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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

145 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were in NYC twice the last couple of years and on both occasions a BAG showed us around and told us all we wanted to know and more. It was really great! We would like to recommend BAG to everyone who is going to visit the BA. These volunteers know their city and the stuff they can tell you is not in the tourist guidebooks. And furthermore, they are nice people. Please continue your servives and we will definitely return tp NYC another time.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been in nyc at january 2011. I'm french. I've had a wonderful experience with a greeter who showed me some brooklyn neighborhoods. A very informative visit with someone who has a wide knowledge of his borough and knows how to let tourists like me get interested on them. An experience who should be tried by all those who are interested in nyc.

Client Served

Rating: 4

On my first visit to the US last year, I had just over a day in New York. As a travel writer, I was keen to veer off the usual tourist route, for an insight into this high energy metropolis. I could achieve my objective, thanks to a Big Apple volunteer.
She was punctual and greeted me at my hotel, with an apple - most apt for the brand. But for her, i wouldnot have got delightful a tour of Greenwich village and a combined lesson on its history, geography and philosophy.
More importantly, talking to her human to human, i could largely realise my objective of understanding the concerns, motivation and attitude of average New Yorkers - something a professional guide with his practiced script and monetary motive wouldnot have delivered.
She had the metro tickets for both of us, but politely declined my natural gesture of paying for her lunch, and a book as a tocken of my gratefulness!
Big Apple Greeters is a great idea!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are from Australia and in October 2010 my husband, son & I stayed in New York for 3 days and had the priviege of having a volunteer from Big Apple Greeter show us around New York. This experience far exceeded my expectations and we got to see a lot of New York that we otherwise would not have seen. The volunteer was very knowledgable and we learnt heaps of stuff about New York which we otherwise would not have known if we were on our own. Also got to see some different residential areas when we side-tracked off the normal tourist path.

It certainly was the best way to see New York from a locals perspective

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

On January 5, 2011, I had a literal "private" tour with a fine greeter with Big Apple Greeters. I was in NYC with my husband (who was on business), and though I had been to NYC many times previously, there are still so many areas of the city which I haven't experienced. Hence, signing up for a tour with Big Apple Greeters. Since it was only myself in our tour, my greeter met me in the lobby of my hotel, and we had a wonderful day walking (and walking and walking!), first across the Brooklyn Bridge (where I learned so much about the history of the building of the bridge itself), then into Brooklyn itself. We spent a little time in the area nearest the bridges, looking at the architecture, and taking photos from the Promanade, which gives marvelous views of the entire Manhattan skyline. We walked back across the East River via the Manhattan Bridge, and I learned more history of the area as we walked and talked. The Manhattan Bridge comes into Chinatown, so we walked through there, eating lunch at a popular noodle shop in Chinatown. My guide even took me to a specialty fish store in Chinatown (after he learned I volunteer at an aquarium in FL), where specialty koi and ornamental carp are sold, which was most interesting. After a tour of Little Italy, we ended up on the Lower East Side, concluding our tour. What a fun day it was, and with Big Apple Greeters, one ends up not only learning so much about New York City, but making a new friend (in your greeter) as well!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 3

We went to New York 3 years ago and had an Apple Greeter help us one day. My only comment is not to try and do too much in one day. We rode a subway, saw Wall Street, Twin Towers, and a couple of neighborhoods. The greeter was nice. If and when we get to go back to New York we will call on the Apple Greeters again. Everyone that is coming for the first time will have a better knowledge of New York.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My one and only visit to the US was in 2001 when I spent a few days in New York with friend to celebrate my birthday. The day that we spent with the Big Apple Greeter guide was the best day of our holiday and one I will always remember. We felt like we had seen parts of the city that we wouldn't have visited on our own and we met a number of native New Yorkers that we would never have met without our guide taking us to places that were off the tourist track. Everyone that we met was friendly and pleasant. We had experienced the legendary rudeness of the US customs service and the lovely New Yorkers that we met more than made up for it! Both my friend and I have treasured memories of our time on New York and would recommend the Big Apple Greeter programme to anyone who visits the city.

Review from Guidestar

Taryn S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We first learned about Big Apple Greeters when we were planning our honeymoon to New York City. It was absolutely one of the best things we did! We truly enjoyed our time with John. He was professional and fun at the same time and we felt completely safe. He was patient with our picture taking. told great stories and maintained a pace that was just right. He provided us with invaluable knowledge about the subway system that we used during the rest of the trip. Whenever we talk about our trip to other people, the subject of Big Apple Greeters always comes up. The organization is a wonderful ambassador for the City the Never Sleeps!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

December 2008, my first visit to New York and after finding Big Apple Greeter on the internet, I applied and was successful to be allocated a volunteer. Tim met us at our hotel at 10.00am and as ouor requested area was Brooklyn, he took us downtown where we proceeded to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge - awsome! Tim took us a walk around Brooklyn, giving us all the local history. He gave an insight on how it was in Brooklyn on 9/11. Although only a short walk from Manhattan, Brooklyn seemed a different world from there - no scryscrapers, only cute little houses with steps up to them - just like you see in the movies. This is something we would never have done on our own - having a "local" to take us around made a world of difference. I can't praise highly enough the real value we experienced by having a Big Apple Greeter. He gave up his Saturday to spend time with strangers, and shared his love and knowledge of Brooklyn with us. I will always remember this experience and it was made possible by Tim.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a visitor to NYC, I was in need of some kind of mechanism of learning the city. What I mean is to get comfortable w/ my surroundings. Big Apple Greeter met me @10 AM at the hostel. We spent the next few hours exploring greenwich village......he was fantastick.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I went from the UK to New York for the first time and a friend recommended we contact Big Apple Greeter. Fantastic! Our volunteer Mel was so knowledgeable and we came away with an experience which we could never have achieved by reading books. In addition to giving us a tour of places unknown he shared all his local knowledge. My two teenage boys said it was a highlight of the trip.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We heard about that organization while planning our trip to NY.

Thanks to this organization, we got the chance to see NY through genuine citizens'eyes. Not only the interesting comments on architecture and history pleased us, but also meeting a guide willing to compare cultures was just great!

Thank you for organizing these nice tours, for free, which makes possible for any budget to visit NY as if you were living there!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to Big Apple Greeter our trip from France was beyond anything we could have expected. Our wonderful,patient guide took us to special spots we never would have found on our own. The entire afternoon was absolutely delightful and the highlight of our family trip to the Big Apple.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had a Big Apple Greeter for our trip in Jan 2011, we've both been to NY many times but our greeter showed us things we would never have seen and came out in some terrible weather to show us around. Fantasic!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seven years have passed since I vacationed in NYC, yet I remember the experience as though it was yesterday. Part of this is because of the magic of the city itself. However, what really made the trip memorable was the remarkable Big Apple Greeter who was assigned to me. This wasn't my first trip to the City by any means, but when I heard about Big Apple Greeters I couldn't resist "taking the plunge" and asking for a guide. My greeter spent the entire day with me, showing me around the Village and all parts south of the island-- best restaurants, unknown theatre groups, favorite parks -- all kinds of sites that I would never have had the courage to explore on my own. I cannot recommend Big Apple Greeters highly enough.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

On my recent visit to NYC in November, 2010, I was fortunate enough to have the services of a Big Apple greeter. She was knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic and showed us (there were two of us) parts of the city that we probably would not have found on our own. She spent the best part of a day with us - over and above our expectations - and even helped us with theatre tickets. She was open to our requests and offered many suggestions for enhancing our experience in the city, including how to use the metro system. i wish this service were available in all major cities. What a difference it would make to the tourist's appreciation and enjoyment of city visit.

Review from Guidestar

Wanderer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Notwithstanding the circa 48 million world visitors who choose New York as their travel destination, an unknown (perhaps very large) number of people are adverse to coming here due to a phenomenally powerful message created in print, tv and the digital media which portray our city as being inhabited by - at the very least - rude - and at the very most - criminal and thug elements. Violence, crime and filth, one would believe, is omnipresent.

I, as a volunteer for Big Apple Greeter, love to meet people from around the world who, despite this negativiity, have correctly determined that New York City is none of the above. But even among those fair and objective people, there is still a significant number who believe that even if Manhattan is safe and civilized, other boroughs - particularly The Bronx - are not.

Being a native New Yorker and a lifelong resident of The Bronx, I am particularly pleased whenever I am successful in changing the perceptions of my guests, one person at a time, by taking them anywhere in the city that interests them, especially The Bronx.

It has been determined that a person's perception of a travel experience is often communicated to at least ten associates upon returning home. Therefore, positive, as well as negative experiences, in this manner, can be expected to spread virally. If utilized to promote the positive, then one would expect to make significant inroads into countering the "bad publicity".

Aside from countering the unfair media image, I derive great satisfaction in facilitating the coming together of diverse cultures - here in New York - knowing that our citizens and our visitors will benefit from a rich exchange of ideas and cultures.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Friends told me about Big Apple Greeter and that they missed the chance to get an appointment when they were there. I was lucky: I got an appointment - and it was for me only and it was awesome. I travelled to NY on my own and was so thankful to have somebody showing me around, explaining things and suburbs. It took away my fear and I happily took on the tips given to me for the rest of my time in NY. I think the Big Apple Greeter (especially 'mine' of course) made me feel more connected to the Big Apple and I alsohave to say, that I admire people who spend their free time showing somebody around they don't know and might never see again. Awesome experience! Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

Jen D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter is a gem of New York City. Even as a veteran NYC traveler, they helped open my eyes to a part of the city that I would have never explored on my own. Our wonderful volunteer tour guide and his wife met us in midtown, took us to the Bronx neighborhood he grew up in and walked us through the neighborhood in the pouring rain. I truly believe that education helps to build understanding and that Big Apple Greeters shows the world what an amazing city New York is. I look forward to my next trip to NYC and day with a Big Apple Greeter.

Review from Guidestar

Nana

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was our first visit to NYC and our guide was a major reason that our visit was so delightful. She was so interesting and made us feel right at home. Her insights and historical info on our tour gave us a feeling of the real NYC. Thank you for a fabulous visit.

Review from Guidestar