Charity & Grassroots in Downtown

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Though it disbanded in 1938, the Wa Sung Athletic Club once stood as Oakland's preeminent all-Chinese semi-pro baseball team. In 1952, the club rose as a non-profit service organization dedicated to the Chinese community, promoting understanding and good will among its citizens. Today, the Wa Sung Community Service Club includes members of all races and ethnic backgrounds, all united in a devotion to to providing service to the entire Oakland community.

388 Ninth St
Oakland,
CA
US

The organization's Family Literacy Nights provide parents and students with academic tools and services aimed at ensuring that children master reading and writing in English. The program provides an opportunity for parents and children to share a learning experience as they play games, solve puzzles, and craft projects designed to boost literacy. OASES hopes to distribute literacy kits for up to 240 students at Family Literacy Nights held at Lincoln Elementary School on October 20 and at Cleveland Elementary School on December 16. Each kit includes a book, a parent-participation guide, puzzles and word games, and a notebook and pencils for practicing writing skills.

196 10th St
Oakland,
CA
US

In Sanskrit, the word “niroga” means “freedom from disease.” Staying true to their business' namesake, the instructors and healers at Niroga Yoga Studio strive to guide students down a path of mental, physical, and spiritual healing. The aforementioned path takes on a literal form in the palatial exercise space—students lie on mats beside a path formed in the floorboards that leads to an image of a blossoming lotus. Beneath spheres of soft light, teachers walk about to offer modifications for poses or inspirational shadow puppets. They hold classes that are meditative, therapeutic, or fitness oriented, and regularly offer separate workshops on stress management and the physiological benefits of yoga practice. There are also yoga therapists and massage therapists that can further aid in healing and finding peace of mind.

The nonprofit Niroga Institute, which specializes in transforming the lives of incarcerated youth, underserved high-school students, and cancer survivors, operates Niroga Yoga Studio.

111 Fairmount Ave
Oakland,
CA
US

Reviewed positively by the New York Times and hailed as "outstandingly well-performed" by the Wall Street Journal during its 13-year run, the Hartford Stage's production of A Christmas Carol packs strong acting, period costumes, and spooky special effects to the Dickens holiday tale. Watch chain-rattling ghosts and a winsome little boy try to melt the icy heart of Ebenezer Scrooge during this classic Hartford Stage production, which has been seen by more than a quarter million people since 1998. Holiday revelers can buy tickets for up to three friends over the age of 5 for a pre-New Year's Eve night out, or bring the whole family as a post-Christmas gift that should atone for keeping eight disoriented reindeer in the RV.

1260 7th St
Oakland,
CA
US

Loved Twice's community volunteers seek out recyclable infant attire and assemble separate wardrobe sets for boys and girls, which licensed social workers then distribute to low-income mothers. Each wardrobe-in-a-box contains 75 clothing and accessory items in sizes 0–12 months, including newborn onesies, sleepers, hats, booties, books, a warm blanket and a First 5 California new-parent-education kit. In 2010, Loved Twice recycled enough items to clothe 1,050 newborns, thus keeping babies warm while easing new parents' financial burden.

4123 Broadway
Oakland,
CA
US

What was once vacant military housing is now a thriving community, thanks to Alameda Point Collaborative. In 1999, APC transformed the vacant space into a permanent supportive-housing community that 500 formerly homeless residents—including more than 300 children and young adults—now call home. Residents gain access to resources that can help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, from job-skills training to substance-abuse and mental-health counseling. Along with 200 housing units across 34 acres, APC operates Ploughshares Nursery, a retail plant nursery that provides residents with opportunities to learn skills in customer service, landscaping, and urban farming.

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

677 W Ranger Ave
Alameda,
CA
US