Charity & Grassroots in Brooklyn

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Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors—formerly known as Outdoor Bound—turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts—each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT—temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.

International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.

139 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Bryan “The Brooklyn Bad Ass” Ortiz of Brooklyn Bad Ass Fitness dons many hats—the headband of a certified personal trainer, the cushioned headgear of a boxing instructor, and the top hat of a fitness-book author. Dedicated to a no-nonsense approach to fitness, Bryan conducts morning and evening weekday boot camps that whip up to 20 students into shape with intense interval training, eschewing monotonous fitness routines such as treadmill running or elephant lifting. To complete lifestyle changes, Bryan outfits guests with meal plans, customizing diets to match energy requirements. Bryan’s Wedding Body boot camp, personal-training sessions, and weight-loss challenges can all be customized to suit guests’ specific fitness goals.

85 S Oxford St
Brooklyn,
NY
US

The editorial team behind Brooklyn Magazine keeps its finger on the pulse of one of New York’s largest boroughs, providing residents and visitors with everything from food reviews to cultural commentaries on art and literature. In addition to hashing out the latest city fashions in the style section, Brooklyn Magazine provides a road map for upcoming happenings in the events section, listing concerts, film showings, theatre performances, and more.

145 Columbia St
Brooklyn,
NY
US

One of the SLI's next projects will adorn the surfaces of the Community League of the Heights headquarters in the Washington Heights neighborhood. A team of two professionals and 15–20 youth artists will design the mural with the goal of stimulating dialogue on violence and gun control. While designing the mural, the young artistes involved will earn a stipend and gain valuable experience in artistic development, public presentations, collaborating with their peers, and realizing a complex project, simultaneously sparking important conversations in their neighborhood.

540 President St
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Since 1952, this nonsectarian Jewish community center has entertained, strengthened, and educated community members with enriching programs and recreational services. Around 780 people a day lift weights, splash in the pool, or attend book readings. Children and teens absorb knowledge about scholastics, cooking, crafts, and drama during after-school programs and summer camps, while adults talk literature in book clubs, stretch out during yoga sessions, or unwind by meditating in a room filled with stacks of already-completed taxes. Seniors, meanwhile, can play a round of billiards or backgammon in a social club, learn basic computer skills, or take free, arthritis-friendly aerobics classes. The dedicated staff make a point of welcoming all community members by speaking Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish, and Upper East Side.

3495 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US