Our Military Kids, Inc. provides grants of up to $500 for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and Wounded Warriors. These grants pay for participation in sports, fine-arts, or academic programs to help reduce the children's stress within limited family budgets. Since its inception eight years ago, Our Military Kids has funded more than 34,000 grants for children's activities, totaling nearly $14 million, helping alleviate stress and anxiety for children in one of the most volatile periods of their lives.
Founded in 1944 and accredited by the Humane Society in 1977, the private, nonprofit Animal Welfare League of Arlington has helped generations of stray and abandoned animals live out their days in loving, permanent homes. Hundreds of volunteers carry out services ranging from low-cost spaying and neutering for low-income families and individuals and humane education program to animal control. Within the shelter, scores of dogs, cats, and small critters such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and parakeets await new owners to take them home once the staff has ensured their full health and good behavior. The League also hosts several events throughout the year, from an annual springtime Walk for the Animals to classes that help parents prepare their existing pets for the arrival of a new baby with its swaddling blanket made of roast beef.
When searching for a new dentist, patients prize a light touch almost as much as they do extensive training or whiz-bang technology. Fortunately, Tarek Mogharbel, DDS—who worked in District of Columbia General Hospital’s oral-surgery department and is a certified Invisalign and Lumineers practitioner—and his partner, Sun Park, DDS, both describe themselves as gentle people. This character trait translates to each of their cosmetic and family dentistry services. The doctors take special care no matter the procedure, whether it’s an exam for an anxious youngster, a teeth-whitening treatment for an adult, or a new set of porcelain veneers for a ventriloquist’s dummy locked in an eternal, unfeeling grin.
When she was a tutor to children from low-income families in Washington, DC, Kyle Zimmer was amazed by how excited students would get whenever given their own books. As she relayed in a 2011 New York Times story, this work inspired Zimmer to start First Book, an organization dedicated to making reading materials accessible to children in need.
Today, nearly 20 years after Zimmer's eureka moment, First Book works toward this goal through two channels: the First Book Marketplace, an online store with quality books—including Caldecott and Newbery award-winners—available at up to 90% below the retail price, and the First Book National Book Bank, a clearinghouse for publishers’ excess inventory. To date, the organization has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to 50,000 schools and programs throughout the United States and Canada—with more added each month.
The impact has been inspiring. An internal study found that 70% of children reported reading more at home after receiving books from First Book. In recognition of this and other accomplishments, the organization has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2005 Nonprofit Innovation Award and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
During the summer Horton’s Kids Summer Camp helps provide students with a healthy, constructive environment, mitigating the "summer slide" in literacy that can occur during the long break and engaging kids with outings around the city. Throughout the six-week program, students focus on improving their literacy in half-day classes and exploring DC on daily field trips. Some excursions promote fitness, such as trips to the pool, and others focus on education, such as visits to museums. The summer camp also augments the class work and activities with healthy meals and snacks every day of the program.
As their motto goes, "It's all about the music." Eschewing props, costumes, and staging for a focus on the sounds of voices and instruments, the Washington Concert Opera seeks to thrill audiences with performances by some of the profession's leading lights. Their stripped-down approach allows the company to focus on rarely produced works, from little-known Rossinis to classic Puccini B-sides.