GOSOGives June 2019

GOSOGives: Gardening with Concrete Safaris!

View of the garden!

If you’ve been following along with our GOSOGives projects since we launched in January you’ve seen GOSO participants and volunteers engaging with their communities through a variety of service projects. It’s a fantastic way for participants and volunteers to come together, roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side toward a common goal. And if that sense of connection weren’t enough, we’ve noticed that the outings have a real, measurable impact on GOSO Guys’ teamwork and leadership skills.

In May, for example, we had the opportunity to work with East Harlem non-profit Concrete Safaris. Describing itself as “a model for social change,” the organization helps participants lead healthier lives through play, exploration and engagement in their community.

Our group, for instance, spent the day working in the gardens outside of East Harlem’s Jefferson Houses. We weeded, planted, spread fresh mulch, and helped an architecture firm complete installation of some benches in a flourishing new community space. That community space will directly benefit many of GOSO’s participants — many of whom live in the immediate area — by providing fresh produce and a quiet, pleasant urban space. It’s incredibly meaningful for participants and volunteers to contribute directly to projects right here in their own backyard. Taking the initiative to contribute to the beautification of their neighborhood provides a sense of pride and creates a sense of investment in the health and well being of the community.

Did we mention it was a lot of fun? See highlights from our day below! If you’re interested in learning more about GOSOGives, please email our volunteer manager, Emily Barnard at ebarnard@gosonyc.org.

Action Board member and volunteer, Alex Borden (center), with volunteer, Courtnie (right) work alongside one of the interns at Concrete Safaris to spread mulch outside the residence!


GOSOWorks Manager, Nick Zolnierowski, proudly shows off his handiwork — different types of peppers he planted!


Volunteers, David (left) and Rob (right) make some progress with the mulch spreading.