Tag Archives: timebanksnyc

Force of Human Nature: Spring Volunteer Activities Outdoors

24 Mar

This post was originally written for offManhattan, an eco travel site featuring destinations out of Manhattan that are accessible sans car.

Whether or not the weather agrees, Spring is officially here. It’s time to put those winter sweaters back into storage and dust off your flip flops. It’s also the perfect time to volunteer in New York City. As the seasons change, so do the opportunities available; there are gardens to be planted, parks to prepped for the onslaught of visitors, and other outdoor projects that are most enjoyable in the cool sunshine of Spring. Below are some ideas for outdoor volunteer projects and activities that you can sign up for right now:

Pick A Day, Any Day

Are you too busy for a big time commitment? Sign up for these one-day volunteer events:

  • ‘It’s My Park Day’ is an bi-annual event taking place this spring on May 21st, 2011. You don’t even have to register: just find a participating park and GO. Partnerships for Parks invites dedicated community groups to organize volunteer projects and free cultural events in their neighborhood parks, in the hopes that people will come out to help and learn more about year-round opportunities. There will be over 150 community organizations and parks participating throughout the 5 boroughs.
  • Hands On New York Day: Join New York Cares and 5,000 other volunteers on April 16th to make our city’s parks and gardens cleaner, greener, and ready for summer. You can join my team or start your own!
  • Million Trees Planting Event: The city’s Million Trees Initiative has an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs over the next decade. On April 30th, 2011 you can help them reach that goal by joining them in one of five parks in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island and volunteer to help plant 20,000 trees in one day!

Runs Don’t Run Themselves

New York City plays host to a slew of fundraising 5K’s and walks, and all of them need volunteers to help ensure the day goes smoothly. You can help by handing out water along the route, checking in participants, cleaning up after the race, or even cheering! Here are some upcoming runs and contact info:

  • New York Road Runners: Find more races and opportunities here by signing up to volunteer at any NYRR race. All opportunities in 2011 will count as a volunteer credit toward the 9+1 Program for those who would like to receive a guaranteed entry to the 2012 ING New York City Marathon.

Going Green for the Season

There are many organizations that are dedicated to community gardening and environmental education all year long. Now that Spring has arrived, they’ll need help for the busy planting season. Check out these groups for on-going volunteer opportunities with varying commitment levels:
  • ioby (which stands for ‘in our backyards’) connects donors and volunteers to environmental projects in their neighborhoods to inspire new environmental knowledge and action in New York City. They have sponsored projects in need of volunteers to plant veggies, building gardens and educating the public; email volunteer@ioby.org for more info or visit the website.
  • TimeBanksNYC Green April is a month-long marathon of eco-friendly, green-inspired projects. Each Saturday in April, TBNYC will be in a different borough for an environmental community service event. To gain access to the Green April events, attend the volunteer kick-off event on March 30th at the Horticultural Society of NY; RSVP at volunteer@timebanksnyc.org.
  • New York Cares is the all-encompassing, citywide mecca for volunteers. Just sign up online and attend a 45-minute orientation and you’ll be able to access their database of 1,000’s of projects that take place all over the city, from Pelham Bay Park to Gregory’s community garden in Brooklyn and almost everything in between. You can volunteer once, weekly, monthly; whatever you schedule, NY Cares has something for everyone.
  • Slow Food NYC is the New York City chapter of Slow Food, a non-profit, member-supported organization founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life. From time to time they need volunteers to staff events or to help with outreach programs. Contact them at volunteering@slowfoodnyc.org to find out what’s available now; for one, they will be preparing their neighborhood farm in Brownsville on April 16th, 30th and June 4th for the upcoming summer program for 100 local kids.

For more environmentally-helpful volunteer projects, visit my spring greening tips from last year, “Volunteerism in Full Bloom.”


Toy Drive for VISIONS Services for the Blind

19 Nov

Help TimeBanksNYC bring toys to visually impaired children and families through their holiday toy drive supporting VISIONS Services for the Blind at Selis Manor! The toy drive is currently struggling to collect donations, so every individual’s contribution can help! Staff will be collecting toys at their Hudson Guild site (address below) and in exchange, each donor will receive cookies as a thank you gift!

They are looking for YOU to help donate a toy or bake cookies (or both)!  Please donate a toy, book (audio and/or large print), music CDs, or anything else, for children ages 0-18 years old. Some suggestions:
– Toys that make noise (have bells, sounds, music, etc.)
– Have different textures, shapes, etc.
– Have large parts and are sturdy

Toy collection will take place from Monday, November 22nd through Thursday December 2nd (excluding Thanksgiving Day) from 10am until 4 pm. Drop off your new, unwrapped toy and/or cookies to the TimeBanksNYC table at Hudson Guild during these dates and spread some holiday cheer!  If you’re already a TimeBanks member, you will receive time credits for participating; if you’re not a member, check out their website because you may want to be one!

The Hudson Guild is located at 441 W. 26th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail kmartin@aging.nyc.gov

*All donations must be new and in their original packaging*

Sponsored by

TimeBanks NYCand Bridging the Gap

VISIONS at Selis Manor and NYC Museum School

TimeBanksNYC Studio Art Class with a Purpose

11 Jun

On Thursday, June 17th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, a member of TimeBanksNYC  will be teaching a hands on workshop on still life and charcoal drawing. The teacher has an MFA in Studio Art, so whether you’re looking to relive those days of high school art class or want to see what life would have been like had you chosen art school over a business degree, now’s your chance to experience the real thing. Everything you need will be provided (drawing pads, vine charcoal, and kneaded erasers).

The event will take place at 119 Ninth Ave between 17th and 18th, in the conference room of Hudson Guild’s Fulton Center. It’s a members-only event, but you can join right on the spot by filling out a short application and signing the member agreement. All attendees must RSVP to eventrsvp@timebanksnyc.org or 866-244-6469 (space is limited, so don’t wait!).

This event will give you a chance to see what TimeBanksNYC has to offer and learn more about how the program works.  Through a simple exchange program, it is a way for people to share their skills, spread their passions, meet neighbors, and support each other. For every hour you volunteer your skills to help someone else in the network, you earn a credit that you can then redeem for one hour of help yourself. Want to learn spanish? Need help cleaning your apartment? There is someone in TimeBanks network willing to volunteer, for you! I recently joined this organization and am excited to begin exchanging services. You can expect a lengthy post with more details on this program once I’ve banked a few hours…