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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Big Apple Greeter

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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

Jeanne D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy meeting people from all over the world as a volunteer with this group. I can practice my French language skills. Many of the people become friends after this tour and we have exchanged information so we can stay in touch.

Bonnie F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter does a lot for New Yorkers: it allows us to share our love and knowledge of the city, allows us to pay back all the great gifts the city has given us, teaches us skills and keeps us involved in a community that stretches around the world.

And, personally, it has kept up my computer skills and given me a glimpse into what attracts so many tourists to our city. Big Apple Greeters are friendly guides who are enthusiastic about each visitor's special interests: architecture, food, ethnic enclaves, the financial district, and corners of all five boroughs.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a voluteer Greeter for a few years I experienced the positive impact that the service this organization provides has on visitors to NYC. Without exception, every visitor that I greeted had a positive opinion of both NYC and Big Apple Greeters as an organization. Most were amazed at the free service they were offered: a personal Greeter to show them an area of NYC they may not otherwise have seen. However, it is more the one-to-one relationship that a Greeter establishes with a visitor that made the positive impression moreso than anything else. Visitors felt special and priviledged to be able to take advantage of this service.

What makes the service even more incredible is that the organization is run mostly by way of volunteers. It takes a unique and special group to give a service that benefits NYC in so many ways. Big Apple Greeter deserves kudos for this!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love exploring New York's neighborhood's with international visitors from around the world. I especially love being able to show off my beloved Brooklyn neighborhoods to newcomers to the city. The exchanges are always interesting and invigorating.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Big apple greeter for over 5 years. I have introduced hundreds of tourists to New York City.

Overall these tourists get a view of New York and the USA which they would not get otherwise. The people to people aspect is what most of the visitors enjoy.

Overwhelmingly most of my visitors have rated their half day with me as "Far exceeding expectations".

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to walk, speak Spanish, and spend a few hours with Spanish speaking tourists exploring my beautiful Upper Westside neighborhood. We then take the subway and go downtown to the Seaport, Wall Street, Battery Park City, and eat dim sum in Chinatown. I take pictures of them together, answer their questions, learn about their lives, and Nueva York feels comfortable.

Review from Guidestar

Teddy S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having volunteered for the Big Apple Greeter program for over 4 years, I cannot emphasize enough of how mutually beneficial this program is for the City of New York and its visitors. The only reason that I am not a volunteer right now for the Big Apple Greeter is that I am living 3,000 miles away. Otherwise, I would still be volunteering for them. In fact, being a volunteer for the Big Apple Greeter program was one of the highlights of my New York living and is one of the things that I miss the most of New York. I highly encourage all New Yorkers to volunteer for the Big Apple Greeter program. It is such a rewarding experience. And for all you philanthropists, you are donating for a great cause when you donate to the Big Apple Greeter program!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It saddened me to read reports early 1990’s that European tourists were forced to stop on Florida highways after being involved in car accidents which was intentionally created by a few thugs. Many tourists were robbed and a few were even killed during those incidents.

It alerted me to help tourists visiting New York City by joining the Big Apple Greeter (BAG) as a volunteer greeter. In that way I could contribute to eliminate once notorious reputation of my adopted city. I have managed hundreds of tours and more than a thousand visitors in more than a decade. Through hundreds of volunteers BAG has contributed to New York Police Department’s efforts to turn the city as the safest big city in the United States. I hope BAG will thrive forever to show visitors from all over the world how wonderful our beloved city is.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a lifelong New Yorker and have been a Big Apple Greeter for the past 4 years. The experience has given me the opportunity to share "my" city with hundreds of visitors. I can honestly say that all of them enjoyed the experience and had their appetite piqued to re-visit and learn more about New York. The most common comment goes along the lines of: "We would have never found/discovered/experienced all the places we visited without Big Apple Greeters. It's been the high point of our visit." Big Apple Greeters is an organization that deserves to be supported, nourished and valued by all New Yorkers.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Big Apple Greeter for over 15 years and there are few pleasures that can compare with it. The reason is because it's a great joy to show visitors the real New York--the subways, the local shops, and whatever happens to come our way. The city is alive every minute of the day and when I show visitors around, I often don't "show" them much--the city itself provides great theater, sometimes better than money can buy. Whether it's a dog run in a local park, how to swipe a MetroCard, or a great view of the skyline, visitors love to see and experience New York as the locals do. But even better than what we see is how people feel about meeting a real New Yorker and finding out about the real magic of the city--its people.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program is amazing and clearly unique. It has changed the image of New York for thousands of visitors. I have not seen a similar program where you with the help of dedicated New Yorkers get an insight in what it mean living in Big Apple. It is so rewarding to work for this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is John and I am a lifelong New Yorker with a passion for my city. I have become a volunteer for Big Apple Greeter as a way of sharing my enthusiasm with visitors who come to our city, usually those from Italy. Italy is my other passion and given that I speak the language the organization has given me the opportunity to meet many Italians and try to make the city a friendly welcoming place for them. The experience has been immensely rewarding for me and I think my guests have appreciated the hours I have spent with them as well. I am deeply grateful to those who had the vision and energy to found this organization as well as those who continue to maintain it and enable it to function particularly in these terrible economic times. It is a fabulous group and I hope to continue doing this for as long as my 73 year old pair of legs can keep me mobile.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is nothing better for a visitor to NYC than to have a local show them the sights. I have traveled the world and only wish I had had a similar program to take advantage of in other countries.
Big Apple Greeters is a terrific asset to NY tourism.
Bloomberg should be bending over backward to keep it alive.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a relatively new volunteer, I have had only good experiences with the visitors from Europe and the U.S. to whom I have shown Greenwich Village, Old Amsterdam, the East Village, and lower Manhattan. Not only did they have a good time, I did too. They learned a little about the Big Apple, and, in preparing to meet them, I did too. I love New York and have shown my foreign guests around for many years. I am very pleased to have found Big Apple Greeters, one of the most well organized and administered non-profits I have volunteered with.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter is a wonderful organization. I have volunteered with this fine group of people for the last year or two and find them all to be generous and welcoming to people from all over the world.

I recently guided couple (one of whom was a wheelchair-bound visitor) from Great Britian thru NYC and even used the subway system with them. They were very impressed with Big Apple Greeter and were enormously appreciative.

Review from Guidestar

Michael S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeters is a valuable asset to the tourism
experience in NYC. With such a huge amount of
attractions and neighborhoods we, as greeters, make the city more
accessible and more personal, therefore more meaningful to
our tourists.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Big Apple Greeter for the past 8 years. I cannot tell you how many French speaking tourists I have escorted through the streets of Brooklyn. What a better way of building bonds between countries than having an opportunity to exchange ideas, impressions, and observations. It's an enrichment program for both parties. Long may it continue.

Review from Guidestar

Giacinta P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have really enjoyed volunteering for Big Apple Greeters for over 10 years now. They are an amazing organization and do a lot to promote our great city. I especially enjoy taking Make-A-Wish Children around New York City in a special program that Big Apple Greeters runs in conjunction with The Make-A-Wish Foundation. To see the smiles on these families faces who have been through so much is a joy I can't compare to anything else.

Review from Guidestar

Maddy Dread

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Big Apple Greeter since April 2005, five months after my husband, Philip, died suddenly. A retired NYPD lieutenant, he was a greeter for about 2 years prior to his illness. Both Philip and I love New York City. He was born & raised in the Bronx while I've lived in Brooklyn for over 30 years. Since 2005 I have done almost 100 visits and not one has been a dud.

I have had several repeat visits. One young couple who came to NY for the first time in 2006 is seeking US citizenship. One partner recently passed the test to become a New York City tour guide and now probably knows more about NY in general than I do. I can't claim all the credit for their enthusiasm for NY but it has been such fun sharing their experience.

The most embarassing thing about this program is that people thank me so profusely for my day with them. The visitors can't understand how much joy it gives me when they get excited about my home. Also, on almost every visit I see something new.

The older gentleman in the pictures below is not Phil. He is Brad Smith, a long-time greeter and real New York character. I'm the one in the bowler.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We visited NYC as a group. We were 4 persons. each was enthusiastic about the big apple greeters program. Without this program, we had never seen so much of new york.
We were only 3 days in NYC and so we had big apple greeters such a big help.
Cora our guide was so nice. We didn't want to see the typical sights of New York. This you find in every tourguide. We wanted tips and tricks to run quickly to the city. And we wanted to see the corners of New York which you can't find in every cityguides.

I can only recommend big apple greeters. Who is in new york, must use big apple greeters. This is number one on to do list.
These people are just great

Greetings from Germany

Review from Guidestar