Groupon goes 'grassroots' to help raise money in MN

9:08 AM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- For most of us, checking out websites like Groupon for daily deals in the community has become a regular ritual. For example, a couple of clicks of the mouse and you can cash in, but you can also click so that others in the community can benefit.

On a cold Minnesota day, for the hundreds of the state's homeless young people, the bus is one of only a few warm places.

"Because out there, when it's cold it's real cold," explained Dianata Halbert, who's homeless. "A lot of places you can't go. You can go to the library a lot of times but after a while you got to go.

On this day Halbert is inside where he is able to find comfort at "Youth Link," a place where he temporarily calls home.

At Youth Link he's able to get a meal, medical attention or help finding a job.

In the non-profit's forty years there's no telling how many people youth link has helped.

One of the greatest ways they do so is with bus tokens.

"Without the tokens a lot of people wouldn't be doing nothing," explained Halbert. "They'd just be stuck downtown."

The tokens are literally like gold, they allow the homeless youth to visit family, find a job, and are essential in getting them to and from anywhere. But fundraising to keep the coins flowing can be a challenge. Youth Link passes out roughly 80-thousand dollars worth of bus passes and tokens a year.

"My job was to just google," smiled Krista Siddiqui. "Just google and see what funky things are out there that we have no idea that we could be a part of."

Hired to help with fundraising, Siddiqui stumbled upon Groupon. Known for its discounts for everything from restaurants to dental work, she also found "Groupon Grassroots."
In a nutshell, instead of purchasing something, Groupon allows you to donate to different causes.

Since December 26th people in the midwest have been able to donate 10 dollars worth of bus passes for homeless youth.
This morning more than one hundred donations had been made and by the afternoon there were more than 200 donations, just another way so called social media is changing lives.

Donations will be accepted through January 9th, 2013.

For more information click here.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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