This Sunday, Bronx Community Solutions experimented with a new kind of community service. We met our clients first thing in the morning and transported them onto Randalls Island to volunteer at the Farm Aid concert - an annual charity concert to benefit family farmers that's been running for over 20 years and was held here in New York City this year. Read more... After we arrived at the event and checked everybody in, our clients received a short training from John Johnson of the Council on the Environment of New York City on compostables, recyclables, and how to set up a recycling station, and then were given a Farm Aid t-shirt to wear while they were volunteering. CENYC was partnering with Farm Aid to make sure that all the trash generated at the event was composted or recycled. Then we went into the concert venue and spread out. Our clients worked in pairs to set up stations and then show people how to separate and properly dispose of their trash.
For our clients, volunteering at the event was a chance to improve their people skills and do something proactive - helping people to properly dispose of their trash instead of cleaning up a park or a street that's already been trashed. For us it was a chance to provide some manpower and help out a great organization that we'd like to partner with more. We've been helping CENYC put on recycling outreach events in the South Bronx (an area of the city that has some of the lowest recycling rates). CENYC also has extensive experience providing material support to community gardens and community greening groups, running the City's Green Market program, training students to improve conditions in their neighborhood that impact public safety and quality of life (by doing things like identifying leaking fire hydrants, clogged catch basins, noisy subways, exposed street lamp wiring and other hazardous conditions and reporting them to the appropriate agencies, then monitoring conditions to make sure they improve) and we'd love to benefit from their expertise.