Showing posts with label community spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community spirit. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2022

East Village Loves NYC issues a fundraising appeal to help continue feeding New Yorkers in need

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic — is on the brink of shutting down.

The group put out a last-ditch fundraising appeal on Friday — they need $36,000 to keep going from their HQ at the Sixth Street Community Center.


Some positive news: Since sounding the alarm this past Friday, EV Loves NYC has raised more than half its fundraising goal of $36,000.

From an Instagram post on Saturday:
"The support we've received from our community over the past day has been absolutely incredible. Hundreds of calls, texts, voicemails, to let us know that you refuse to see us go.

We don't want to go. We want to keep helping the city we love, while building lasting memories with you and our community. We want to continue spreading love and helping those who need it most."

You can find the GoFundMe link here.  

In the spring of 2020, a handful of friends got together to prepare meals for neighbors. Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street near Avenue B, donated his kitchen on Mondays for the group to cook its meals. By June 2020, they had outgrown the space and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Eventually, the group became known as East Village Loves NYC with 1,400-plus volunteers. In year one alone, the group cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers  ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.
 

Image via @evlovesnyc

Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Black History Bowl returns to the Lower East Side

Photos by Stacie Joy 

The second-annual Black History Bowl took place yesterday afternoon at the Baruch Playground on the Lower East Side...
Once again, the event featured residents, community groups and local elected officials commemorating Black History Month ... bringing together young adults and their parents. (There were also two games of flag football.)

Donations allowed for snacks, drinks and meals for 60 kids... with any leftovers going to the Loisaida CommUnity Fridge and Pantry at Trinity Church on Ninth Street and Avenue B. 

Here are a few photos via EVG contributor Stacie Joy...
The Black History Bowl was created by Ty Lemons — aka For the Love of the City, a neighborhood resident and coach, mentor and event planner.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

A food and clothing drive Saturday afternoon in Tompkins Square Park

East Village-based artist and entrepreneur P.J. O'Rourke is hosting a food and clothing drive on Saturday afternoon from 1-4 ... at the Ninth Street/Avenue A entrance to Tompkins Square Park. 

During those hours, he'll be collecting new or gently used warm-weather clothes for men and women... as well as non-perishable food items. (He plans to donate the food to the Loisaida CommUnity Fridge and Pantry at Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish on Avenue B at Ninth Street; he was finalizing the outlet for the clothing.)

Previously on EV Grieve

Friday, January 7, 2022

East Village Loves NYC offering free COVID-19 PCR testing once again this Sunday

For the third consecutive Sunday, East Village Loves NYC is collaborating with a mobile clinic to provide free COVID-19 PCR testing at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

The testing takes place this Sunday (Jan. 9) from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You need to sign up in advance — no walk-ins. You can find the link here. 

Results from this past Sunday were returned in 24 hours. Testing is done by Alaine Diagnostics in Saddlebrook, N.J. People who signed up reported a quick and efficient system here.

East Village Loves NYC was formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic. In year one,  the volunteers — 400 strong — cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers during the pandemic ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.

Friday, December 31, 2021

East Village Loves NYC offering free COVID-19 PCR testing on Sunday

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic — is collaborating with a mobile clinic to provide free COVID-19 PCR testing at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

The next testing comes this Sunday (Jan. 2) from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You need to sign up in advance — no walk-ins. You can find the link here. The testing is open to the first 200 registrants.
The first testing took place here this past Sunday. Organizers invited EVG contributor Stacie Joy to stop by...
Results from Sunday were returned in less than 48 hours. Testing is done by Alaine Diagnostics in Saddlebrook, N.J. (This link lists the city's free testing sites via NYC Health + Hospitals.) In its first year, East Village Loves NYC — which has attracted some 400 volunteers — cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers during the pandemic ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Community Holiday Feast fed more than 600 people in Tompkins Square Park yesterday

Photos by Stacie Joy

Here's a quick recap of the Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park yesterday afternoon. 

For starters, given the weather on Saturday, organizers, including Jeremiah Moss and EVG contributor Stacie Joy, had to move the event to the rain date of yesterday.

From 2-4 p.m., volunteers served 600-plus free hot meals in the Park... providing some good food and vibes in the process... 
The following businesses and residents donated to the event:

Scooter LaForge, Stacie Joy, C&B Cafe, S'MAC, Food for Life, Marjorie Ingall and Jonathan Steuer, Chris Flash, Mary O's, San Loco, Rossy's Bakery, Molly Crabapple, EVLovesNYC, Gavin Downie, Jon Thornton, Tiffeani James, Jeremiah Moss and Rebecca Levi, Derrick the Abolitionist, Leslie Feinberg, Hank Chmielinski and Holli Porreca, Rosie Kahn and Dan Grimes.

Stacie and Jeremiah also thank all the community members who donated their time yesterday volunteering for the Community Feast. And to all a happy and healthy holiday season... 

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park is now taking place on Sunday

Here's an update to our previous post on the Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park. Given the threat of rain tomorrow, the Feast will take place on Sunday, Dec. 19.

As a reminder of what this is about: A group of East Village residents, including author Jeremiah Moss and EVG contributor Stacie Joy, is hosting a Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park. 

From 2-4 p.m., volunteers will be serving free hot meals provided by East Village businesses and residents. 

The following businesses have volunteered food and other products for the event: the BeanC&B Cafe, East Village Vintage CollectiveFood for LifeMary O'sRossy's Bakery & CaféSan LocoS'MAC and Subject NYC. The local volunteer group East Village Loves NYC will also donate. 

Organizers could still use some volunteers to help out during the event. Interested residents can use this email to contact the group.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

[UPDATED] Details on the Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park this Dec. 18

Updated: With the threat of rain on Dec. 18, the Feast will now take place on Dec. 19. Same time and place.

On Dec. 18, a group of East Village residents, including author Jeremiah Moss and EVG contributor Stacie Joy, is hosting a Community Holiday Feast in Tompkins Square Park. 

From 2-4 p.m., volunteers will be serving free hot meals provided by East Village businesses and residents. 

Organizers are currently looking for volunteers and welcome additional food and other donations. Interested residents and merchants can use this email to contact the group.
The following businesses have volunteered food and other products for the event: the Bean, C&B Cafe, East Village Vintage Collective, Food for Life, Mary O's, Rossy's Bakery & CaféSan Loco, S'MAC and Subject NYC. The local volunteer group East Village Loves NYC will also donate. 

Meanwhile, individual donors include Chris Flash, Scooter La Forge, Marjorie Ingall and Jonathan Steuer. 

In case of rain or, lordy, snow, the event will occur on Dec. 19.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Local students distribute pre-Thanksgiving meals in Tompkins Square Park

Last Tuesday, a group of first and second graders from the New Amsterdam School on Avenue B prepared lunches for people in Tompkins Square Park who may need a meal. 

The students started by picking up granola bars, apples and other items from East Village Organic on First Avenue...
Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B cafe on Seventh Street, donated the bread and other sandwich supplies. He also came to the school on the corner of Fifth Street to help the students assemble the sandwiches and create the meals to distribute...
In total, the students created and distributed 50 meals to unhoused people in the Park with the assistance of the school staff...
Thank you to Owen Schiller for the photos.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Help East Village Loves NYC feed 10,000 people in 3 days

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic — has laid out ambitious plans for a pre-Thanksgiving event: to prepare meals for 10,000 New Yorkers over three days.
Details via Instagram...
We are holding our biggest and boldest event ever! For our EARLY THANKSGIVING COOKATHON, we’re planning to feed 10k people! Our Love Kitchen will be running full steam three days in a row: October 23, 24 and 25! 

Want to get involved in the most ambitious event of the year? Visit evloves.nyc/thanksgiving and help us raise enough to make this happen!

Volunteer slots will open on October 1, stay tuned!

In its first year, East Village Loves NYC — which has attracted some 400 volunteers — cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers during the pandemic ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gardening in the East Village is 'a great way to meet your neighbors' — and other things

 “Two Gardeners,” a watercolor sketch of El Sol Brillante gardeners Patrick McDonald and Barbara Augsburger courtesy of Kaley Roshitsh

By Kaley Roshitsh

For many, a community garden is a place for healing, a sanctuary amongst concrete — and a lifeline.

This holds true, especially for the gardeners of El Sol Brillante (ESB). Meaning “a brilliant sun,” ESB is a 1,000 square-foot community garden on 12th Street between Avenue A and B. The 29-plot garden is complete with managed plots, common space, compost and worm bins, a tended beehive and ample space for community members to interact.

A once broken lot, the community banded together to raise the garden from ashes in 1977 — and the space couldn’t be more sorely needed in strange times.

“I was here through the blackouts, riots, 9/11, floods, Hurricane Sandy, and as horrific as some of those [events] were, the [COVID-19] pandemic was a new level because the city just seemed so empty — and it was soul-crushing,” said Patrick McDonald, a resident on the block and chef for 35 years, speaking on the impact of the latest event.

Despite the recent pandemic-induced surge in green spaces and outdoor park visits, many long-standing garden members can attribute their joining to a friendly neighbor.

McDonald first joined ESB in 2012 and received his plot the following year. He describes the influence of the late Ken Bond, who counts many friends among the current members, in joining the garden. Bond’s mother Florence, or “Flo,” was referred to as a “block historian” by many on the block and was “instrumental in starting the garden,” according to McDonald. Both Bond and his mother served as president of ESB.

“For me, it’s a little slice of heaven in the middle of the concrete jungle,” said McDonald on the importance of the garden. Describing his front-facing plot, he added: “I like its location. As you come into the garden, it’s one of the first ones you see. I always try to have something fun going on.”

Taking the right pathway tracing the edge of McDonald’s tended plot, on-lookers find pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes — the evidence of a chef (and gardener) at work.

A Place for Love, Healing — and Democracy

“It was such a great way to meet your neighbors,” chimed in Barbara Augsburger, a Swiss native who moved to New York in the 1980s (following a then-boyfriend who was a musician). She would join the garden in 1983 and meet her husband only five years later.

Music is a central theme. “There was a guy in the store [on the block] who used to play Latin music and I would be sitting on the stoop [listening],” described Augsburger nodding along, “and that’s how I met my husband.”

Like the roses twisting atop the lover’s arch between her and her husband’s neighboring plot, Augsburger finds unity at ESB. “I learned how to be in fusion with nature,” she shared. “I mean, I knew already because I hiked a lot in the Alps, and I was always in nature, but this made it even in a more intimate way.”

In Augsburger’s plot, there are fresh healing herbs like lavender or lemon verbena, as well as oregano and fragrant rose geraniums.

“I think that every block should have a garden and life would be — for mental health — so much better,” said Augsburger calling the garden her “lifeline” and a space for “healing,” which is fitting given her energy work.

The garden is also rightly “a place of democracy,” in the words of Augsburger, as no communal space can be free of heated discussions where plot politics, fresh harvests and lingering branches are concerned.

A Fresh Take

Austin Frankel joined the garden in winter 2017 to meet new people and soon rose the ranks from friendly neighbor to key holder to plot holder to influential board member.

“In my plot, I’m making a space for myself, and it’s very organic. What I’m developing is coming along from what I’ve set there, and what I’ve inherited, and that’s a very cathartic experience,” described Frankel.

Cucumbers and shishito peppers are the stars of Frankel’s first harvest. But as is true of East Village — one can expect the unexpected to sprout up. When clearing his plot, Frankel discovered of all things a red stiletto boot nestled amid the weeds. (The other shoe to the pair was recovered in the garden common space for those curious. A bent spade atop the garden fence gives reason to suspect midnight stiletto-clad climbers).

His plans are to make a planter from the found shoe and continue providing a fresh take to garden meetings.
The Arts, Alive

Greeting amblers on the block is the 100-foot long fence that was created in 1993 by artist Julie Dermansky using scrap metal and speaks to the artistic presence at ESB that is still kept strong by members like Alejandro “Kuki” Gomez, among others.

“All of a sudden, I decided to start helping and working with the garden and getting dirty. There’s something about touching the dirt, the sticks, the leaves,” said Gomez, drawing the inspiration back to his work as a graphic designer, artist (known by the neighborhood for his tape designs), and now, events director, where an amalgamation of creative talents come together.

He joined over five years ago after first seeking solace in the garden as a guest. Gomez’s mother — an avid gardener — inspired his passion.

On Aug. 25, Gomez helped put on a free jazz event in association with The Jazz Foundation of America and Ariana’s List as part of the City Parks Foundation’s 28th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. A strong turnout despite the heat, “Jazz in the Garden: with Willie Martinez and His Latin Jazz Collective,” drew newcomers and regulars in for a night of swirling sounds.

Along with summer jazz, Gomez organized a watercolor painting night in the garden. Like many in the garden, his tended plot takes on a distinctive flair, with Gomez’s shady corner plot taking on a heart shape among rectangles. Close to heart, “safety” is what ESB provides to Gomez.

Amid what he felt was an abandoned state of the city on the onset of the pandemic, Gomez reiterated that “this was heaven for us.”

-----

Kaley Roshitsh is the first-ever sustainable fashion journalist at WWD. Her work appears on U.N. Women USA NY, Her Campus Media and the independent magazine she founded called ThriftEd Mag. You can find her on Instagram ranting about her latest thrift finds or the importance of knowing your neighbors at @KaleyRoshitsh

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Details on today's Lower East Side United Festival

The annual Lower East Side United Festival is taking place this afternoon from noon to 4. 

The event, at three neighborhood locations, including 737 E. Sixth St. and 730 E. 12th St., will help provide "the community with information and access to free resources available throughout the Lower East Side." 

Kids in attendance can get free back-to-school backpacks and take part in a variety of activities.

Find more details here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

East Village Loves NYC issues a fundraising appeal to help continue feeding New Yorkers in need

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group that formed last spring to feed people in need during the pandemic — has put a fundraising appeal to help keep them preparing meals for New Yorkers this year.

Via a recent Instagram post:
Truth is, we haven’t been able to raise enough funds to safely continue helping the city we love until the end of 2021. At this pace, we'll have to shut our doors by the end of the summer. Times are tough, the city needs us, and we worry that we won't be able to respond to the growing ask for help.

So if you are in a position to help, and only if you are in a position to help, we ask that you please consider financially supporting us this year, and by doing so, knowing that you will be feeding tens, hundreds, thousands of New Yorkers who need it most.
You can read more about helping at this link

In addition, Sougwen Chung, a Chinese-Canadian artist, created a piece of virtual art that she is selling as an NFT. She will be donating 100 percent of the funds to East Village Loves NYC. (Details here.)

As Gothamist reported yesterday, the need for emergency food resources remains high in the city:
As vaccination rates rise and the city approaches a full reopening, hunger may no longer be top of mind for many New Yorkers. But those working in food banks and pantries say demand is still much higher than it was before the pandemic, especially among groups that were already more vulnerable.
East Village Loves NYC — which has attracted some 400 volunteers — celebrated its first anniversary earlier this spring ... and in those first 12 months, the group has cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers during the pandemic ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.

As they noted on Instagram:
What started with our team of five or six friends doing a cooking session to help their neighborhood, turned into a massive family of hundreds of volunteers gathering every week to deliver thousands of meals to New York City.
Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street near Avenue B, donated his space on Mondays for the group to cook its meals. By last June, they had outgrown the space and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Volunteers at East Village Loves NYC prepare meal for Ramadan; celebrate 1st anniversary

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group that formed last spring to feed people in need during the pandemic — is continuing to make meals and celebrating the multiple religious holidays of New Yorkers

For Ramadan, the volunteers collaborated on an interfaith dinner. Per the group's website: "In Islam, there is a concept called Iftar. It occurs during Ramadan, and it's a time where Muslims all over the world serve free food so that people from all walks of life can eat together."

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C the other day as the volunteers prepped the meals that went to five mosques in the Bronx and one on Long Island...
East Village Loves NYC — which has attracted some 400 volunteers — recently celebrated its first anniversary.... and in that time, has cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers during the pandemic ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.

As they noted on Instagram:
What started with our team of five or six friends doing a cooking session to help their neighborhood, turned into a massive family of hundreds of volunteers gathering every week to deliver thousands of meals to New York City.
Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street near Avenue B, donated his space on Mondays for the group to cook its meals. By last June, they had outgrown the space and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center. By the end of the summer, East Village Loves Queens expanded operations and announced its new name — East Village Loves NYC. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pitch in for this community cleanup on Saturday

A community cleanup is on the books for this Saturday (March 20!) from noon to 2 p.m. 

Per the flyer, residents will be focusing on Avenue B and Tompkins Square Park. 

Interested participants (RSVP to lucy@goles.org) are meeting at 171 Avenue B outside GOLES at 11th Street. Organizers are providing gloves, masks, sanitizer... and free coffee from sponsor The Roost.

Monday, January 18, 2021

MLK National Day of Service.

In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the 12th Street Block Association along with Down to Earth Community Garden are working together today ... "to make our block a better place to live by doing a street tree clean up, replacing tree guards for our new trees and in preparation for spring planting." 

Volunteers are meeting at the Down to Earth Community Garden on the southwest corner of Avenue B and 12th Street at 1:30 this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

East Village Loves NYC prepares 1st holiday feast; tops more than 70,000 meals made for hungry New Yorkers in 2020

This past Sunday, East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group that formed in the spring to feed people in need during the pandemic — prepared its first holiday meal. 

At the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C, the East Village residents cooked and delivered 3,000 high-quality Mexican Halal meals to 17 organizations around the city.

The group is currently working with the crowdfunding platform ioby (an acronym for In Our Backyard) to raise money to feed low-income Black communities in Harlem and Queens that have been hit hard by the pandemic. (This project is eligible for up to $8,000 in match funding through ioby's NYC COVID-19 Just Recovery Match Fund. Find the crowdfunding page here.)

On Sunday, EVG contributor Stacie Joy documented the group's holiday food preparation ... as East Village Loves NYC has assembled more than 70,000 meals on the year...


This team of East Village volunteers formed in April (as Stacie documented in the links below). Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street near Avenue B, donated his space on Mondays for the group to cook its meals ... while there, they were able to prepare up to 800 meals and 100 family-size pantry packs.

By June, they had outgrown the space, and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center. 
By the end of the summer, East Village Loves Queens expanded its operations and announced its new name — East Village Loves NYC. 

Find out more about the group and how to donate at this link. Follow them on Instagram here.