Volunteers are a major source of strength for nonprofits and GrowNYC is fortunate to have the time, effort and talents of so many dedicated New Yorkers. Whether they are corporate groups giving back to the community by helping with a garden build for a neighborhood or school or a single individual who feels passionate about what GrowNYC does, we are extremely grateful. Want to volunteer with GrowNYC?
Jonathan Kong started volunteering with GrowNYC in 2014, quickly establishing himself as a tireless worker and enthusiastic supporter of all things GrowNYC. But in 2016, Jonathan has taken things to a new level: Creating and undertaking The Greenmarket Challenge: a quest to volunteer at all 54 Greenmarket farmers markets in 1 year.
We spoke with Jonathan what inspires him, which Greenmarket is his favorite, and much more:
How long have you been volunteering with GrowNYC?
This is my third year.
What is it about GrowNYC that inspires you to work with us?
I really like the environment, working outdoors, getting to interact with the public, doing hands-on activities such as the cooking demos, and learning something new about myself everyday.
Favorite activity when volunteering?
Cooking demos are always fun to do because I get to see the actual ingredients I'm using and use them with the recipe. Outreach is great since I get to see the diversity of people who live in different neighborhoods.
How many different Greenmarket locations have you volunteered at?
So far about 30, but I plan to volunteer at all of them by the end of this year.
Do you have a favorite Greenmarket?
I like Union Square a lot because there's a lot of different activities going on down there and it's really easy to get to. I also have favorite markets for each region: Forest Hills for Queens, Columbia for Upper Manhattan, Tompkins for Lower Manhattan, Fort Greene for Brooklyn, and Parkchester for Bronx.
Favorite fruit and/or vegetable?
I tend to go for tropical fruits like mangos, pineapples and coconuts, but they don't sell them at the markets.
What would you tell someone who was considering volunteering with GrowNYC?
Volunteering with GrowNYC will help you improve your social skills, build confidence in yourself, and feel comfortable working with other people.