cook-off under the summer sun. During the fest, a BBQ competition will feature smoky creations. Patrons can sample pork ribs, loaded baked potatoes, and beef brisket off the grill while sipping on frosty beers. Kids can play in the activity area with face paint and activities, while live bands cover everything from blues classics to lively Latin tunes.
Proceeds from the event go to stimulate the local economy and support nonprofits, with $0.80 of every dollar spent going to the locally owned business that sponsored the food and $0.20 going to a local charity. In the past four years, the Taste has donated more than $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations such as the San Joaquin Bike Coalition and the Child Abuse Prevention Council.
A helping hand for the local Hmong and Southeast Asian Communities, Lao Family Community Empowerment strives to empower and provide outreach for those who need it. Since forming in 1984, the organization has helped Hmong refugees in Northern California find stability, education, and a sense of community through its specialized programs and health initiatives. Lao also puts on the Stockton Hmong New Year Celebration each year to help preserve and showcase cultural traditions.
Cecilio & Kapono have crafted breezy Polynesian tunes since 1973, releasing more than a dozen albums and touring with such notables as Peter Frampton and Santana. This year, the duo launched its C&K Back in the Day tour, which transports listeners to the '70s with lush vocal harmonies and a vintage Volkswagen Beetle that pulls up to each seat. Instead of carving a saxophone from a coconut, guests can enjoy mellow numbers such as "Lovin' in Your Eyes" and "I Am The Other Man" from the comfort of top-tier seats. Guitars and ukuleles will swathe the crowd in romance, prompting episodes of handholding and tandem piggyback rides. Visitors can also watch opening performances by local Hawaiian-pop band Ho’okipa Centrale and the Hiva Nui hula troupe.
The all-volunteer team at Sacramento Inner City Outings organizes fun and educational wilderness adventures for urban youth and adults who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to experience the natural world. Through these outdoor trips – which might include hikes, camping trips, backpacking, or snowshoeing – the organization promotes appreciation and protection of the environment, as well as personal growth and leadership skills among inner city youth. A part of the Sierra Club’s 50-city Inner City Outings network, the Sacramento chapter has organized nearly 30 outdoor trips in the last two years, and looks forward to upcoming excursions to Echo Summit and the Cosumnes River Preserve.
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With daily access to fresh, affordable, homegrown vegetables, people can enjoy a healthier lifestyle while also helping their community become more productive and sustainable. Valley Verde works toward this vision for the residents of Santa Clara County. The staff teach individuals from low-income families how to grow and maintain their own organic vegetable gardens through classes and mentoring services, so they can become self-sufficient, lifelong gardeners and share their gardening knowledge with other residents in their communities. To help these low-income families start home gardens at no cost, Valley Verde sells gardening services and kits, using the proceeds to pay for supplies and seedlings. The organization also works to improve the health of Santa Clara County residents through collaborations that help improve existing food system polices and raise awareness of health and environmental issues.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.