Tag Archives: ioby

Green Guerillas Enviro-Film Fest

5 Mar

Green Guerillas, NYC’s pioneering community garden group, is hosting an enviro-film festival on March 9th from 6pm-9pm at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan. Come for the films and stay for the conversation. Watch award-winning films about community activism, agriculture, and sustainability that will inform you, inspire you, and ignite solutions and possibilities for all of us.

MKCREATIVE, a creative services agency, is co-producing the festival with Green Guerillas in the hope of bringing community gardeners, urban farmers, composters, and people who care about the earth together for this one-of-a-kind event. You’ll also be able to get information about volunteer opportunities and other ways to take action in NYC.

Ticket: $10, includes free Green Guerillas t-shirt.
Sponsor Ticket: $20, shirt, popcorn, recognition at event.

$1 popcorn and refreshments. $2 beers. Door prizes and raffle. Make sure to get your tickets in advance and arrive early; seating is limited and this is expected to sell out!

Visit www.FILMS2INSPIRE.org to find out more and to purchase tickets.

Co-hosts: ioby, bk farmyards, EcoStationNY, Neighborhood Preservation Center.

$10 tickets are not tax deductible. $20 sponsor tickets are 50% tax deductible.

Charity Poker Night

30 Jan

Put on your best poker face and head over to Vanderbilt Avenue’s Branded Saloon on Wednesday nights for a round of Texas Hold ‘Em for charity, benefiting many of Brooklyn’s awesome non-profit organizations. The games begin at 8pm (beginners round at 7pm, registration at 7:30) with a $15 buy-in. Proceeds from February 2nd, February 23rd and March 16 will all go to ioby, and the winnings will be divided among the following projects on ioby.org which are (not coincidentally) very close to the Branded Saloon:

Gardening with Tiny Tots Summer Program at Hattie Carthan
Sustainable Flatbush Church Ave Communal Garden Compost Project
Eating Healthy in Bed-Stuy
2nd Avenue Community Garden

Wednesday’s are the best nights to play poker, so lasso up some friends and get yourselves to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

-ioby connects donors and volunteers to environmental projects in their neighborhoods to inspire new environmental knowledge and action in New York City.-

G&G For the Holidays: Gifts That Give Back

1 Dec

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


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)


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.

A Benefit ‘In Our Backyards’

5 Nov

For the past few months, something big has been brewing inside the ioby office on 6th Avenue. ioby, which stands for “in our backyards”, operates under the belief that environmental knowledge, innovation, action, and service begin and thrive in our backyards. They were founded in 2008, with a beta site launching in May of ’09, and have since enabled over 30 environmental projects to be completed with the help of online microphilanthropy. Now in their second year of operation, they’re ready to formally introduce themselves to New York City and begin taking over the world… Okay, maybe not the world, but you get the point.

“A Benefit In Our Backyards”, ioby’s First Annual Gala at Brooklyn Brewery on November 11th, will showcase the 2010 Heroes In Our Backyards; these are eight groups and/or individuals that have completed projects funded through ioby.org that exemplify leadership in environmental innovation and community organizing. The Heroes will be put on display via a gallery created by students from Parsons The New School.

In addition to the custom gallery, ioby has gotten the backing of various corporate, food and beverage sponsorships to ensure that this event is a huge success. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect at the Gala on November 11th:

– Food provided by Whole Foods Markets will be turned into tasty comestibles by Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy. Chef Joe from Joe Doe will also be providing some delicious snacks.

– In addition to Brooklyn Brewery donating their space for night, they are also tapping the kegs and pouring their world-famous brews all night. There will also be a custom ioby cocktail available, made possible by Tuthilltown Spirits, which is the main ingredient in your new favorite drink, the Backyard Blazer.

Gotham Project Riesling is also providing a keg(!) of wine for you to enjoy. Yes, a keg of wine. Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?

-Fantastic raffle prizes and a silent auction of goodies from Patagonia, Kombucha Brooklyn, Green in BKLYN, Green Fitness Studio and much, much more!

There will be a limited number of tickets available to purchase at the door, but you can save some money and buy online now before they sell out! If you can’t come but would like to donate, you can do so by clicking here. As always, volunteers are also an invaluable asset to this organization, both for the event and for the projects that they fund. If you’re interested in volunteering, email volunteer@ioby.org. If you want to volunteer specifically for this event, you can also email me at info@giveandgetnyc.com.

If you have questions about ioby as an organization, about submitting a project, about donating to a project, or want to tell us about important environmental work in your neighborhood, email info@ioby.org.

Volunteerism in Full Bloom

22 Apr

The sun is shining more and more each day, which means spring is here and summer is on its way! For those of you looking for volunteer opportunities that let you take advantage of the nice weather, look no further. Below is a list of places to go volunteer your time for good while catching some sun and fresh air.

Partnership for Parks: If you’re looking to volunteer in a park, this is a good place to start. For all intents and purposes, it’s the City of New York’s volunteer arm of the Park and Rec. Department; their mission is to help NYC parks thrive by strengthening a diverse, growing network of dedicated park volunteers and groups by creating opportunities to get more involved in all things Park. You can use this as a starting point to search for organizations near you (click here) that are beautifying parks right where you live! If you don’t want to go it alone, the Partnership is also able to organize group volunteer outings for corporate groups- click here for details.

It’s My Park Day: Don’t feel like sorting through the options? Then participate in the city’s annual ‘It’s My Park Day’ on May 15th. You don’t even have to register: just find a participating park and GO. Volunteer activities range from horticulture to painting projects, along with a variety of free events, including kayaking, dance performances, and more. There will be over 150 community organizations and parks participating, so chances are you won’t have to travel far if you live in one of the five boroughs (even you, Staten Islanders!). All of the locations aren’t listed yet, so check the website closer to the date for more details.

IOBY (In Our Backyards): IOBY is a great organization that connects donors and volunteers to projects that are going on right in their backyards (hence the name IOBY). Local groups post projects they are trying to complete in their community, and you can offer to help by volunteering your time or money towards their cause. Most of them are small-scale projects that you can help complete in a day, like putting up a fence or planting seeds in a garden. It’s an organization I can really get behind, because their niche is focused enough that everything posted is completely reasonable and feasible, affording opportunities to a lot of people who just need a little extra push to accomplish their goal.

Parks and Recreation Events Calendar: There are a ridiculous number of events going on in New York’s parks that you don’t know even know about. Or maybe you do, but don’t be such a narcissist, I wasn’t just talking to YOU. Anyway, on any given day this calendar will show you at least 4 or 5 opportunities you can get on board with. For example, every Tuesday at 7am you can head to Cobble Hill Park in Brooklyn to help maintain and beautify. A lot of the events are more about enjoying the parks and less about volunteering in them, but all of the places listed are typically open to accepting volunteers so it’s still a good Spring resource.

Shape Up New York: Do you have experience as a fitness instructor and want to use your powers for good? If so, you may be interested in Shape Up New York, where you can volunteer to teach a variety of classes and activities, including aerobics, yoga and pilates. They’re currently looking for instructors in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, and the committment is a 6 or 8 week course, once a week.

The Gowanus Dredgers: This organization is dedicated to providing waterfront access and education to the public, running programs on the shorelines of Gowanus, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island and Long Island City, run by volunteers. You can take a self-guided tour of the canal using the Dredgers stash of canoes, and then get your hands dirty helping them clean up trash, restore the natural habitats along the canal, or participate in one of the other many programs they offer. To stay informed of volunteer opportunities, send them an email at dredgers@excite.com and ask to be put on their volunteer email list. If you happen to have a paddle, life jacket, or other equipment the Dregders may find useful, they take donations. Though I’d be interested to know why any New Yorker has extra paddles lying around, and where you store them…

Bronx River Alliance:They offer a variety of programs here that you can get involved in, including recreation, education, outreach, and of course, restoring and maintaining the river. You can help in any of these areas, and it will allow you to volunteer while enjoying the weather, and probably discovering a new part of New York you’ve never explored. If you would like to learn more about available opportunities, call or e-mail Michelle Williams at 718.430.4636 or michelle.williams@parks.nyc.gov.

Garden at Brooklyn Bridge Park: Head out to the Park on April 27th and join OneBrick in cleaning up this oft-forgotten park by the Brooklyn Bridge. The city-run side of BBP has little funding and requires a lot of volunteer hours to maintain it’s condition, so enjoy the view while you mulch, weed, plant and generally spruce up the area, knowing that you’re doing work that would have otherwise gone undone (RSVP with OneBrick here) Can’t make it on Tuesday? You can volunteer with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy all season long; for more info, click here.

Hudson River Park: Further uptown on the west side lies the Hudson River Park, where you can volunteer every other Sunday in the South Promenade perennial beds while learning hands-on learn horticulture skills, such as weeding, thinning and pruning. New York Cares and Street Project run projects here on the other Sundays, so you’ve got options all month long. If you’re looking for a committment, you can volunteer at the Pier 66 Natural Habitat twice a month. This garden is not open to the public, so you’ll have a private place to call your own while you weed, prune, and transplant your heart out. For this, healthy, strong and hard working individuals are required, and some gardening experience preferred.

Million Trees NYC: They have one goal: plant 1 million trees over the next ten years in NYC. Want to help? There’s plenty of trees to go around. Click here to learn more about how to get your hands dirty. 325,275 trees and growing…LITERALLY!

Street Project and Urban Adventures: Once a month, you can sign up to volunteer with Street Project and go on an Urban Adventure! According to the website, “Urban Adventures was developed in conjunction with Mott Hall Middle School to provide an educational and recreational outlet to seventh graders. The 10 to 15 Mott Hall students who participate look to the program as an opportunity to explore the city”. The next event is a scavenger hunt in Central Park on June 12th (click here for info); previous adventures have included trips to museums, parks, exhibits, and zoos.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list… Have suggestions? Post them below in the comments section or email me at info@giveandgetnyc.com and I’ll add them to the list! Spring has Sprung! Get out there and volunteer!