Charity & Grassroots in Portland

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Bruno’s Bath House elevates the dog-boarding experience by housing pups inside plush suites that will remind them of home. Two times a day, room service peeks in, checking to make sure beds are comfy and bowls are brimming with filtered water. Dog-loving caregivers oversee dogs so that each pet receives ample attention as they gambol across the indoor and outdoor play areas or nap on communal couches. This attentive treatment carries over into Bruno’s Spaw, where dogs receive baths with plush add-ons such as aromatherapy, massage, and Pawdicures. Edible and wearable doggie accessories are also available at Bruno’s Bistro and Boutique.

11027 Leopard St
Corpus Christi,
TX
US

The Buc Days Festival has been celebrating pirate rabblerousing while raising money to gift upstanding landlubbers scholarships for more than 70 years. Festivities kick off with a mayoral dunking off of the ceremonial plank, whetting swashbuckling appetites for 10 more days of carnival tomfoolery, including music, pirate entertainment, and peg-leg pedicuring competitions.

1513 North Chaparral Street
Corpus Christi,
TX
US

Founded in 1998, Operation Warm distributes winter coats to children across America, protecting their health and safety as well as buoying their spirits. We spoke to executive director Rich Lalley about the organization?s history, mission, and accomplishments.

The Roots

After reading a newspaper story about children waiting at a bus stop on a cold February day just a mile from his home, retired businessman Dick Sanford was "outraged," Lalley said. "He couldn't understand how children in his community could be without coats. He went to a department store and bought all 58 children's coats in stock" and distributed them through a school, whose superintendent he knew from the Rotary Club. "Dick was blown away by the reaction of the kids and reaction of the parents."

Why a New Coat Means More Than Comfort

"Our motto is 'more than a coat,' and I like to say we bring happiness and warmth to children through a new winter coat," Lalley said. "When they get a brand-new winter coat all their own, it's like Christmas day. You will hear stories of a girl who wears the coat to bed for three weeks, the boy who wants to wear it into April. It's oftentimes the first new piece of clothing the children have received in their lives. They feel better about themselves, and when they feel better about themselves, children perform better in school."

"This Coat Was Made Just for You"

"One of the first coat distributions I was on was at a little afterschool program in [Chicago?s] Rogers Park. A Rotary Club near Rogers Park provides a great deal of support to this little afterschool program called Family Matters. One of the little girls looked at me and said, 'Thank you for the coat. When do I have to give it back?' And we said she could keep it. That's why all our coats have the label 'this coat was made just for you' sewn inside and kids can write their names on it."

Kid-Friendly Coats Made in the United States

Operation Warm distributes hundreds of thousands of new coats around the country each year?so many that it contracts with factories to make coats specifically for it. The organization's coats are brightly colored and have extra-deep pockets and detachable hoods, and they come in sizes 3T to adult large. Although domestic manufacturing tends to be expensive, Lalley says 20% of its coats (about 60,000) are made in a union factory in the United States.

1301 East Rio Grande Street
Victoria,
TX
US

In 2011 The Interrupters documentary introduced audiences to three Chicagoans whose job it was to walk the streets of their neighborhoods mediating violent disputes. They were part of CeaseFire?Chicago's Cure Violence program?working with other Violence Interrupters to mediate potentially lethal conflicts in the city. In 2013, CeaseFire workers mediated nearly 700 high-risk conflicts, often by physically standing between feuding individuals, putting their lives at risk to make their communities safer.

In addition to its work in Chicago, Cure Violence operates programs in five other Illinois cities and 22 cities across the US, and across four countries. The organization's founder, Dr. Gary Slutkin, is an epidemiologist who approaches violence as an infectious disease that should be treated like any other?with scientifically proven methods. Those include detection, intervention, and behavior modification, combined to alter a community's perspective of violence and stop the problem at its source.

Within violence-plagued neighborhoods, the organization's Violence Interrupters?often former violence perpetrators?detect and mediate potentially lethal conflicts. Outreach Workers, meanwhile, work with high-risk individuals to change the way they think about violence and help them improve their lives within the system. On a larger scale, Cure Violence shifts the discourse within whole communities and society at large, emphasizing a health approach to violence instead of punishment.

1301 East Rio Grande Street
Victoria,
TX
US

Not Alone enables active-duty soldiers, veterans, and their families to address the emotional and psychological effects of combat experience with mental-health counseling and support services. Online and in-person programs address the effects of combat and posttraumatic-stress disorder, with more than 400 professionals available to provide confidential counseling services for veterans and active military members across 22 states. An online social network connects peers, informal groups cater to significant others, and the eClinic offers immediate 24/7 assistance to service members in need. Not Alone also maintains a combat-stress assessment to determine daily stress levels and an online database of articles on PTSD and life after war.

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

1301 East Rio Grande Street
Victoria,
TX
US

As music education declines in schools across the country in response to shrinking budgets, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation fights to keep music in kids' lives by bolstering these programs and raising awareness about the benefits of arts education. The organization equips qualifying schools with the tools necessary to establish a sustainable instrumental-music program, such as a set of band or string instruments, a keyboard or guitar lab, or even a mariachi ensemble. Since its inception, VH1 Save The Music has provided new musical instruments to more than 1,900 public schools in more than 192 school districts across the country, improving academic performance, community pride, and self-esteem for 2.3 million kids.

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

1301 East Rio Grande Street
Victoria,
TX
US