Sandi Ravis backs up her services with more than two decades of experience, not to mention education from the University of Kansas, Cameo College, and The Santa Monica School of Massage Therapy. She has spent over 20 years in health care management, as well as more than 10 years in active massage practice. Sandi is also a Reiki master and a licensed master esthetician.
Keri Bowers is an autism advocate. She’s a speaker, author, filmmaker, mother, and the founder of Pause4Kids. Normal People Scare Me—her 2006 film made in conjunction with her son, an aspiring filmmaker with autism—interviewed 65 people with autism, exploring seldom-asked questions such as “Do you like being autistic?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Through her films, Keri has spread awareness about autism-spectrum disorders and other disabilities, but her work gets far more hands-on as well.
Pause4Kids aims to improve the quality of special education, empowers parents to support their children, and advocates for children’s legal and civil rights. Following a whole-child philosophy, the organization’s volunteers believe that special education should cover a variety of disciplines, including the academic, social-communication, emotional, and recreation realms to enable youth with disabilities to thrive among their peers. Staff members also sponsor a monthly advocacy group and regular recreational activities, such as Art-A-Thons and Abilities Awareness events.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
American Tortoise Rescue was founded by husband-and-wife team Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, who began advocating for the humane treatment of animals after adopting a pair of desert-tortoise hatchlings. Since that first adoption, their organization has rescued more than 3,000 turtles and tortoises of various land and water species, focusing their efforts on abused turtles or those with special needs?and has expanded its scope to the treatment of these animals worldwide.
At American Tortoise Rescue's facility, approximately 125 animals live in an enclosure that mimics the wild, having freedom to play on the ground or surf in the water. Sick turtles receive medical care from the all-volunteer staff, and stay in the house?or "turtle hospital"?until they're healthy enough to go outside. And to supplement these rescue efforts, the organization also provides information and awareness about the care and rehabilitation of tortoises for the public, working to prevent the sale of hatchlings, the importation and live-market slaughter of adult turtles, and the destruction of the desert-tortoise habitat.
Dedicated to finding a cure for muscular dystrophy and related diseases—such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease—the Muscular Dystrophy Association spends 76% of its proceeds directly on research programs or health and support services, advocacy, and education. By supporting more research on neuromuscular diseases than any other private-sector organization, the agency has helped uncover the genetic defects responsible for diseases that affect both adults and children worldwide.
Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara is a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit public benefit corporation. AKSB is dedicated to encouraging the practice of the Japanese non-violent martial art of aikido and promoting aikido as a positive and effective vehicle for self improvement and spiritual growth, physical fitness and self defense.
Camp Kindle, a Project Kindle program, holds events throughout the year—including nine-day summer camp sessions in the West and Midwest—that provide a safe, fun environment in which kids affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS can shed their self-consciousness about the disease and be open about their fears. During the camp sessions participants take part in a rich array of educational and recreational activities, including arts-and-crafts programs that help them find a creative means of expressing their feelings. Kids can work on bracelets, AIDS-ribbon lanyards, pictures for loved ones at home, and other artistic endeavors as they enjoy more than a week of social interaction that can strengthen self-esteem and relieve emotional stress. Campers attend Project Kindle's events at no expense to their families, including travel, meals, and program costs.