Charity & Grassroots in Washington, D. C.


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  • First Book
    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.
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    1319 F St NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Horton's Kids
    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.
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    110 Maryland Ave NE
    Washington, DC US
  • Washington Concert Opera
    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.
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    1808 Connecticut Ave NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Miriams Kitchen
    Miriam's Kitchen’s nourishing meals are the organization’s cornerstone service, welcoming 250–350 men and women each weekday with nutritious breakfasts and dinners. Menus feature whole grains, fresh meats, and local and organic fruits and vegetables. An average morning may open with scrambled eggs with salmon, roasted home fries, warm biscuits, and fresh-fruit salad. Evening guests dine on well-balanced fare such as pasta in marinara sauce, sautéed broccoli, garden salad, and whole-wheat rolls. Local farmers' markets and grocery stores donate much of the food, helping to keep costs to an average of $1 or less per meal. In 2010, the kitchen provided more than 75,000 meals.
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    2401 Virginia Ave NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Southeastern Universities
    The Neighbors in Need Fund is a project of the Community Foundation that responds to economic hardship with donations of food, clothing, shelter, and aid with foreclosure prevention. The fund also reinforces community support networks, such as medical and mental care facilities. The Neighbors in Need Fund distributes food and funds across the region through more than 700 partner organizations and has provided aid to more than 100,000 people since its inception in 2008.
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    1201 New York Ave NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Greenpeace Fund
    After successfully convincing the US government in 2010 to maintain the International Whaling Commission's current moratorium on commercial whaling, Greenpeace's Whale Defenders are now attempting to inspire the IWC to enforce a permanent ban on commercial whaling across the world. Several species of whales have been pushed to the brink of extinction by unchecked whaling, leaving the populations of the North Atlantic right whale and the West Pacific grey whale at about 350 and 100, respectively. Due to loopholes in the regulations, commercial whalers in Iceland, Norway, and Japan continue to hunt these peaceful cetaceans despite the current moratorium. The Whale Defenders are lobbying the Obama administration to use its diplomatic leverage at this year's IWC meeting to close these loopholes but are limited in their resources since Greenpeace receives all of their funding exclusively through individual contributions, rather than corporations or government bodies.
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    702 H St NW
    Washington, DC US
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