Today, the Brooklyn Community Foundation—the only charitable foundation wholly dedicated to improving lives and strengthening communities in Brooklyn—officially introduced its newest initiative, Do Good Right Here, to encourage the borough’s 2.5 million residents to serve their communities by volunteering with local nonprofit organizations.
Leveraging surging attention and affinity for Brooklyn, as well as its attraction to entrepreneurs, artists, and young professionals, the Community Foundation’s Do Good Right Here initiative—anchored at DoGoodRightHere.org—connects residents with volunteer positions at Brooklyn-serving organizations and institutions, to both increase the capacity of Brooklyn’s nonprofit sector and grow ties between Brooklynites and their neighbors in need.
“Brooklyn is home to hundreds of effective nonprofits, many of which we’ve funded through our grantmaking, yet most are not household names even in the communities they serve,” says Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “Their work often goes unheralded, but we are in a critical time. Government support for nonprofits is diminishing and local fundraising is a steep challenge for small organizations. All the while, our nonprofit community is brimming with terrific new ideas and strategies to take on significant local challenges like poverty, hunger, unemployment, education and health. We need Brooklynites to step in and meet the need by donating their time and talents in the place they call home. You don’t need to cross a bridge to be a volunteer. We need all of Brooklyn to DO GOOD RIGHT HERE!”
The Community Foundation urges Brooklynites of all ages and skill sets to visit DoGoodRightHere.org to find volunteer opportunities both in their neighborhoods and across the borough. Users can search by interest area, neighborhood, time commitment, and date. Current openings include therapeutic horseback riding side-walker with GallopNYC in Windsor Terrace, a women’s shelter volunteer with Brooklyn Community Services in East New York, and pro-bono attorney for the Bushwick Housing Independence Project. Large groups and employers can also plan volunteer days through the site.
In addition, DoGoodRightHere.org features profiles of more than 40 Brooklyn neighborhoods, volunteer blogs, resources for nonprofit organizations on volunteer management, and a “Do Gooder” column to recognize outstanding Brooklyn volunteers. Users are encouraged to log their completed volunteer hours on the site to create a tally of overall “donated” hours by Brooklynites.
Do Good Right Here is the work of volunteers, as well. Since September 2011, the Community Foundation’s NYC Civic Corps members, Ebony Reese and Leila Virji, have surveyed dozens of Brooklyn nonprofits and hundreds of residents while developing the site, to best meet the needs of the nonprofit sector and the interests of Brooklynites seeking volunteer opportunities. NYC Civic Corps is an initiative of NYC Service, facilitated through a grant from AmeriCorps.
“NYC Service extends its congratulations to Brooklyn Community Foundation on launching DoGoodRightHere.org,” says NYC Service’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. “NYC Service exists to make it easier for more New Yorkers to serve in the ways that matter the most. We are proud of our partnership with the Community Foundation because, with them, we are truly connecting more New Yorkers to service opportunities. DoGoodRightHere.org will have a huge impact on so many in Brooklyn. It is a shining example of the NYC Civic Corps, our answer to engaging great people who are committed to serving full-time, to connect more New Yorkers with opportunities to make a difference. I am beyond proud that our NYC Civic Corps AmeriCorps members are able to support the Community Foundation’s mission to strengthen Brooklyn through community service.”
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz adds: “Whether it’s volunteering with a nonprofit, caring for seniors, mentoring kids, joining a community board or cleaning up our parks, some of the most rewarding work we can do is not really work at all. Kudos to the Brooklyn Community Foundation and president Marilyn Gelber for establishing the Do Good Right Here initiative and website so that Brooklynites who have the time and energy to give back to their community can find rewarding opportunities right in their own backyard. I join the Brooklyn Community Foundation in urging all the ‘do-gooders’ out there to do good—right here—in Brooklyn.”
For the Do Good Right Here initiative’s launch week, June 1st – 9th, Brooklyn Community Foundation representatives will be at the following free events:
• Saturday, June 2nd at the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, 10am-5pm (176 Lafayette Ave)
• Tuesday, June 5th at Brooklyn Industries in DUMBO, 7-9pm (70 Front St) – During the in-store event, Brooklyn Industries will donate a percentage of sales to support the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s volunteer initiative. Brooklyn-based businesses Sixpoint Brewery, NY Distilling Company, Q Drinks, Brooklyn Roasting Company, and Brooklyn Salsa will provide complimentary refreshments. RSVP by 6/1 to email@example.com.
• Thursday, June 7th at Discover Bed-Stuy Expo in Bedford Stuyvesant, 5-8:30pm (Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton St)
• Saturday, June 9th at DeKalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn, 10am-6pm (138 Willoughby St)
All Brooklyn-serving nonprofit organizations are invited to post their volunteer needs at DoGoodRightHere.org, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of their mission and contact information.