Charity & Grassroots in West Hills

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Keri Bowers is an autism advocate. She’s a speaker, author, filmmaker, mother, and the founder of Pause4Kids. Normal People Scare Me—her 2006 film made in conjunction with her son, an aspiring filmmaker with autism—interviewed 65 people with autism, exploring seldom-asked questions such as “Do you like being autistic?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Through her films, Keri has spread awareness about autism-spectrum disorders and other disabilities, but her work gets far more hands-on as well.

Pause4Kids aims to improve the quality of special education, empowers parents to support their children, and advocates for children’s legal and civil rights. Following a whole-child philosophy, the organization’s volunteers believe that special education should cover a variety of disciplines, including the academic, social-communication, emotional, and recreation realms to enable youth with disabilities to thrive among their peers. Staff members also sponsor a monthly advocacy group and regular recreational activities, such as Art-A-Thons and Abilities Awareness events.

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

101 Moody Ct
Thousand Oaks,
CA
US

Food Forward connects people with food by harvesting excess produce from local farms and public spaces, which it distributes to more than 20 food banks and pantries across Southern California. After receiving an invitation, an all-volunteer force meets at a property and picks produce for one to two hours. A pick leader provides tools, organizes the group, and delivers the fruit to a vetted hunger-relief organization that serves it to clients within 72 hours. By conducting 15–20 picks every month, Food Forward aims to demonstrate the abundance of available food that goes to waste and to raise the issues of urban hunger and food justice in the community.

7412 Fulton Ave
North Hollywood,
CA
US

Nothing can inspire change like the unfettered creativity of the young mind. Using this philosophy, David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman developed an eight-week seminar in 2005, during which students could build solutions for their own communities. They explored local needs, wrote grant proposals, and fostered a grassroots movement to create a community pocket garden. With a $10,000 city grant, the youth planted 12 trees and 300 plants and installed benches and a mosaic trash can, creating a green space that was open to everyone.

After the garden’s success, Youth Speak Collective began promoting more “for youth, by youth” year-round programs to help students gain confidence, contribute to their communities, and develop skills they could use to find jobs once they leave school. Subsequently, the organization’s reach has grown. The program sponsors a career internship program, family support, and 24/7 Dad class, which teaches fathering skills and financial literacy to young dads. Additionally, youth can play a fast-paced version of soccer in Club Futbolito or document and address problems in the community with the youth council. For the artistically minded, the visual- and design-arts programs teach youth basic street-design concepts and how to create short films for local businesses.

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

444 South Brand Blvd. #201
San Fernando,
CA
US

Dr. Michael Lin knows skin inside and out. After founding the Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute—where he has mended the skin woes of such celebrities as Cindy Chiu—Dr. Lin turned his attention to his clients' outer appearances, and the Linage Dermatology Institute was born. In this clinic, he and his team of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and laser specialists harness advanced technology to lavish patients with clearer, smoother, and more youthful appearances. Light-based devices, such as the Sciton laser for hair removal, the ProFractional laser for wrinkle reduction, and the laser pointer for receptionist amusement, enhance exteriors with a noninvasive approach, and injectables such as Juvéderm and Botox help restore youthful radiance. For at-home care, the physician's signature line of Linage LINQ products helps keep newfound faces nourished and protected.

26357 McBean Pkwy
Valencia,
CA
US

talentorium is a performance and production studio that specializes in working with young actors. it provides the kind of training that helps students develop artistically, while imparting great leadership skills. we work with both newcomers and seasoned actors alike.

1042 Princeton Dr
Marina Del Rey,
CA
US

Maria D'Angelo believes in the Hope Effect. She arrived to America on a freighter from Italy, searching for a better life with her family, and to this day she remembers how much hope filled her at that moment. To share this sense of positive possibility, she began The Children's Lifesaving Foundation, which through countless acts has improved the lives of families and children living below the poverty level. The organization assists homeless families in finding apartments, provides tutoring services, and raises money for college tuition. And the team's works are so renowned that they've been featured in People magazine and on CNN, and were voted the 2013 Non-Profit of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Although today The CLF works to establish housing and educational opportunities for underserved families, Maria's quest began with a much simpler gesture. In 1992, while volunteering at a homeless shelter, she met an 8-year-old boy who never attended school because his mother couldn't afford to get him a physical. So Maria took him to a doctor. That one act, blossomed into other simple acts, which blossomed into the founding of The CLF, but the spirit of that simplicity remains. To improve homeless kids' quality of life, the organization runs a summer camp with surfing lessons, which leave children with a good memory and a bit of hope.

1112 Montana Ave, #534
Santa Monica,
CA
US