The Big Brooklyn Toy Drive is just one way you can make a kid as happy as this one this Christmas season. Photo by Kathryn Suellentrop, via Facebook
It’s easy to get sucked into a holiday spending bubble, especially when bombarded with shiny knick-knacks and long gift lists. But before we drink gallons of spiked seasonal beverages, make questionable decisions at the company holiday party and buy expensive electronics delivered to us via drones, let’s reflect on our blessings and do some unselfish things this season.
You can commit small acts of kindness to help the New Yorkers who are living on less than what you have. From donating coats, toys and food, to spending time with animals and humans who can really use the attention, here are a few ways you can give back. (more…)
Let’s put this one to shame. via Flickr user Jinx!
It can be hard to remember sometimes, but the holiday season is about more than buying crap for your friends and family and drinking yourself into oblivion with your co-workers. After all, if you’re privileged enough to be able to do things like that, it couldn’t hurt to give back, whether by volunteering or, in a much simpler act of kindness, donating to a food drive. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has set up Brooklyn Eats Cares, a food drive with food banks and companies around Brooklyn, so stop by any one of them and donate something. Something good, not those possibly Soviet-era string beans you found when you moved into your apartment. (more…)
Sandy came to Red Hook and made a hell of a mess. Photo by Craig Warga, via New York Daily News
A year after Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, many areas of New York and New Jersey are still struggling to rebuild. Many homeowners have been left to stop mid-renovation or to put off any efforts to rebuild due to insurance checks that have yet to arrive and FEMA assistance that was promised but never granted. Because of this, there are still plenty of programs in the New York area assisting families and neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy, all of which are seeking volunteers. Here are some programs nearby that will help you rake in some good karma and bring New York back to its feet. (more…)
The heart attack didn’t stop him, so don’t let the medical bills. via Facebook
No good deed goes unpunished, as the saying goes. Especially when that good deed is devoting yourself to getting people home safe late at night by biking to where they are. Jay Ruiz, founder of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol, had a heart attack after pushing himself too hard and despite the fact that he’s recovered and the bike patrol is back, Ruiz still has a heaping helping of medical bills to pay. Fortunately, a supporter put together a GoFundMe to help Ruiz with those bills. (more…)
This photo can be yours, plus Occupy Sandy can do more good. via #Sandy
One thing that came out of Sandy, aside from the life lesson that you can count on your neighbors and not the federal government, was a whole lot of photography. Makes sense, since we live in a media capital, superstorms like that are rare and what else were we gonna do, go to work? Now one gallery that collected the best iPhone pictures from the storm is coming out with a photography book featuring the pictures, with all the royalties from the book sales going towards Occupy Sandy. (more…)
He’s smiling because he knows he can blame you if this goes wrong. via Facebook
If you’ll recall, city council member and brunch ally Stephen Levin previously made news for opening up the city’s budgeting process to people in his council district. The question of what to do with a cool one million dollars was left up to residents Levin represented, who eventually decided on tree planting, some park upgrades and school technology funds, all noble goals. If you missed out on the process last time, or have an awesome idea, we’ve got good news: Levin is looking for people to join a committee for the budget program’s next round. (more…)
Despite the best efforts of the cruel realities of the New York City budgeting system, Williamsburg’s IS 318 refuses to die. After the news broke about the team being on the chopping block, they’ve held free screenings of the documentary about them, Brooklyn Castle, to raise awareness of their plight. And now that you all know how great they are and how bad things look for them, they’re now asking you to open your wallet and help crowdfund them into this year. Won’t you help? (more…)
So, despite kinda lame videos declaring that everyone’s over Sandy hooray! we all know that places are still suffering and could use some help. Do you have an awesome idea to help that could just use a little cash to implement? Are you Occupy Sandy? The Citizens Committee for New York City wants to give you a $2000 grant to get your idea off the ground. (more…)
Items acquired from the World’s Longest Yardsale. Can probably be found at significantly shorter yardsale, but who’s keeping track. Via Kickstarter.
Kickstarter: it’s the field of dreams of the Internet. If you build it, they will come and give you money. Unless your project is terrible, in which case you’ll just sink to the bottom with all the other dredges of would-be Internet glory. But that’s what it’s about, right? It’s about making a project so good that other people will want to pay for it before it’s even started. Here’s a few Brooklyn-based projects that might be worth your spare change. Think about it as buying the bragging rights to knowing these folks before they got famous. (more…)
Want to #standwithwendy? Here’s one way to do it. via @nycjim
Last night, night owls, politics nerds and Twitter junkies (not CNN though) stared transfixed at their computer screens as Texas state senator Wendy Davis stood and filibustered for 13 hours to defeat a restrictive abortion bill in her home state. It was an inspiring, if eventually extremely confusing moment at the end, but it was also a stark reminder that you have to be vigilant in protecting reproductive rights. Don’t want to see your rights hinge on obscure parliamentary procedure rules and shouting? Consider giving money to one of these groups working to make sure it doesn’t come to that. (more…)