Charity & Grassroots in San Mateo

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Friends for Youth's Senior Friends volunteer to spend time with a Junior Friend between the ages of 8 and 17, solidifying a relationship of trust and support with weekly activities such as going to the movies, visiting the zoo, and reading together. Friends for Youth plans to send mentor and mentee pairs on an adventure trip to Lake Tahoe to help strengthen the bond between Friends and introduce youth to exciting outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding. With $300, a mentor-and-mentee pair can attend the trip, with funding to cover the cost of transportation, a meal, skiing or snowboarding lessons, and equipment rental.

1741 Broadway St
Redwood City,
CA
US

The first day of school can be one of excitement and anticipation. But it can also be a day of anxiety, of stress, of fearing that you'll stand out for all the wrong reasons. For kids from low-income families or families experiencing homelessness, the latter is more often the case. But My New Red Shoes works to eliminate that stress. Partnering with homeless shelters and community agencies, My New Red Shoes identifies homeless and very low-income children in need of clothing and shoes, and works with thousands of volunteers—from Girl Scouts to families—to meet that need. Children as young as four help the organization sort shoes and create cards to wish students luck on their first day. And equipped with their new footwear and that vote of confidence, the students can look forward to a new year.

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

330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 135
Redwood City,
CA
US

Squeals fill the room as children uncover beetles and worms. Although digging through mud isn't a standard classroom activity, this class is learning about microelements at the bottom of the food chain. And the kids get to get their hands dirty. In an interview with Palo Alto Online, Environmental Volunteers' Executive Director Allan Berkowitz explained that classroom lessons should move away from traditional lectures. Instead, he wants “kids to touch and taste and smell their way to science education."

To that end, Environmental Volunteers leads hands-on activities in nine natural-science subjects including Baylands ecology, energy and natural resources, and Nature in your Neighborhood. Every year, Environmental Volunteers conducts 90-minute classroom programs—where kids learn how Native Americans respected the environment or simulate earthquakes with an electric shake table—lead two-hour follow-up field trips, and host summer day camps to teach 10,000 children across the region. The organization also runs a nature center for the public that teaches about the natural world from its location in the Baylands Nature Preserve. For those who can’t make it, a webcam shows a 24/7 view of the marshes outside the center on San Francisco Bay.

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

2560 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto,
CA
US

Seneca Family of Agencies was founded in 1985 to prevent foster youth from getting lost in the system and failing to achieve their potential. Today, as a leading children's mental-health agency in northern California, Seneca has expanded its programs to serve emotionally troubled youth and their families in a variety of situations. Seneca provides a broad range of residential treatment, school-based programs, and at-home services, all run by staff members who are dedicated to providing unconditional and individualized care and using whatever tools necessary to help people cope with crisis. They also collaborate with local agencies to ensure families receive adequate support services. In-school mental-health teams allay temporary spikes in emotional instability, whereas one-on-one meetings and group meetings with foster families help youth identify their support circle.

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

2275 Arlington Dr
San Leandro,
CA
US

Dance Daze in Schools teaching intern Jaime Fields wrote that she has “never enjoyed anything in life as much as dance. The feelings that come with moving through a space and owning every moment of it, no restrictions; that is the best experience.” Jaime started dancing when she was four, and now, she shares her skills with kids and gives them a “creative outlet and center for their lives” through dance classes.

Jaime’s experience is thanks to Dance Daze in Schools, which trains adults with teaching experience and college students like Jaime in dance instruction and then connects them with youth in local K-12 schools and community organizations. In- and after-school dance classes teach movement vocabulary, dance technique, and original choreography one of two days per week. Students can focus on one continuous style or revolving dance styles such as hip hop, ballet, and tap, with an option for varied styles including African, break dance, and Baile Folklorico depending on the teacher’s dance background. The blended learning program combines dance lessons with production and tech projects, such as setting up recording devices and editing audio and video clips, to teach real world skills. Dance Daze in Schools also provides internships to teach college students lesson planning and classroom management and reaches out to high school students with community service opportunities.

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

1151 Harbor Bay Parkway
Alameda,
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