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Concern’s Annual Spring Run Needs Volunteers!

26 Mar
2013

Concern Worldwide US, an international humanitarian agency committed to fighting extreme poverty around the world, needs over 200 volunteers to organize and help execute its annual SPRING RUN fundraising event. This 4 mile run/walk through Central Park will take place on Saturday, April 13th, at 9:30AM. All of the proceeds from the Spring Run will support Concern’s programs fighting extreme poverty in the 25 poorest countries in the world.

Each year, in preparation for the event, Concern relies on volunteers for a variety of promotional tasks, namely helping distribute posters and brochures to local businesses to spread awareness of the event. On the day of the run volunteers will also help in the setup and execution of the day’s events. Both individual volunteers and groups are welcome, but groups are preferred.

For information on how you can get involved, please write them at events.usa@concern.net or visit www.concernusa.org/springrun . You can also visit www.concernusa.org to learn more about the organization. It’s a great day outside and a wonderful way to give back! 

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Hurricane Sandy Recovery Project: Volunteer with NYC Parks

1 Nov

Update 11/1/12, 3:50pm: Direct from the NYC Parks Department Website:

Volunteer

Many of New York City’s parks and playgrounds were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. If you would like to volunteer with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to aid in clean up and recovery, please review the list of parks and playgrounds below that are in need of assistance this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click the links below to sign up in your borough and be sure to check back for updates on other parks in need of volunteers!

Bronx

  • Van Cortlandt Park
  • Orchard Beach

Volunteer in the Bronx

Brooklyn

  • Prospect Park
  • McCarren Park

Volunteer in Brooklyn

Manhattan

  • Happy Warrior Playground
  • Annunciation Park
  • Carl Schurz Park
  • Anne Loftus Playground (at Fort Tryon Park)
  • Randall’s Island (Friday and Saturday only)

Volunteer in Manhattan

Queens

(Friday and Saturday only)

  • Brookville Park
  • Baisley Pond Park

Volunteer in Queens

Donate

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is accepting financial donations from organizations and individuals to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Visit the Mayor’s Fund  page to make a donation.

How to Help After Hurricane Sandy

31 Oct
2012

Hurricane Sandy has left a path of destruction across the eastern seaboard, and now is the time for us to come together and help our fellow man. Below are any and all opportunities I’ve found to help recovery efforts, whether its volunteering your time or donating money to those who are already dispatched into communities across New York. This list is focused on NYC, but I welcome any new opportunities in the Tri-State Area and beyond: please email giveandgetnyc@gmail.com and your organization’s needs will be posted.

At this time, the donation of time and money is much more beneficial than in-kind donations, as the efforts needed to package and dispatch such items is time consuming. Unless expressly noted by an organization that they are in need of specific items, which some are and have, please consider a monetary donation before giving in-kind gifts.

VOLUNTEER

FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY: If you are interested in joining the Food Bank for NYC within this critical time of need, please join their mailing list HERE. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email us at volunteerfoodbanknyc@gmail.com.

NYC SERVICE: To be dispatched wherever there is a need in NYC, email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with your name, email and borough.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK: As of October 31, the park remains closed, but they will need all the help they can get with clean up efforts over the next several days. If you would like to volunteer, please email Sarah Ward (sward@brooklynbridgepark.org), and they will alert you when it is time to mobilize.

NEW YORK CARES: As the City’s lead organization for the management of unaffiliated volunteers, New York Cares’ Emergency Response Program ensures that volunteers can be quickly and effectively mobilized in the event of a disaster. If you are already a New York Cares volunteer please click here. You will be prompted to sign up to express your interest in being contacted about disaster recovery projects after Hurricane Sandy. We do not yet know the extent of the need, or where or when volunteer projects will take place, but we will contact interested volunteers once we have a better understanding of the response needed. Thanks for your support as we help the city respond. If you are not already registered with New York Cares please click here.

RED CROSS: If you’d like to volunteer at a Red Cross shelter and are…

  • Over the age of 16
  • Available for 12 hour shift from Wednesday, Oct 31 to Friday, November 2.
  • Be ready to deploy to a shelter location outside of New York City and stay for up to 72 hours.
  • Able to lift and carry 30-40 lbs
  • Comfortable working with people in stressful situations

If you meet these requirements, please fill out our Spontaneous Volunteer Application.

Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of approximately 300 American Red Cross blood drives in 14 states along the East Coast, resulting in a shortfall of more than 10,700 units of blood and platelets thus far. To help by donating blood in NY, click here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/nyp . For other states, click here.

NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE: The Public Advocates office is helping to mobilize volunteers. Register here.

JERSEY CARES: Register with Jersey Cares to volunteer for recovery projects in New Jersey, and they will email you when projects are in place: http://www.jerseycares.org/HOC__Volunteer_Registration_Page

NJ EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER HOTLINE: If you are interested in volunteering in NJ, call the state’s volunteer emergency response hotline at 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). This hotline was established earlier this year to enhance the state’s emergency responsiveness by harnessing New Jerseyans’ strong spirit of service. If storm conditions preclude the hotline from being answered by live operators, volunteers may call one of two backup hotline numbers: 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471. Volunteers may also send an email to rowena.madden@sos.state.nj.us. Read more here.

STATEN ISLAND RECOVERS: This is a recovery organizing site for Staten Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The site allows people to offer/request assistance, and is coordinated by the folks at Occupy NYC and community organizations on the ground. Visit the site: https://statenisland.recovers.org/

UPPER WEST SIDE SHELTERS (Updated 12:50pm, 10/31): “Upper West Side shelter needs help: clothes in large sizes needed for Sandy evacuees at MS 118, 154 West 93 St.” There are three shelters in the neighborhood. The one at John Jay College had enough volunteers last night (not sure about tonight yet) but the following two were running low on volunteers and will need help again tonight, including for overnight shifts:

Brandeis High School on West 84th Street (between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues).

MS 118 on 93rd Street (between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues)

If you can volunteer at an evacuation shelter or know anyone who can, please contact Shelly Fine at sfine50@aol.com or 917.453.3911.

DONATE

MAYOR’S FUND TO ADVANCE NEW YORK: The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is committed to improving the lives of New Yorkers. Right now, you can donate directly to hurricane relief in NYC through this website: https://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml

RED CROSS: The best way to donate is to make a financial gift. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. In-kind donations are not needed at this time.

NYC RESCUE MISSION: If you can purchase or have extra food/water–take it to NYC Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013-4494. They are also in need of dry ice, generators, and AA and D batteries. If you are not in the area but wish to donate, you can do so through their website: https://nycrescue.org/give/donate-now/

THE HUMANE SOCIETY: The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team is assisting animals and people in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, and is prepared for ongoing disaster relief after this historic storm. To make a donation click here

THE BOWERY MISSION: In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, The Bowery Mission is providing safe shelter and food to more homeless and displaced New Yorkers, effectively tripling its normal capacity. The supply of food and pantry items is drastically decreasing at a time when it is needed most. Make a donation by clicking here, or donate over the phone by calling 1-800-BOWERY-1 (1-800-269-3791)

10 Easy Ways to Take Positive Action

20 Jun

The following is a guest post written by Jessica Arinella, creator of What You Can Do. What You Can Do is a video series of one-minute episodes that highlights pressing social issues and then offers tips on how to help, even if you only have a minute of time to spare. I’m really excited to present this article to my readers; take a few minutes to read this, and you’ll be armed with 10 new ways to help create positive change in NYC and beyond.

What You Can Do in NYC: 10 Easy Ways to Take Positive Action on Tough Issues
By Jessica Arinella, creator of What You Can Do series

Though you may not notice if you met me on the street, I occasionally walk around with thisfeeling I have named ISD (impending sense of doom). I find ISD most often comes up after watching the evening news, reading the paper or seeing any of those very upsetting commercials that involve animal adoption. I know many people share my desire to be “of use” in the world, but like me feel either too overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issue or too busy to take action.

But after losing my mother to cancer, something in me changed. I became so tired of feeling helpless and desperate that I was willing to try anything to make a difference, even if I failed. So I took a leap of faith and with the help of my sister’s production company On the Leesh, I created a television and web series called What You Can Do. In one minute episodes, the series spotlights easy ways to fight social and environmental issues such as hunger, poverty and global warming.

What You Can Do premiered with 21 episodes on WLIW, and now more than 260 videos can be viewed on the series web site. Episodes feature the latest insight from respected organizations such as City Harvest, Defenders of Wildlife and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

My experience creating What You Can Do has profoundly changed me and the way I look at our world’s most pressing issues. I learned that there are small steps we can take that add up to real change, and it has given me a renewed sense of hope. I now believe that change is possible in our local communities or even the world, one minute at a time.

There are many ways to make positive impact on issues that affect our beloved New York. Below is a list of one minute ideas and What You Can Do videos designed for busy life in the city:

1. Many of the world famous restaurants in New York participate in City Harvest’s program to “rescue” food for people in need. Show your support by choosing a restaurant that gives excess food to benefit the 1 in 10 New Yorkers facing hunger. View What You Can Do episode on NYC restaurants fighting hunger. *Download City Harvest’s restaurant guide: http://www.cityharvest.org/restaurant-guide/

2. You can also help conserve water while dining out. When you are no longer thirsty, put a napkin over your water glass so your server will know not to refill it. If 25 percent of Americans declined the complimentary glass of drinking water while dining out, we could save 26 million gallons of water. View What You Can Do episode on water conservation at restaurants.

3. We are lucky in NYC to have wonderful public transit. Now that the weather is nicer, skip the cab and opt for the subway. According to the EPA, using public transportation just twice a week can reduce green house gas emissions (that contribute to global warming) by an average of 1600 pounds per year. View What You Can Do episode on climate change on the road.

4. Heading to the beach this summer? Help keep our oceans clean and wildlife safe by disposing of or recycling your trash. When possible, bring reusable water bottles and containers to the beach to bring home with you. View What You Can Do episode on protecting our oceans.

5. Arts education is essential to give NYC kids opportunities to nurture their inner Picasso or Shakespeare. Help children bring their stories to life by granting a wish for Story Pirates, an arts and creative writing organization. View What You Can Do episode on Arts in Education in NYC.

6. Most New Yorkers have hectic schedules, but small changes to our daily routines can make a huge difference. The EPA estimates that a family of four can use up to 400 gallons of water a day, but could save 240 gallons a month by turning off the tap when brushing their teeth at morning and night. View What You Can Do episode on water conservation.

7. New Yorkers are some of the most caring people in the world. But New York can sometimes feel like a lonely place, especially for homebound senior citizens. Check with your local nursing home to see if they accept friendly letters and cards for their seniors. View What You Can Do episode on supporting the elderly.

8. Help give New Yorkers a boost of confidence for their next job interview by donating gently used suits to Dress for Success for women and Career Gear for men. Your contribution can give people the opportunity to succeed in a tough job market. View What You Can Do episode on poverty.

9. Our parks provide a much needed escape from the heat of summer in the city. Follow the “carry in, carry out” policy to preserve the beauty of our city’s green spaces: View What You Can Do episode on supporting parks.

10. If you or a loved one has been affected by domestic violence, dial 311 in New York City and ask for the NYC Domestic Violence Hotline. You can help victims of domestic violence by recycling electronics such as cell phones and video games through Recycle for Domestic Violence. View What You Can Do episode on recycling for domestic violence.

To view the What You Can Do series, visit: http://www.whatyoucando365.com

G&G For the Holidays: Gifts That Give Back

1 Dec
2010

This post is part of the second annual NYC Bloggers Do the Holidays, where a group of New York’s top bloggers join forces to bring you the best that this city has to offer for the holiday season! Check out the list of participating bloggers below. Read them all, and you’ll have no problem navigating this city and taking it for all it’s worth…After the jump, check out my contribution: Gifts that Give Back.

‘the improvised life’: Design (or Hack) Your Own Holiday E-Cards

Manhattan User’s Guide: The Gift Guide: 21 Over $21

Markets of New York: Festive Food at New York’s Holiday Markets

Patell and Waterman’s History of New York: Christmas with Andy Warhol

We Heart Astoria: The Best Places To Shop Local – WHA Holiday Gift Guide

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Last year I gave you some tips on where to volunteer all month long (I’ve gone back and updated what I could, so be sure to check it out, and volunteer!). This year, Give and Get will be your guide to shopping for a cause-places to buy gifts while also giving back to your favorite NYC charities. Anyone who receives emails from major retailers is aware of the growing trend of incorporating charitable giving into everyday shopping, especially during this time of year. I’ve tried to compile a list of those who are making contributions to local, New York-based charities, in addition to non-profits who are offering online catalogs that benefit their own organization directly. I’ve also thrown in a few alternative gift ideas that are great for that rich relative who has everything…Read on, my friends, and get ready to knock out your gift list and good deed for the day at the same time.


For people who love kids…

– Retailers owned by participating Friends of Baby Buggy will donate 10% of proceeds to Baby Buggy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing New York City’s families in need with essential equipment, clothing, and products for their infants and young children. You’ll need a special code at checkout to make sure the donation is made-listed below:

  • Gift Hero: Carries gifts for age 0-10. Code: BUGGY2010
  • Kirna Zabete: Soho shop that carries designers such as Lanvin, Givenchy, Celine, Proenza Schouler and more. Code: KZLOVESBABYBUGGY
  • Baby CZ: A luxury line of cashmere, cotton and silk clothes & accessories for babies, children and women. Code: BUGGY
  • Felix Rey: An ultra-feiminine luxury accessories brand. Code: BUGGY10


For food-loving NYC locals…

God’s Love We Deliver, a popular non-profit organization that delivers food daily to home-bound New Yorkers, delivers more than just meals during the holiday season. Clients receive gift baskets full of delicious treats (and meals), all delivered in shopping bags decorated by school children. You can purchase gifts from their holiday catalog, including GLWD aprons and oven mitts, wine glasses and more, with proceeds benefiting the organization. With demand for their services up 21% in just the first three months of the current fiscal year, a purchase from here will be more important than ever before.

 

Going once, going twice…

Bidding For Good is an online auction platform that allows non-profit organizations to set up fundraising auctions for themselves that maximize their reach and potential to raise more money. You can search by cause and/or state, or just by auction items, which range from restaurant gift certificates to all-inclusive vacations, all benefiting a specific charity! This is a great site to use if you’re a fan of Ebay, or want to find a specific cause to give to while you shop..The auctions run for a few weeks, so be sure to check back for new causes and items throughout the month. Currently running is an auction to benefit the West Side YMCA Teen Center; it’s running until December 10th at 9pm- bid now!

 

For your tchotchke-loving friend or coworkers…

Exit 9 has been called a cross between a museum gift shop and a kitschy toy store. After passing by last weekend, I can confirm that it is in fact, just that. You’ll be able to find gag gifts, iPod accessories, children’s craft kits and everything in between. My favorite were the bandaids that look like strips of bacon (which I got for my 6-yr old nephew). More importantly, they’re encouraging people to shop locally while supporting local charities. During their ’12 Days of Charity’ promotion (December 1st-12th) you’ll be able to choose which of the eight local non-profit organizations they’ve listed will receive 10% of profits. Organizations include: BARC Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition, GenerationOn, God’s Love We Deliver, LES Girls Club, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Public School 58Public School 261, Transportation Alternatives. You can shop online, or find even more merchandise at one of their two retail locations (in Brooklyn and on the LES)

 

For the person who has everything and enough money to buy it if they don’t…

– Let’s call this person Charlie. Charlie is the hardest person to get gifts for. Unless it’s perishable, you’re likely getting him something he already has, or doesn’t want. In the past few years, I’ve taken a departure from the traditional gifts and began to give donations in other people’s names. It’s a really personal gesture that will (hopefully) make them much more appreciative of your gift than last year’s wine stopper or coaster set. More specific ideas for your Charlie:

  • Does your Charlie love the outdoors? Make a donation to MillionTreesNYC or Fresh Air Fund. An avid gardner? Help fund a project on ioby (‘in our backyards’). Whatever you choose, just be sure to Charlie that you’ve made a donation in his honor. Check out ‘the improvised life‘ blog for more tips on double-duty gifts and cards, and Cards That Give, a great source for charity greeting cards.
  • If you want to get a little more sentimental, you can request/pick up a letter to Santa (depending on your budget-gifts requested are usually under $40-maybe more than one). You can fulfill a child’s wish by sending them their gift from Santa on Charlie’s behalf. Give the child’s letter to Charlie with a note that says something along the lines of “In lieu of a gift, I’ve given this little girl the Barbie she always wanted and couldn’t afford, on your behalf..” You can get these letters from the James A Farley Building in midtown. (New York Cares runs a similar program but registration has closed)
  • If your Charlie is a little more global-minded, you can gift something even bigger, with long-lasting effects. Heifer International allows you to donate sheep, llamas, goats and more, to impoverished children and families around the world, and help them receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. After your donation, you’ll have the opportunity to create a printable gift card or e-card to tell Charlie that you’ve honored him with a Heifer gift. (Update: It’s been brought to my attention that there are differing opinions regarding HI’s practices and their ethical merit. Read here about another point of view. Charity Navigator is one place to check on how donations are distributed by NPOs- know who you’re donating to before you donate, always)

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So there you have it.. some different places to cross people off your list while giving back to some NYC non-profits. Did I miss something? It’s likely! If you’ve got something to add, please comment below or email to info@giveandgetnyc.com.