Charity & Grassroots in Rohnert Park

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The mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay donate their most valuable possession, their time, to continue a national tradition more than a century old. The volunteer mentors match up with a youngster from the Big Brothers Big Sisters wait list—typically an at-risk child who might come from a neglectful or abusive situation. The pair then meets in the community once a week, whether to hang out in the park, attend a sporting event, or simply chat about what’s going on in each others’ lives.

For the 1,600 children currently served in Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties, the chance to spend time with a positive adult influence can have long-lasting effects. This regular interaction can help level the playing field for children facing an uphill battle to success, allowing them to grow, giving them encouragement to stay on the path to success, and helping them avoid negative influences. The evidence is in the numbers. According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, Littles are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs and 52% less likely to skip school.

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

1618 2nd St
San Rafael,
CA
US

Certified personal trainer Cleveland Hughes Jr. leads up to 30 clients at a time in high-energy workouts on weekday mornings. Every 55-minute workout is different, but classes are composed of aerobics, strength training, kickboxing, gymnastics, and games. Nutritional guidance is also offered.

5327 Jacuzzi St
Richmond,
CA
US

3030 Ashby Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US

Rebuilding Together Oakland’s Safe at Home program transforms the houses of low-income seniors and people with disabilities with safety and efficiency modifications to prevent falls and improve accessibility. Safe at Home house remodelers install grab bars, raised toilet seats, shower seats, handheld showerheads, nightlights, and non-slip mats to prevent falls in accident-prone spots such as the bathroom and hallway. The program also outfits homes with emergency equipment including smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, and performs checks of equipment that is already present in the home. If necessary, Safe at Home can also provide wheelchair ramps to improve mobility. Since its inception in 2007, Rebuilding Together Oakland has installed safety modifications in the homes of more than 475 homeowners.

1171 Ocean Ave
Emeryville,
CA
US

Members of City Carshare, the company reports on its website, drive 50% less than individual car owners, annually saving more than 20 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is exactly what the local nonprofit had in mind in 2001 when they opened more than 200 Bay Area lots full of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, and electric cars and sleighs pulled by Virginia creeper. These vehicles are the linchpin in their two-fold social commitment to creating healthy urban spaces and strong communities.

The first part of that is relatively straightforward: fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and smog and reduced demand for parking lots that could be transformed into parks that grow into concrete jungles. The company defrays the high monetary costs of car ownership by providing insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, and all the fuel your vehicle needs to get on the road. To foster a sense of community, they hook members up with a private ride-sharing program and entice them to explore the city via their key fob, which unlocks perks at other local businesses. Their mission is backed by a global network of transportation visionaries in the international CarSharing Association, of which City Carshare is a founding member.

1182 Market St, Ste 300
San Francisco,
CA
US

Kiva started small. In April 2005, founders Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley funded seven Kiva loans, totaling $3,500, to entrepreneurs across the globe. By September, all seven borrowers had repaid in full. With this success in hand, Flannery and Jackley expanded, transforming Kiva into a full-fledged non-profit, operating under the belief that a relatively small amount of money can make a big difference in alleviating poverty. And also that there were people who wanted to lend money to underserved people they'd never met. All it took was establishing a link.

Now more than one million lenders send money to people in even the most remote areas of more than 70 countries to build businesses, fund home construction, and pay for school tuition. When lenders fund microloans as low as $25 on the website, field partners distribute them to highly motivated, low-income borrowers in developing areas. Once their efforts come to fruition, the borrowers repay the capital—at an average repayment rate of 99%—giving lenders the opportunity to relend to a different project.

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

3180 18th St
San Francisco,
CA
US