UsedYorkCity’s NYC Charity Of Choice Is…!

A few weeks ago I posted my 4 simple goals I hope to will accomplish before the end of 2013.  First up: finding a NYC charity to support.  

I broke this into 4 simple steps (I do love consistency!), and before I knew it, I had honed in on a wonderful organization that I look forward to being involved with in different capacities for years to come.


1.) Find Your Passion

The first thing I did was jot down causes I’m passionate about, my top three being: shelter animals, foster kids, and the arts.  From these, I asked myself, “What is going to get you excited to walk out the door on a Saturday morning to spend your time and energy on?”  Realistically, we already see practically a show a week, so I feel confident that I’m already supporting the arts in some small way.  And while I really do love working with children, especially at-risk kiddos that need the extra support, attention, and love, I realize that this is not something I have the time or the emotional stamina to commit to right now.  But supporting shelter animals?  That, my friends, makes me exceptionally happy on all kinds of levels.  Passion picked!  

2.) Find An Organization That Fits Your Beliefs And Lifestyle

After deciding that an animal shelter is my charity of choice, I had about a million to wean through.  Okay, not quite a million, but there’s certainly no shortage of shelters in NYC.

I knew that first off, I needed to find something with a relatively easy commute.  While there may be great shelters in Staten Island or Brooklyn, there’s no way I’d realistically be traipsing there on a regular basis (to thine own self be true, right?).  So I refined my search to shelters in Manhattan.

Next, I made a very personal decision.  I know lots of animal lovers that swear by “no-kill” shelters, and I completely respect that choice.  However, my little Gillman and our family dogs Prescott and Annie were both rescued from kill shelters and they are just the best pooches we could have ever asked for (also the inspiration for my children’s book, Park Avenue Pound Puppy, which educates kiddos about making adoption your first option!).


Gillman and Prescott

Little Orphan Annie


No-kill shelters have the ability of turning animals away on a regular basis because, quite simply, they are almost always filled to capacity.  The open-door (i.e. kill) shelters take in animals from all walks of life…ones that have been abandoned, abused, are stray, have been surrendered by owners, you name it.  So for me, the choice was easy: I chose to spend my time volunteering at an open-door shelter where the greatest amounts of animals would positively be affected, the Animal Care and Control of NYC.

3.) Explore Various Ways To Be Involved

Once deciding on the place, research ways you’d want to be involved.  This can range from on-site in-the-trenches kind of work to remembering to include them in your annual giving donations.  For me, socializing the animals and showering them with affection (particularly the pooches) interests me the most, as does educating potential adopters.  Well-socialized and happy dogs are much more likely to be adopted, and well-educated humans are much more likely to provide the best possible homes for them.

4.) Make A Commitment To Yourself

I’m so excited to begin volunteering with this wonderful organization beginning in January!  I’ve made a personal commitment to myself to start by volunteering 8 hours a month directly on-site with the furry guys, as well as to be involved in their two annual fundraising events a year.  And of course, to continue spreading the word to anyone considering getting a pet to rescue a shelter sweetie.  I mean…just look at that face!!!!


Handsome Sebastian…one of the many adoptable faces at Manhattan’s Animal Care and Control


And that’s it…4 simple steps!  I’ll be sure to share my volunteer adventures with you all in the coming year!

I’d love to know…what cause are you passionate about, and how are you involved with it?


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen





10 Responses to “UsedYorkCity’s NYC Charity Of Choice Is…!”
  1. Mike says:

    Among many others I’ve always been a supporter of the ASPCA and the Humane Society. The ASPCA facility is right across the freeway from where I work and they encouraged anyone interested to enroll in their dog walking program. Many people go over there on their lunch hour and take a dog for a walk. It’s deeply rewarding, Jess :)
    Mike recently posted..Thor: The Dark World Movie Review (Spoiler Alert)My Profile

    • Used York City says:

      What a fantastic idea! Not only do the pooches love it, but also good exercise for the humans!

      The Humane Society is where I adopted little Gillman from, love that place:-)

  2. sebastian is indeed a handsome pooch. I suppose probably london homelessness is my biggest charitable passion. From the day when a desperate man knocked on my door asking for food and cried when I made him a sandwich.
    Fiona Maclean recently posted..Applewood Smoked Cheese and Bacon OmeletteMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Aww, that is so sweet, Fiona! And such a good cause, especially when you can see something you do positively effect another’s life…right in front of your eyes!

  3. Awesome commitment Jess! Oh, my if I had the stomach for it, I could volunteer at our local human society shelter. Honestly, the last dog I brought in (6-month pup 1/2 Great Dane and 1/2 pit-mix), I swore I would never come back. Too emotional. I would visit him weekly and pray for someone to come to his rescue. He was the sweetest thing, and so full of energy. Due to his young age and lack of vaccinations, he couldn’t be taken for walks. The last time I went I started crying. A couple approached me and asked why…Needless to say, they had returned to look at ‘my dog.’ They ended up adopting him and told me they had a huge backyard.

    I received a donation solicitation in the mail yesterday from this organization. It’s on my weekend to-do. I’m totally with you on the foster youth, animals and arts charities.

    You have a good heart!

    Thanks for the inspirational post :)
    Linda Esposito (@TalkTherapyBiz) recently posted..The #1 Reason Angry Couples Stay Together (Guest article HuffPost)My Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Oh I’m totally with you on the emotional thing! Haha, my biggest fear is wanting to adopt and take them all home (although I’ve already explained to you how tiny NYC apartments are, so that wouldn’t be the best idea;-)

      Will keep you posted on the volunteering adventures, and kudos for your donation!

  4. Maria says:

    You selected a great cause – I’ve been involved with teaching reading to middle-school kids here in the US.
    I should clarify, most of them know how to read, just not very well and they often lack critical thinking skills so the volunteers help with that as well.
    Maria recently posted..Alice, Down the Rabbit HoleMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      That’s a WONDERFUL cause, Maria! Education is my day job, so I can attest to how volunteers like you truly make a difference in a struggling reader’s life! Sometimes they just need that extra 1:1 support to help learn strategies and to build their confidence.

  5. Kevin says:

    So you chose poooppies?
    Kevin recently posted..Would You Be a Good Caregiver?My Profile

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