Giving to Get on a Sunday with the AfroPunk Army

I hate getting up early on Sunday but when it’s for a great reason I can stand the sleep deprivation. It was a sunshine-filled morning so that made it easier right? I trudged through Sunday subway schedule mayhem to get to Union Square to meet my girlfriends.
My trip was as expected filled with detours and I arrived thirty minutes late, I swear it wasn’t on purpose. I bought the birthday flowers I planned to and headed towards the park. It was filled with the usual crowds, skateboarders, hare-Krishnas chanting, artists painting and champions playing chess. So I texted my friends and met them on the other side of the park, and there was a large crowd of people organizing today’s activities.
What were the activities for the day? Well, my friends and I signed up for homeless outreach in the Union Square Park area. The program was set up by the organizers of the AfroPunk Fest and is named the AfroPunk Army. I was fortunate enough to earn my ticket by doing this day of homeless outreach. On the AfroPunk website, the AfroPunk Army is described as;

The AFROPUNK (AP) ARMY encourages interested festival-goers to be of service by volunteering time, passion & talents to communities citywide. To recognize volunteer efforts, all AP ARMY participants who successfully complete a volunteer project will earn a SINGLE TICKET to AFROPUNK FEST 2015!

Groups of people no less than five hundred split into smaller groups and headed out in different directions walking through lower Manhattan distributing toiletries, sanitary napkins, and information of where homeless people could get more help if they wished.

We were in a group of fifty, mostly young, different races, and all concerned about helping. It was such a good feeling being around people with good intentions. We had political conversations, fun conversations, and distributed supplies until they were all gone. Four foot-throbbing hours later, we had landscaped the East Village to help as many as that wanted help.

In the end, we felt great for doing a little something and earned tickets to AfroPunk Fest. My heart was full and it ignited my willingness to do more volunteer efforts. I’m thinking of what the next one will be. Giving to get on a Sunday, was the aim but I would’ve given even if there was no prize.

Do you join in with volunteer work in your area? What do you do? I’d love to hear about, tell me below in the comments.

Until our next rendezvous…


Rendezvous en New York

  31 comments for “Giving to Get on a Sunday with the AfroPunk Army

  1. October 23, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    First, that is awesome that Afro-Punk does that, what a great idea! Secondly, kudos to you and your friends for doing that. I really should do some volunteering. My excuses for not doing so are lame and reading a post like this reminds me how simple it really can be for a mere few hours of work. Thanks for this post.

    • October 23, 2015 at 9:55 AM

      Thank you. It was easy and we had fun meeting new people and helping. It was very social, I saw lots of new friendships start and I explored the East Village and Alphabet City. The most important part was making the usually invisible people we walk past everyday matter to us. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

      • October 23, 2015 at 10:01 AM

        Indeed and I like the social part of it especially. Also its a reminder that I really want to get to Afro-Punk!

        • October 23, 2015 at 10:11 AM

          It was the best music experience of my life so far. You should definitely plan it. That post is coming up next, unfortunately my camera died that day… So I don’t have the amount of footage I would’ve liked but the performances were top notch, the crowd, the shopping, the food… Anyway next post, haha. Plan for next year, I’m going again.

          • October 23, 2015 at 10:16 AM

            Cool, I will look forward to the next post:-) This year I think we had other plans, and the year before, when someone I know was performing there I think there was some minor crisis, so 2016 is my year!!!

            • October 23, 2015 at 10:22 AM

              I need to set aside August weekends, no plans for August until I have the tickets and the dates set.

              • October 23, 2015 at 10:24 AM

                Every summer I mark off all the free shows happening around town. Don’t go to all of them of course, but try to hit as many as possible, but yeah, I think I may just put a reminder in my phone now about that one ๐Ÿ™‚

                • October 23, 2015 at 10:31 AM

                  I tried to keep up with Summerstage but couldn’t, BRIC arts fell through everytime, so I had to make this. I understand completely.

                  • October 23, 2015 at 10:41 AM

                    You know, Summerstage has gotten to be very disappointing to me in general. I haven’t liked the lineups as much recently. Celebrate Brooklyn has some good ones, and I also look for event spaces that are doing good free ones. Brookfield Place has some good things as well as Lincoln Center

                    • October 23, 2015 at 10:48 AM

                      I haven’t been crazy about Summerstage either this year. Yes, I agree Lincoln Center had stepped up and I haven’t gotten to Brookfield yet but I follow them. It’s beautiful.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM

                      Now that I live there, I just wish there was some good free concerts in Queens. Didn’t really see too much posted this year.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 10:53 AM

                      Not really, I guess it would be in the park in Corona, which isn’t accessible to everyone and now they have the night market. I’m sure it’s coming.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

                      Oh everything will be coming to Queens now! If only I could get one bar near our apartment. As in like around the corner. As in when I want to stop after work without having to walk for 15 minutes which I do now! Love my quiet neighborhood but can we have at least one bar? LOL…sorry that was a rant!

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM

                      Ha ha, I have nothing around me which is why I travel everywhere. But I understand your rant. But your pub crawls wouldn’t be as fun.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:18 AM

                      True. That was just with some friends, but it was fun, even though we bailed on Bohemian Beer Garden because it was chilly.Don’t get me wrong, I love our new neighborhood and the quiet is wonderful, not to mention having a breeze and hearing the birds. But there is a large building going up near us so I know it won’t be long before some of that changes.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:20 AM

                      It’s the next cool spot, running out of room in Williamsburg.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:21 AM

                      Yes, I was kicked out of Williamsburg. They said my beard wasn’t trendy enough ๐Ÿ™‚

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

                      It has to be thick as a lumberjack’s, didn’t they tell you?

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:29 AM

                      No I missed the memo on that one. I was too busy shopping for normal size jeans whilst eating food not from a gastropub, and drinking a non-craft beer while listening to a brilliant Norwegian Daft Punk meets Grateful Dead electro house dub group on my $250 headphones!

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:32 AM

                      Is there such a thing as normal size jeans?? Lmao!!

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:33 AM

                      Well I meant not the skinny jeans, but fair enough lol!

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:44 AM

                      I knew what you meant but now there only exists super skinny or off your ass at least for men anyway.

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:48 AM

                      Um no comment from me then! I don’t fall in either category really. Wait how did we get from volunteering to jeans anyway hahaha

                    • October 23, 2015 at 11:58 AM

                      Why you were kicked out of Williamsburg.. Ha-ha

                    • October 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM

                      Hehe…yes my fault I suppose ๐Ÿ˜‰

                    • October 23, 2015 at 12:02 PM

                      No worries

                    • October 23, 2015 at 12:11 PM

                      Hey have a great weekend Trudy! I’ll be in touch about the meeting next week

                    • October 23, 2015 at 12:27 PM

                      Thanks a lot and the same to you!!

  2. October 23, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    Thanks for writing about your good experience. My husband and I haven’t gotten involved with volunteer work since we moved. We did keep two neighborhood children when their sitter withdrew. I used to direct our church choir on Long Island.

    • October 23, 2015 at 11:22 AM

      You were a busy bee!! I have to branch out and do more.

  3. October 26, 2015 at 1:36 AM

    I know Beth. I am here to stumble your article; I wanted a permalink. Thanks for stumbling mine.

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