NY City Serve

NY City Serve celebrates and accelerates collaborations that love and serve the City.

The Chinatown Initiative Loving & Serving Chinatown

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The Chinatown Initiative Loving & Serving Chinatown
The Chinatown Initiative started meeting together in September 2014 after the Cityfest Launch event, and they have been meeting monthly ever since to partner together to see how they can impact the Community. They have about 6-8 churches that come together regularly to work together with a total of 15+ churches in their broader network.  A few key initiatives they have been involved in include:
Public School 2
The Chinatown Initiative is investing ongoing efforts and energy to make an impact in the lives of kids who might be disadvantaged or at risk. At PS2, they have given Christmas gifts to the 4th and 5th grade classes, partnered with World Vision to give the entire school of PS2 and PS1 School supplies, and now they starting a Mentorship program on Saturdays at PS2 for the 3rd – 5th grade kids.
Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade in February 
The Chinatown Initiative participated in the Community event with 5+churches participating with over 150 people joining and distributing tracts and being a witness.
Monroe Street Festival in June
The Chinatown Initiative joined the Annual Street Fair with 15+ Churches and Parachurch Organizations this June by participating and doing outreach to our Community of Chinatown.
Deuteronomy 15:4 Homeless & Poor Outreach
The Chinatown Initiative is meeting the needs of those who are disadvantaged and showing love and kindness to those the homeless and poor in Chinatown and NYC.

Thrive Collective Celebration at the UFT

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Churches, students, and community supporters celebrated with Thrive Collective at the UFT in June.  

On June 17 Thrive Collective’s staff, board, volunteers, students, and community supporters gathered at the United Federation of Teachers to celebrate the end of another great school year serving 100 schools throughout New York City.

Thrive was joined by churches, community supporters, students, faculty, and artists as they honored Scott Stringer, NYC Comptroller, Michael Mulgrew, UFT President, and Kevin Palau, NY CityServe Co-founder, for investing in arts education and school mentoring.

The event included: 2 finished in-door murals (currently installed at schools in the Bronx), 100 pieces of student artwork (from schools across the city), 20 pieces of 3-D and 2-D artwork from professional artists, several films, a 50 piece photo gallery, and an experiential exhibit (where guests could paint a 10 foot “mini-version” of a mural that we painted earlier this spring in the Bronx).

Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene & ThriveNYC Mental Health

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Last month, one of our partners, Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene, held a training event in conjunction with 7 different organizations. 31 participants gathered at Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene for an 8 hour free course in which all trainees received certification from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare as Mental Health First Aiders. Participants learned the sign and symptoms of the most common mental health problems, where and when to get help, and types of help shown to be effective.  Certification establishes that all trainees have been trained to provide initial help to people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

The First Aid Mental Health Certification Training workshop was conducted through the Mayor’s office in collaboration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as a part of ThriveNYC.


ThriveNYC is a plan of action to guide the city toward a more effective and holistic system that outlines 54 initiatives, 23 of them new, to support the mental well-being of New Yorkers. Additionally, ThriveNYC creates a model that can be applied nationally and a framework for advocacy.  To find out more about ThriveNYC, please visithttps://thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us/.


Five Churches Collaborate to Honor NYPD PSA4

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Earlier this fall, five churches from the Lower East Side collaborated to honor and stand with the officers of NYPD Police Service Area 4  (PSA4).

Officers from PSA4 (located at 130 Avenue C/ East 8th Street) are responsible for patrolling twenty-five New York City Housing Authority developments in the 5th, 7th, 9th and 10th Precincts in Manhattan.  Volunteers from Abounding Grace Ministries, Dwell Church, CityVine + Trinity Grace Church East Village joined together to selflessly serve food, present recognition, and break bread with the officers.  

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Thrive Collective Serves in the Bronx

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In June the Longwood section of the Bronx became a little brighter and colorful. Students from PS 333 and 335 worked together with NY CityServe partner, Thrive Collective, on a shared schoolyard mural that offers a glimpse into their neighborhood and how they see it. Every week during lunch time 6 classes, 3 from each school, joined us in the yard to help paint the mural. The results were fantastic.

Once the mural was all complete, on June 4th, Thrive Collective,  joined a dozen Bronx based artists and arts organizations gathered to celebrate the rich cultural legacy of the Longwood neighborhood at the first I Am Longwood Arts Fest. Enjoy the video above, capturing the beauty of the mural, festival, and community collaboration at it’s finest.

Don’t Walk By

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Churches from across the city joined together in Manhattan for the 2016 Don’t Walk By. Pictured here are volunteers from Liberty City, on the streets of Union Square to bringing care packs to the needy. Volunteers remarked that they had a great time bringing encouragement and hope to the hopeless. They shared stories with new homeless friends, and invited them to the host church for a meal.

Learn More about how you can get involved with Liberty City here. 

Brooklyn Churches Neighborhood Cleanup

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“NY CityServe strikes again!” This just might be the joyful anthem heard throughout the city as more and more churches continue to partner together to collaborate and serve their neighbors in tangible and meaningful ways.

In the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, dozens of church members from four area churches hit the streets and neighboring parks, armed with tools and trash bags for a neighborhood cleanup on May 16. Although the forecast called for rain, the day remained dry and the overcast skies granted pleasant “working weather” and temperate conditions.

Some members of the community were so encouraged by the church in action that they spontaneously pitched in to help and many showed their appreciation with hearty smiles, a thumbs up, or a shout out of thanks.

Approximately 50 church volunteers were easily spotted wearing a NY CityServe t-shirt, and they enjoyed many opportunities to answer questions, witness about Jesus, invite neighbors to NY CityFest events, or simply offer a kindness and word of encouragement. Curious passers-by often asked who they were and why they were serving. NY CityServe volunteers simply answered, “We’re here from neighboring churches to serve our community in Jesus’ name.”

A special note of thanks goes to coordinator Pastor Tim Chen of Grace Chinese Alliance Church, and partnering churches, Second Evangelical Church, 59th Street Lutheran Brethren, and First Evangelical Free Church.

Community Heroes

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Community Heroes is a collaboration with a number of local churches and community organizations, including:  Trellis, Nice Think, Liberty City, Trinity Grace Park Slope, Apostles Brooklyn, and Bindery NYC. The collaborative projects highlight and celebrate the lives of everyday people living and serving in overlooked and often neglected neighborhoods.

The photo installations and documentary have been on display recently in Brooklyn at a number of fun events, including a festival in Fort Green, PHOTOVILLE (a FREE annual festival photo installation at Brooklyn Bridge Park. This modular venue built from re-purposed shipping containers has become the largest annual photographic event in New York City and among the most-attended photographic events nationwide welcoming over 72,000 visitors), where this year Community Heroes was featured as one of the installations!  During the showing there were opportunities to meet some of the heroes.

A documentary was also screened at BRIC – B-Scene Documentary Night (a night for visitors to view locally produced documentaries that tell unique stories rooted in culture and community). Community Heroes was one of three projects screened followed by a forum and audience Q and A about the projects.  Some of the heroes highlighted were also at the event for a meet and greet.

Click here to learn more about Trellis and Community Heroes. 

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