Snowflakes, Hearts + Hands

Snowflakes, Hearts + Hands

Last week, we dropped by my friend Dre’s art studio, JAM (Junior Art + Music) in Sono. I love this place! I wish I could camp out there and just make art night and day. Dre opened up her studio on Friday to anyone who wanted to come in and make hands, hearts and snowflakes for our neighbors in Newtown. We’ve all been affected by this awful tragedy and everyone wants to help. The Sandy Hook Elementary School has been moved to Monroe, a town about 8 miles away. Hundreds of volunteers have been working around the clock to make their new school (a former middle school not in use) look as much like their old school as possible.

There are three organizations who are gathering art for the walls and halls of the new school. These decorations are such a simple way to help. There are some deadlines so read below for details:

The Helping Hands Project: Collecting handprints to be displayed on and around the new school site. Visit the website for more details. Deadline for hands is this Friday, December 28th.

Hearts for Newtown: Hearts will be displayed by merchants in their stores and restaurants, and also the library. Visit their Facebook page for more details. Deadline for hearts is January 7th.

Snowflakes for Newtown: Run by the Connecticut PTSA, the snowflakes will be collected and hung in the hallways to look like a wintry wonderland. Visit their Facebook page for more details. Deadline for snowflakes is January 12th.

The greatest gift that we can give is of our time and kindness. We may think it’s not that much, but it means a lot to those people who need comfort.

Peace, love, and thank you! xo Bar


Hurricane Sandy Relief // Ways to Help

Hurricane Sandy Relief // Ways to Help

I am an eternal optimist, and I truly believe that people are good. The devastation from hurricane Sandy has left tens of thousands of people without the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. The people of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been working together, and working tirelessly, to help those who need it most. Donations have been pouring in, but more is needed.

Let me start with some art (of course!). I just love how small, grass-roots efforts within communities can create such beautiful graphics to promote their fundraiser and raise money for needy people. Necessity really is the mother of invention, I always say, and creativity abounds in times of need. It’s awesome.

Here are many ways in which you can help, from volunteering, to donating money or goods, to setting up your own fundraiser:

Help Masbia soup kitchen feed 600+ relocated seniors in the Park Slop, Brooklyn area. For only $6 you can feed one person a hot, nutritious meal.

City Meals on Wheels feeds home-bound elderly New Yorkers and they need to replenish their warehouse. They could also use volunteers to help deliver food.

City Harvest uses donated food, which they call rescued food, to feed the 1.7 million New Yorkers who are currently living in poverty, giving food to nearly 600 community programs.

Occupy Sandy is a coalition of people and organizations who are establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. They have created a unique way to help by setting up a registry on Amazon, making it very easy to get goods delivered directly. They need things like flashlights, ziploc bags, brooms and toiletries.

Operation Shove-it Sandy is a Facebook initiative helping victims in Staten Island. they eliminate the middleman and distribute supplies directly to victims. is a recovery organizing site that allows people to offer/request assistance for their community. You can donate and help out specific neighborhoods.

The bungalow community in the Rockaways were hit hard. They have set up their own website, RockawayHelp, where you can give help and get help.

The residents of Hoboken, NJ, have been displaced and/or have lost most of their belongings due to flood waters. Many businesses were completely flooded. You can donate to and help that struggling community.

The most helpless victims of all are the animals. Help assist local rescue groups by donating to Best Friends Animal Society.

Tunnel to Towers is a non-profit that was set up for a fallen NY fireman after 9/11. Donate now and help with a door-to-door initiative based on Staten Island. It’s also serving Brooklyn and Long Beach on Long Island.

NY Cares needs gently used or new coats as part of a citywide coat drive.

If shopping is your thing, you can buy these items and 100% of profits will go to hurricane relief: New York State of Mind necklace with serious swag, amazing I Still Love NY t-shirt, clever + graphic Heal Hoboken t-shirt, coolest Print Aid NYC posters. And this gorgeous NYC Calendar can be yours for $24 with 30% of proceeds helping the relief effort.

Do you love yoga and live in NYC? Get on your mat and help make a difference. With a stellar lineup of rockstar teachers, join them for classes on Thursday 11/15. 100% of proceeds go to The Mayor’s Fund.

You can by diapers for the littlest Sandy victims.

None of this sounds good? You can go to Volunteer Match and find something that suits your needs!

And there is always the Red Cross.

Do you want to set up your own fundraiser? It’s easy with sites like Indiegogo, First Giving, and Crowdrise.

Let’s all do something right now, TODAY.

{Bake sale poster via A Cup of Jo}