Since it was founded almost three decades ago, Child Advocates has developed and maintained a team of court-appointed advocates, guardian ad litems, who support individual kids in cases of abuse and neglect and advocate for these children in court. After sending volunteers through 30 hours of specialized training where they learn about the court system and how to tell when a gavel is banged sarcastically, the nonprofit organization links each guardian with a youngster who's in foster care and in need of a permanent residence. By assigning each advocate to only one child or sibling set, Child Advocates provides individualized attention that caseworkers and court-appointed attorneys can't always deliver.
For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
Havana Social Club caters to smoke-savvy shoppers with a wide selection of fine cigars within an intimate, elegant lounge. Globe-traveling smokers can inhale their way through Latin America with rare stogies from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, browsing high-end brands such as Ashton, Padron, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, and Arturo Fuente ($10–$30) in search of the perfect tobacco tube. An in-house Cuban master cigar roller whips up fresh custom blends, and the knowledgeable staff aids puff-happy patrons in procuring their ideal smokable. Havana Social Club's Cuban lounge atmosphere encourages exhalation celebrations, and is peppered with leather-upholstered armchairs, dark wooden accents, private humidor lockers, and No Smoking signs.
Shakespeare. Keats. Tennyson. The University of Texas at Austin had already acquired manuscripts and first editions by these notable authors by the time Harry Huntt Ransom founded the Humanities Research Center in 1957. Rather than continue to mine the Renaissance and Romantic eras for artifacts, Ransom ushered the archives into the 20th century by obtaining the collections of literary legends such as James Joyce and Dylan Thomas. Under the curatorial eye of current director Stephen Enniss, the facility––known these days as the Harry Ransom Center––includes the archives of Robert De Niro and David Mamet, Magnum Photos, David Foster Wallace, Ed Ruscha, and the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers.
All told, the center contains 42 million leaves of manuscript, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art, which, according to Frommer's, are available for any visitor's perusal. Inside the building's galleries, exhibitions showcase material alongside permanently displayed items such as one of five complete copies of the Gutenburg Bible. The Harry Ransom Center also hosts a range of public and academic programs, events, and symposia annually.
When homebound, people can feel cut off from the world outside their door. Company may be scarce, and trips to the grocery store or market may be impossible. But Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County aims to improve the lives of homebound individuals and other people in need through programs that help promote independent living with dignity. Its volunteers provide hot, nutritious meals as well as grocery-shopping services, home repairs, and friendly visits and phone calls. And the organization dives deep into the health of the people it serves. Each of its 4,000-plus clients receives an in-home assessment and quarterly follow-up sessions, and clients can even request private nutritional counseling from a licensed dietitian. What results? In 2012, 91% of Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County's clients said the organization's services helped improved their overall quality of life, and 57% believe that they "would not be able to remain living in their own home" without its services.
For close to half a century, Circus Gatti has given children of all ages eye-widening ecstasy with family-friendly shows filled with animals, clowns, magic, and highly skilled performers. With this deal, you'll get open seating for the troupe's 2011 show Pushing The Limits, where eyes can feast on Bollywood-style dancing elephants, ponies prancing in harmony, and canine gymnasts performing feats of elite athleticism. Audience members can also gasp and fist-pump as expert acrobats perform physics-defying stunts while soaring through the air. Between awe-inspiring acts by animals and people alike, spectators can partake in abdominal-toning laughter thanks to the crazy antics and gags of internationally acclaimed funnyman Laughing Leo.