Organization #1: Project Amazonas
This trip was certainly an adventure! In February, 2014, I volunteered with my sister and a few great friends we met for Project Amazonas to plant trees, maintain the field station, and donate to the indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. We had an incredible time and an unforgettable experience. You can view my blog post on the trip here and there is a video in the works. For those of you who are interested in volunteering for this wonderful organization, contact me and I will put you in touch and answer any questions you may have. Visit Mission #2 Field Updates to view the photos and updates!
“If our hopes of building a better and safe world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” ~Kofi Annan, World Organizing Nobel Peace
No matter your religion, background or ethnicity, we all share the same miracle - the more we share, the more we have. By harnessing the power of the people, we can tap into one of the greatest natural resources on Earth - the power of the volunteer. Whether it's volunteering for an organization or volunteering to care for something greater than yourself, the power of the volunteer exists in all of us in a seemingly endless abundance of will power just waiting to change the world for the better.
Organization #4: Jersey Cares
On May 3, 2014, we performed a beach sweep at Long Beach Island in NJ by volunteering with Jersey Cares.
Organization #5: American Red Cross
On March 15, 2015, we volunteered for a blood drive with American Red Cross. This happened to be inside a mosque, so we had to cover our heads to show respect and modesty. We helped book an entire day's worth of donors and at the end of the day - we donated ourselves!
Organization #7: Restore Native Plants Initiative by Dr. Burton's Habitat Restoration Team of New Jersey
This initiative spans many different projects which largely include removing invasive plant species, as well as planting strictly native plants at Dr. Burton's properties in Ramapo Mountain State Forest, New Jersey. Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering for an initiative. They do not have a website.
Organization #9: New Jersey Tree Foundation
On April 10, 2015 my family and I planted trees in Newark, NJ at a Rutgers college campus for one of the leading tree planting organizations in NJ!
Organization #11: South Maui Volunteers
On June 13th, 2016, my wife and I volunteered while on our Honeymoon in Maui to clean up trash and trim back overgrown foliage on walkways designated for the disabled.
Organization #6: People's Climate March
On September 21, 2014, I joined with 350.org, 400,000 people, and a great group of friends and family in New York for the largest climate march in history!
Organization #8: Food & Water Watch
In the Fall of 2013, I volunteered with Food & Water Watch to gather with hundreds of others at a NY Cathedral Church to speak up against "fracking" in New York. To learn more about fracking, visit my Natural Gas page.
Organization #10: MillionTreesNYC
On May 9, 2015 my family and team members from SolarCity volunteered at the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge in Staten Island, New York. There was well over a thousand trees planted that day by more than 100 volunteers! I would highly suggest volunteering for this organization.
Organization #12: Paterson Habitat for Humanity
On October 8th, 2016, my wife and I volunteered in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America known as "Death Ave" on Godwin Ave in Paterson, NJ. Habitat for Humanity is doing some AMAZING work there to rebuild and restore the neighborhood one home at a time. By buying abandoned or foreclosed homes and rebuilding beautiful, low-income affordable housing they are able to provide security for the poor and improve the neighborhood by purchasing most homes on each block. These homes are then sold only to qualified applicants that have to pass a series of requirements, including 400 "sweat hours of equity" meaning they have to volunteer with the HFH for 400 hours in order to receive the no money down 30 year loan for their new home. Also, if their kids get A's in school, each A counts as one hour. Their goal is to take the worst neighborhoods and turn them into the best and they are on their way to achieving that! This was a dangerous endeavor as we saw neighbors taking drugs in alleyways around us and candles lit up on the streets surrounding us as well, which indicates a recent death in that neighborhood. It is certainly an experience we will never forget and we hold a high level of respect for those that work there full time.