Four Ways to Start Giving Back to Your Community

BBMG at Recycle-a-Bicycle

September 12, 2016

BBMG has been volunteering in NYC, and you can too!

On a recent Friday, Nicole took time off from her strategist duties at BBMG to spend the day surrounded by trash. For her, trash isn’t just something to be swept out of sight and out of mind, it’s an important bi-product of our human existence and something that deserves as much consideration as any other aspect of daily lives. Sustainability and the circular economy are what inspire Nicole’s work every day, so she jumped at the chance to take advantage of BBMG’s “volunteer time off” program to be of service at Sure We Can, a non-profit recycling, composting, gardening and art center in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Sure We Can“This center is an essential hub for the community and helps a lot of families that wouldn’t have other avenues for generating an income,” Nicole explains, referencing New York state’s returnable container act whereby people get a cash deposit back when they bring recyclable containers to a redemption center. Beyond facilitating income from “canning,” Sure We Can’s mission is to support the local community, particularly the most vulnerable residents, and promote social inclusion, environmental awareness and economic empowerment. Which is truly the sweet spot of Nicole’s personal passions. Plus the center’s staff and community of canners are predominantly from Latin America, so Nicole enjoyed speaking Spanish all day, her native language from growing up in Ecuador, Venezuela as well as Brazil.

At BBMG we want our team to have every opportunity to put their personal passion into their work, both in and outside of our office. This is why we have a volunteer time off policy that allows team members to take up to two days off per year to volunteer in the community. Volunteer projects range vto_kpfrom those that take us out of our comfort zones and challenge us to learn new skills like deconstructing donated bikes at Recycle-a-Bicycle, to projects that make use of our professional skills. For example, Kristen, a senior designer at BBMG, put her design thinking skills into play when she volunteered as a “shark” (a la TV’s entrepreneur reality game show Shark Tank) for a classroom of 7th graders to coach them on how to innovate business ideas and practice their presentation skills.

As a certified B Corp, it’s important to practice what we preach to ensure as a business we’re promoting social and environmental wellness. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of four ways to get involved as a volunteer in NYC, designed to inspire our team — and hopefully inspire you as well!


1. Connect With Your Community
Give back locally and get to know neighbors or people with similar interests. Volunteer with organizations like:
Citizens Committee for New York City
Million Trees NYC
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
BIG Reuse

2. Learn Something New
Explore a new interest or learn a new skill. Volunteer with organizations like:
The Metropolitain Museum of Art
Library chess clubs
New York City Beekeepers Association
Red Hook Added Value Community Farms

3. Leverage Your Superpowers
Use your skills to give back to those in need. Volunteer with organizations like:
Behind the Book
– Any small non-profits in need of branding or design (for example, The Coalition for Resource Recovery needs design help!)
– Or search on Catchafire or Volunteer Match for volunteer gigs that require your super skills

4. Turn Passion Into Action
Find a cause you care about and get involved. Volunteer with organizations like:
Sure We Can
Planned Parenthood
International Rescue Committee
NYC Votes
Carpool Vote
Americans for Suicide Prevention
World Maker Faire
NYC Food Bank

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