I’m Asking For Your Donations; But First, An Explanation

This post is my call to action for anyone and everyone to donate to the most worthy cause I can think of: Green Bronx Machine’s Indiegogo fundraiser.

For two weeks I have been spamming all of my friends on Facebook and in person about an Indiegogo campaign organized by The Green Bronx Machine (GBM). I don’t regret it. We have raised more than $1,000 in 10 days, $1,000 that is going towards one of the most worthy causes I can think of.

But it is not enough.

I won’t give up until I help GBM reach their $10,000 goal and equip PS 55 in Claremont Village with the high-tech Biodiversity Center that will help to change the lives of hundreds of children in the Bronx, giving them opportunities to better their own lives.

Why am I so passionate about this organization?

Over the past 2 years, my ideology regarding philanthropy has shifted towards investing in local community development and increasing access to opportunity rather than fighting diseases or planting trees: in my mind, the huge financial incentives for a potential cure to cancer, and an approaching era of abundant clean energy make disease and climate change problems that the free market can tackle.

Poverty, inequality and a lack of civic responsibility are negative externalities produced by the free market, and can only be solved through effective legislation (not likely) or citizens donating time and funds.

The Green Bronx Machine is an organization tackling poverty and increasing access to opportunity in a spectacular fashion, and shows how eager under-served children and teenagers embrace opportunities to be healthy, to benefit from their education and to develop in-demand technical job skills when they are presented with the enthusiasm and passion shown by Steve Ritz and GBM.

Think about this for a second: we live in world where the greatest determinants of your success (nationality and economic background) are decided before you are even born.
Green Bronx Machine inputs vegetables and enthusiasm and outputs happy, healthy, educated kids

Take the time to watch Steve Ritz’s TEDx Talk above – there is no better way to understand what makes GBM special. Having met Steve in person I can assure you that his infectious enthusiasm is just as contagious in person as on the screen.

So, what have I done to support GBM so far?

In an effort to emulate the success of the ALSicebucket challenge on a small scale, I have launched The Bronx Brussel Hustle along with a few other Fordham students. We’ve had more than 30 videos made and the challenge is continuing to grow. It has spurred a lot of conversation and increased the awareness of GBM and the Indiegogo, but $5 donations are not coming in quick enough to raise the funds necessary.

I made this video about the Brussel Hustle and this Imgur post to try and help the campaign go viral, and also had an article written about the campaign in The Fordham Ram, but it seems that going viral is not as easy as one would hope, even for a cause as worthy as GBM.

Now, with just 10 days left in the campaign, I am changing tactics, reaching out to you to try and generate some bigger donations directly. I am not a big fan of guilt tripping people into donations – I would rather have you embrace the challenge and build an emotional attachment to the cause – but I am firmly of the belief that once people like yourself discover what Green Bronx Machine is doing, they won’t feel like they are being pressured to donate, and rather will be thankful that I have raised their awareness of this cause.

The Call to Action
  1. Here is the link to donate: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gbm-bronx-health-wellness-biodiversity-center
  2. Challenge friends to do the Bronx Brussel Hustle, and donate.
  3. There is no step 3. It’s that easy.

I thank you in advance, your support means more to me than you may imagine.

Your Opportunity Activist,




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