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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

I went to New york for the first time over christmas 2010 it was also my first trip by myself ever.
I found out that you could meet this Big apple greeter, I didn´t know what it was but I thought, what can be better the be guided around the city by a real New Yorker?
I meet this wonderful man, Mr Freeman who took me for a wonderful walk in the sun around the city.
He took me to places that was things you have to see but also many things you never would see or think about to see.

My day with Mr Freeman became the best day and experience in New york and I will see him again when I come back because I will, he made me feel welcome.
I will also recomende Big Apple Greeter to all people who´s going to New York.

Stina Danielsson from Sweden

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My friend and I travelled to NYC from Australia in December 2010, having spoken about "one day" being able to take the trip when we both had young children 16 years earlier. While both well travelled, this was the first big holiday both of us had taken without our husbands and/or children in many years.
On our first morning in NYC we were greeted by S Brookes, who spent the morning with us in a perfectly targeted experience.
He helped us with the subway, advised us on the best way to visit the most common tourist sites, and as we are both keen cooks spent some time with us on the Upper West Side visiting unbelievable delis, telling us stories of the development of NYC and having loads of fun. He also gave us great tips for how we could get the most into our 8 days having worked out what our priorities would be.
To top it off, my friend Kathryn mentioned that she hoped to source some French tea in NYC which is horrendously expensive in Australia; by the time we returned to our hotels a few hours after leaving S he had sourced the suppliers, had rung them to check they had stock, and emailed us with addresses and directions. We were absolutely blown away by this level of attention from a volunteer service. It set us up for one of the best weeks both of us had spent in our lives.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I traveled to NYC in the year 2000 for a stay of one. We arranged a 1/2 day tour of historic sights in lower Manhattan. Our greeter was a wonderful young man who enhanced our trip greatly. He met us at our location, took us on public transit, and was genuinely glad to be doing us the service of sharing his city. This was an experience I doubt we would have had with a paid guide who was on the clock.

Review from Guidestar

Paula K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Myself and my boyfriend were lucky enough to be matched with a Big Apple Greeter in Feb 2010, our Greeter was Brad Smith, he was amazing!! he met us at our hotel, he was kind enough to show us how to get around on the subway (which we did for the rest of the week) walked with us over the brooklyn bridge and then showed us round part of brooklyn giving us ideas with what to do with the rest of our time in New York... it was an absolute pleasure..
Big Apple Greeters are amazing, such a kind thing to do, take 2 strangers under their wing and show them some of the city.... I cant thank them enough it was the highlight of our trip

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and 2 teenage daughters traveled to NYC 2 years ago. I was very nervous about using the subway, getting lost etc. Our Greeter was beyond wonderful. She arrived with metro passes, took us on a wonderful walking tour and helped us navigate the subway system. She calmed my fears and pointed out great shops for the girls to explore. Best experience ever. She was so knowledgeable about the history and knew so many interesting facts. We loved her tour. I wish all large cities had this service.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

We are from Belgium. In April 2011 we were in New York for the first time.
We booked a greeter and got a great host, Barbara Rhodie. She took us inside the fancy Carlyle hotel and bar, in Central Park she spotted Pierce Brosnan for us, learned us a lot of interesting stuff about the park and together with her we joined and chatted with the birdwatchers ( famous bird couple Pale Male). We had soup at hale and hearty's, made a subway ride. On top of that she got us free tickets for the Metropolitan Museum and tickets for a modern dance show at the Joyce theater It was just great, a personal warm and welcoming touch: big apple greeter really succeeds in its mission! Exceeded our expectations. Great initiative that hopefully we will use again.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a Canadian who only had one single day to visit New York City. I called on Big Apple Greeter, and the cheery woman who met me in the hotel lobby was a wonder! She interviewed me first, then we set off to explore by subway -- parts of Harlem, St. John the Divine Cathedral, a Puerto RIcan Cafe, and Central Park, the area where few tourists visit. It gave a whole new perspective to the city, and my Greeter was knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely an experience to remember and a wonderful memory of what New York City means to its residents.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We visited new york in august 2010 and were met by Chafin Elliot. we had a great and very full day taking in the sights and sounds of New York. He took us to see where the real new yorkers live in Harlem. Then on to Columbia University site- really such a cultural change from Harlem. Then down to Columbus Circle dropping in on the 5* mandarin oriental hotel FAB!!! with the most amazing viws of central park. Sheer luxury...Then on to Hudson Hotel amazing place well worth a coffee stop!! fab roof top area and superb views.
Then to ground zero and a real New york deli stop for lunch.
(we also got on the tube which was much easier than we expected with a new yorker to show us the ropes) Then to the financial district calling in at the American express building to see their memorial to 9/11 very moving. Then to a river side jaunt nearby with a view of lady Liberty herself. He wanted us to meet his wife but we were absolutly bushed (it was day 1 of a 5 day adventure in New York) truly a day we will never forget and will cherish forever. Top tip - get a greeter if you aregoing to New York its a sheer pleasure and an eye opener!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am from Australia and visited New York in January 2011 where I was met at my hotel by Big Apple Greeter, Caroline. I discovered things about the city that I could only learn from a resident of this fantastic metropolis. Seeing the city through the eyes of a local was a wonderful experience and I would recommend the service to anyone whether they are first time visitors or lucky ones who have visited many times.

Review from Guidestar

Gill G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We couldnt have navigated New York without the help of out Big Apple Greeter, S, was very friendly and extremely knowlegable about his area. He showed us how to use the subway and also the best shops to buy food as we were self catering in a Hostel.
S was never in a hurry, he took the time to show us everything we could have possibly found interesting and always managed to answer our questions no matter how confusing....Thank you S

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm from Australia and it was on my second visit to New York that I was guided by a Big Apple Greeter. Charles was a fantastic guide and took my daughter and I off the tourist track so we learnt so much more about this vibrant city. He was extremely knowledgeable, pleasant, entertaining and a great example of volunteerism. I only wish I could volunteer for such an organisation in Sydney, but there isn't one - yet!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Am so pleased I found out about Apple Greeter! It's the best way to learn more about NYC & the surrounds from friendly & knowledgeable volunteers.
Have been ' Greetered ' twice :
The first time , was brought through Central Park as requested & though I'd been many times before on my own & with friends , that time I got to know more details & interesting history - really appreciate this beautiful ' green lung ' much more now.
Then we got to explore the then new Time Warner Center & "discovered " Wholefoods there where we went ' dutch ' for a snack since we cannot ' treat' volunteers to a meal. The Greeter also introduced me to 58/59 Sts and to the museums, shops there - I would not have gone if the Greeter had not mentioned. I got to explore on my own after our ' tour ' and really had a fabulous time.
The second time withApple Greeter, I requested to check out SOHO & discovered more interesting shops & galleries ..rode the subway!
Will explore another area the next time ..looking forward to returning !
Keep up the excellent work Apple Greeter!! Thank you

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Walking and talking with Ruth in and around Brooklyn was the best day of my family´s trip to NYC! With our two teenagers we had breakfast in Ruth´s neighbouring diner and met some of her friends. We watched the brownstones and the high-rises, we talked about the history and the gentrification and we marvelled at the development of the Dumbo area. We drank coffee at the local ice-cream makers and walked the stretch between the bridges. We visited her favourite shops and got to know a little about the people who lived in the area, how they lived and where they came from. We finished the day at Ground Zero, where she showed us around the humble but magnificent church and told us of both her own experiences from those days, and of what happened at the site. Above all, she managed to convey to us her personal love of the city, its people and history. I recommend Big Apple Greeter to anyone visiting the big apple!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I came to spend my 50th birthday in New York last November and we had an excellent time with our greeter, Betty who showed us round Downtown Manhattan. We found her extremely knowledgable and interesting. We were so pleased to meet her. She made our trip !

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a couple from Barcelona, last November we spent our honeymoon in NYCity. It was our second time in the city and we would like to share a visit with a greeter.
It was fantastic and funny for us because we could see lots of places that we couldn't do without his help
It was a fantastic experience

Review from Guidestar

Roger B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

on our first trip to NY me and a friend discovered big apple greater in the internet and asked for their service. We didn't really believe that it works and that it is for free. Finally we got picked up at our hostel and had an interesting and exciting first day in the city. We saw a lot of things that we wouldn't have seen without the very friendly and patient "greater". He refused any tipping and even invited us to a coffee. It was a great day. We learnd a lot and still remember the warm welcome.
Thank you very much!

Review from Guidestar

Stephanie H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I visited NYC with my parents last year. THis was their first trip to the USA, and they were a bit worried, didn't know what to expect in such a huge city as NYC. Plus, being French in their 60s, neither spoke English.
I contacted Big Apple Greeter, and we were assigned a wonderful guide, who not only had prepared a route based on my parents' passion for architecture, but also helped my parents ease into the NYC spirit. She even spoke some French, and after this morning spent together, my parents were much more at ease in NYC and we benefited from great tips to enjoy the rest of our stay.
I would say that Big Apple Greeter really helped us discover NYC's hidden treasures, and made this trip a success.

Review from Guidestar

Anja K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a great time with our Big Apple Greeter. With 2 adults, a teenager and an 8 year-old, our family represented a variety of interests, and our fantastic guide managed to include something for everyone. From the financial district and Ground Zero to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, the best hot chocolate ever, an indoor fleamarket and all sorts of interesting and fun spots we would have never discovered on our own, this was a wonderful experience and a memory that we will cherish forever!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2005 I decided to take two of my Aunts to New York City. I wanted to give them a trip that they would always remember. As the time of our departure approached I realized that I really needed help if they were to see and experience New York in the way it should be experienced. In my search for a possible city tour I found a reference to Big Apple Greeter and proceeded to research them. I decided that we would take a chance and ask them to assign us a guide. Bernie met us at our hotel and from the first moment I knew we had a winner. He was so gracious to three southern ladies, we relaxed immediately. We gave him our list of things we would like to see and do and then set out for one of the most enjoyable days we had on our whole trip. By the end of our time with him, Bernie had taught us how to read the Subway map, purchase our Metropass, and navigate around the city. He gave us so much great information which we used during the rest of our stay in NYC. Our trip was a success due to the time we spent with Bernie, he was a delight. Thank you Big Apple Greeter, I will defintely use your service again. Outstanding!

Review from Guidestar

Cindy N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have taken two tours with Big Apple Greeters, both of which were excellent. During the first tour we walked through lower Manhattan near the courts buildings and then walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and into parts of Brooklyn. The volunteer who guided our tour was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting. There were two of us on the tour. During the second tour we walked through parts of the lower east side and then into Washington Square Park and areas nearby. The woman guiding us on this tour was also very knowledgeable and interesting. We had four people on that tour and at times it was a little difficult to hear the guide speak. I recommend groups of two if taking a tour - it's much more personal that way and is easy for everyone to hear. It's nice that you get to choose what areas of the city you'd like to tour and what about those areas interest you. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BIG APPLE GREETER!!!

Review from Guidestar