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.
In 1989, Karin Walser was leaving her job on the Hill when she stopped at a gas station. Several young children offered to pump her gas in exchange for change. Moved by their stories, she organized a trip to the zoo to help them experience the city in a new way. She soon founded Horton’s Kids to address the needs of children living in poverty around the city. The organization’s volunteers provide a wide range of services for participating children, including regular tutoring in reading and math and activities such as swimming lessons in local pools. In 2011, Horton’s Kids was awarded the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management due to its long service educating and empowering the youth in Ward 8 with academic and social programs.
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.
When Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green,” he obviously did not have access to today’s Groupon side deal. With this deal, you get a year-long membership to Live Green, an organization that puts the eco in economical. Plus, you get a $10 gift certificate for organic food and drink at Java Green Eco Café. Live Green has negotiated deals and discounts at 30+ green businesses in the DC-area. With your Live Green membership card handy, you can save $50 off a Zipcar membership, get 10% off everything at Sticky Fingers Bakery, buy $0.94 CFLs from ecobeco, and much, much more.
Cornerstone Closets' custom-built storage spaces clobber clutter and decimate messes. On an initial at-home visit, cleanup wizards will use proprietary ORGdesign software to plan and visualize closet structures as the client watches in real time. Prices for custom closets vary based on the quality of the materials and the type of finish, but a 96"x96" walk-in closet starts at $995 and can also contain specialized compartments for different possessions ($30–$75 each). Jewelry inserts secrete away baubles and knick-knacks from prying eyes, while racks can be draped with off-duty ties and belts. All storage structures can be crafted from a cornucopia of materials, from basic white melamine to rich wood-stained veneers and kelly green Flubber.
Today $35 gets you five 50-minute classes at SomaFit in Upper Georgetown. Web reviews praise SomaFit's stunning facility and talented staff of instructors. Take five of the same class or mix and match to see what you like best—at just $7 per class, you're getting an unbelievable bargain.