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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Business & Industry, Economic Development, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Exchange, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Big Apple Greeter's mission is to enhance New York City's worldwide image and enrich the New York experience by connecting visitors with knowledgable and enthusiastic volunteers. The mission was created to accomplish the following goals: to promote New York City as friendly, inviting, and manageable; to bolster tourism and foster economic development; and to create opportunities for New Yorkers to show pride in their city and give back to their city.

Target demographics: International tourists seeking to explore New York City through the eyes of locals.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Support Big Apple Greeter www.savebigapplegreeter.com

Community Stories

81 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with this wonderful organization for two years. It helps new visitors navigate the city, gets many of their questions and concerns answered, and gives them a very positive view of New York (great for future tourism in the city) and Americans. They also realize that they don't have to be multi-millionaires to enjoy the city, as they learn about the many reasonably-priced assets to enjoy. Most of the time I take them to Brooklyn, and that is a real eye-opener for most guests --they often look at the borough as a dangerous place, and then are amazed at the beautiful residential areas, great restaurants and shops, and friendly people. Often, other New Yorkers on the subways, for example, will hear me talking to the visitors, and chime in with more information and help. I think it helps to spread good will in the world view of Americans.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an office volunteer doing graphic design with Big Apple Greeter for over 6 years. As a lifelong New Yorker, this experience has given me the opportunity to take part in an organization that truly expresses the love I have for New York.

Every member of Big Apple Greeter has an enormous love of this great city (and all its boroughs) and a desire to share "their New York" and all it has to offer with visitors from near and far. Almost every member is a volunteer, and — unlike most NY tour companies — every tour is free and personal.

These personal tours give visitors more reason to come back to visit New York again and again. This is why it's so important to keep this organization alive.

In addition, Big Apple Greeter was the inspiration for Greeter programs worldwide, thus forming the Global Greeter Network. This reiterates the effect B.A.G. has had on people across the world, bringing our large world closer together by forming wonderful lasting memories and experiences.

I recently went abroad and took a tour with Paris Greeter, a sister organization. The volunteer on that tour expressed how much he enjoyed his own Big Apple Greeter tour when he visited New York, and what a large inspiration it has been to the whole greeter network.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a lifelong New Yorker and a travel editor. I became curious about how visitors actually experience my home city. I started volunteering with Big Apple Greeter 1 1/2 years ago. I've had so much fun showing visitors one of my favorite unknown neighborhoods, DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. In a 20-minute walk from the York station on the F subway line, I show visitors 4 centuries of history and tell them the stories of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, George Washington's defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn, Walt Whitman's editorial stand against slavery at the Brooklyn Eagle, and the evolution of the area from Native American land to Dutch farm settlements to one of the biggest industrial producers in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to its current incarnation with pricey condos, New York's newest waterfront parks and upscale shops. We always stop at Jacques Torres for chocolate, and I point out little details like the Belgian blue paving stones underfoot, the old narrow-gauge railway tracks, the wooden water towers atop the old buildings, and my favorite NYC graffiti. I show them a view along the water where in one turn of the head they can see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and I show them the Whitman poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" engraved in the railing on the pier where the first cross-river ferry was started by a Dutchman in the 1600s. It's history, architecture, and the grit and triumph of one neighborhood all in one short visit. Depending on their time and interest, I sometimes add in a trip to Coney Island to look at the beach and ride the Cyclone, or to visit the brownstone historic district in Park Slope, with the PS321 flea market and a stop at my favorite friendly pizza place, Pinos. Often my visitors decide to stay or come back to Brooklyn for more after our visit is over, which makes me feel great that I have introduced something special and memorable to their time in NY. Big Apple Greeter is one of those great freebies that anyone can try.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Big Apple Greeter for 9 years & the experience has
provided me with an unusual opportunity to meet wonderful people
from many places. But most importantly it allows me to show off our
city, and the feedback I've received has been wonderful. Tourists
really seem to appreciate & enjoy a non-tourist view of our
great city. The neighborhoods, small shops, the out of the way little
Chinatown restaurant, the vest pocket parks and the neighborhood gardens.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I was born in another country, I know how alien coming to a big city can be. The visitors who I've taken around are really happy to meet and spend time with someone who loves NYC. That's each of us volunteers. Help keep us greeting our guests with love. Clara

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had my first Greet on 9/6/06 and my latest on 2/21/11. In between I've met more than 100 visitors from over a dozen countries and have yet to have a less than a most satisfying experience. Of course I get to learn so much about the visitors but my greatest joy is to have them tell me that they never knew how friendly New Yorkers are. NY still is a city of neighborhoods.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with BIG APPLE GREETER for over 10 years, i've been privileged to show many tourists from different countries the
hidden sites and venues of New York City. My tours usually span between 7-12 hours, using public transport (subway & bus) and foot.
Visitors can't get over the art deco building lobbies and exteriors of many structures i show them. Most often, it's the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge or the neighborhood favourite pizza parlor which enthralls them the most. With Ground Zero and environs as a prime destination, my stories about that fateful day ( 911) bring to life raw emotions and an unforgettable experience. Each visitor comes away from my tours feeling more a native new yorker than a tourist. Big Apple Greeter is a free service to anyone lucky enough to be scheduled with one of 300+ volunteers who give their time and heart as tour guide(s) for a few hours a day.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a Big Apple Greeter has enhanced my life and the lives of our visitors to New York City. I still fondly remember a gal literally jumping for joy at Times Square while screaming, "I've seen this all my life. I can't believe I'm really here." Many of my past visitors e-mail me often and send notes and cards. Some come back to visit N.Y. and always want to meet again. They often send family members and friends to the city and ask to be shown around.
New York couldn't find a better champion than the dedicated volunteers at Big Apple Greeter to promote positive memories for our friends from far away.
Sincerely yours, Sharon Messing

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer Big Apple Greeter for 4 years and it is truly a rewarding experience for both the volunteers and the visitors. For the visitors, they can to experience a day through the eyes of a New Yorker, appreciate the little things about the city not found in a guidebook, and get help navigating a bustling city. I'm confident that when they return home, the time they spent with one of our volunteers was a big highlight of their trip. And I know that firsthand, having been a visitor myself as well when I visited Buenos Aires and signed up for the sister program there. As a volunteer, the programs is very rewarding as we get to meet people from all over the world and share our love for New York with them.

Review from Guidestar

Linda T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Big Apple Greeter for at least 7 years. I met an entire family from Italy who came to NYC for a wedding, two young couples from Germany who loved to travel, a Welsh woman who'd never been outside her village and was traveling along, and many more.

In every case, I was thanked over and over again for sharing my time and showing these visitors parts of New York that they said they would never have seen had they been on their own.

They also enjoyed meeting a real New Yorker, and they learned more about the city and its people through this wonderful organization.


Review from Guidestar