Working as a pediatrician in 2004, Dr. Joe Cangas noticed that many local children didn’t wear helmets while riding their bicycles. Concerned for their safety, he began talking to children at local schools and founded Helmets First! as his mission grew. As the Helmet Doctor, he conducts regular talks at neighborhood schools, clubs, and community centers, teaching youth about the importance of wearing helmets. His organization also runs events where it distributes free helmets to youth from low-income backgrounds after measuring their heads for the proper fit. Only with a proper fit are helmets effective at preventing traumatic head injuries. Since its inception, Helmet First! has donated more than 14,000 helmets to local youth.
While childhood obesity is a topic that receives widespread attention, registered nurse Jean Huelsing uncovered a facet of the issue that many have overlooked: some of the very "fat camps" designed to help overweight kids slim down were actually part of the problem. She takes issue with these camps’ short-term approach, as they rely on fast-acting diets rather than instilling healthier lifestyle habits. Striving to succeed where other camps failed, Jean started Camp Jump Start in 2003 and, just three years and a score of happy campers later, founded The Living Well Foundation to extend the reach of her holistic-wellness principles.
The organization now hosts a wide range of camps for adults and children alike. They’re held at Living Well Village, which occupies 250 acres in the woods, where campers can develop a love for active pastimes through outdoor activities, such as navigating ropes courses, fishing, and juggling beavers.
In 2010, 2-year-old Ella McPheeters was diagnosed with autism. Her parents, Hope and Sam, soon became frustrated with the long waiting lists for behavioral-therapy programs and other services and decided to do something about it. They rallied the local community and won a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to found Ella's Hope for Autism. Ella’s Hope aims to raise awareness of autism and increase the availability of therapeutic resources for young children with autism-spectrum disorders. Working with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Ella's Hope also sponsors scholarships for families and maintains an autism lending library.
The green thumbs at Gateway Greening believe in the power of a garden. For nearly three decades they have promoted gardening in both public spaces and private backyards as a solution to urban issues ranging from food insecurity to sedentary lifestyles. Through a citywide network of more than 200 gardens—including community vegetable gardens, tree and shrub plantings, and street beautification projects—the organization brings fresh food to the community, teaches hands-on lessons, and uses empty space in a positive way. Member gardeners can attend educational workshops on garden care, watering, and landscaping principles, and take advantage of assistance with project planning and procurement of materials.
Other key Gateway Greening programs work with specific populations to encourage self-sufficiency. The City Seeds Urban Farm, provides job training to individuals experiencing homelessness and distributes fresh, locally grown produce to nearby food pantries. Also youth gardens supported by Gateway Greening dot the grounds of more than 60 local schools.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassrootsblog.
Debate is about more than arguing a point. It is about understanding an issue so well that you can coherently defend its merits against an opponent. It requires critical-thinking skills, an understanding of facts and logic, and the ability to perform under pressure. And it can change the trajectory of a student's academic career.
The Saint Louis Urban Debate League helps youth in underserved communities rise to the challenge. Every month, more than 150 students at nine area high schools research a topic of national or international importance and make logical, fact-based arguments for action. Weekend workshops and annual tournaments pit the strongest debaters against each other for the chance to debate in ever more challenging arenas and improve their debating skills. In addition to fostering academic achievement by engaging students in their own learning, the Saint Louis Urban Debate League aims to propel students along the path to college and career success, with the ultimate goal of closing the achievement gap for students from poor or minority backgrounds.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Armor ON Armor OFF is an nonprofit organization for children without fathers; We are on a mission to provide support and guidance to youth through education from counselors and testimony. In or efforts to help we will be hosting multiple fundraising events. Come help us change this epidemic!
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
The inspiration to start this organization was so that children without fathers can understand what can happen to them mentally, physically, and emotionally while growing up without a father. Most importantly how to excel in life with hand they have been dealt.
What do you love most about your job?
The smile on a child's face when they know they are not alone, and they discover all the amazing possibilities this world has to offer.