Call it enduring a decade with a crazy Texan in the oval office, the never ending wars, global warming, the world food crisis, or the spiking price of oil, but now more than ever, we feel the urge to 'do good'. So we buy recycled Whole Foods bags and replace our lightbulbs. We chat about our carbon footprint, read up on Green fashion in Vogue Magazine (at the nail salon) and eat organic. We bicycle. We walk. As New Yorkers, we feel a burgeoning sense of responsibility on our shoulders. Yet still, we like our Bloody Mary's at brunch, our overpriced denim and designer shoes. Perhaps we carry guilt that we are not doing more.
Enter alldaybuffet, a "social awareness brand for the cool kids", created in 2007 with the idea of harnessing the creative energy of young New Yorkers and creating a platform to reconcile our busy lives (work hard, play hard) with our hearts' desire to do good. ADB functions as an event filter, party planner, think tank, blog, and social network with a community of five thousand people spread across eight US cities. An ADB member can share ideas, connect with like-minded individuals and organizations and make use of ADB's vast talent pool either virtually (http://www.alldaybuffet.org) or in person at an event. Looking for a way of screening a film in a shantytown with no electricity? Need to set up a red carpet event for inner city New Orleans kids? Someone somewhere will have an answer.
Their most successful initiative, Cause for Drinks, is a monthly happy hour hosted simultaneously in several cities. $2 from every drink goes to that month's chosen cause. The best part? There is no overhead. alldaybuffet approaches bars with existing happy hours, boosts the price of the drink back to its normal cost and asks the bar for the difference. A Cause for Drinks in Austin recently raised $6000 in three hours. The evenings attract all kinds - the thirsty guy off the street, non-profits, friends, family, people that may like cocktails AND doing good. The basic premise is that not everyone can get up before dawn to feed the homeless or shell out $500 at a black tie charity event. So ADB seeks to broaden the community of social activists and shift the perspective of what it can mean to 'do good' and have fun!
ADB is neither for profit nor non-profit, fueled instead by the talent and energy of its members. Just like traditional charities are now adapting to different modes of operation (by becoming sustainable or by creating local structures such as micro-businesses) so ADB follows suit using a community-based, flexible structure, able to evolve and explore new areas of involvement.
Their latest ventures include "Action Projects", projects developed and decided on (by online vote) entirely by members. The recent winner: "Teaching Kids Skills for Social Enterprise." A fundraiser in May paired ADB with GOOD Magazine to support the cultural traditions of New Orleans. This Monday Behance Magazine and ADB join together to throw a free party "Make Good Ideas Happen" for Internet Week (June 9, 7 - 10 pm, The Delancey). The event will offer three NYC nonprofits a venue to pitch their newest ideas (City Year, Sustainable South Bronx, Starting Bloc) for feedback and help.
"As an Internet based company, we see the power of bringing people and ideas together, both through digital and physical space," said Jerri Chou of alldaybuffet. "We're creating that kind of connection at this event for the social good and between people who don't connect enough -- we're bringing creatives, digital mavens and the social world into one room and seeing what they can do to change the world. We hope that after this, they'll want to meet more often."
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