Organization Spotlight: Goodbye Olympics, Hello Matt!

As a thank you to our community, each week we’re highlighting interesting organizations and opportunities that you’ve shared on our website. Because of you, is a hub for people who want to create a better world. Thank you.

Before getting to this week’s batch of awesome nonprofit organizations, I should introduce myself. I’m Matt Cifaldi, one of the newest staff members at Idealist, and I am very excited to be here! Among other vital duties I will be taking care of at the NYC office, I am the new organization approval guru, which means that before you see a nonprofit on Idealist, I check it out. So when a nonprofit catches my eye (for a good reason), I’ll post it here and tell you all about it. In recognition of the Summer Olympics, I’m shining the spotlight on three fitness-oriented nonprofits this week. Let’s get started!


The Olympic Games are coming to an end but you can still stay active! (Photo Credit: YBike)

Scraped knees begone! San Franciscan parents interested in raising the next Lance Armstrong or just teaching their kids how to bike safely should check out YBike. Located next to Presidio Park for primo biking practice, YBike is a program of the YMCA. Its After School Bike Clubs teach local kids how to ride safely on San Francisco’s roads, and also provide valuable exercise. So if your child is yearning to leave the confines of your driveway and get two wheels on the open road, check it out!

Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers

Have you been watching the Olympics and thinking that a warm indoor pool is just not a challenging enough environment for swimmers? If your answer is yes, and you live in New York City, you’re in luck! Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS) runs open water races and practices in the NYC metro area. You can attend a swim clinic taught by English Channel swimmer Bonnie Schwartz, exercise in a group at Brighton Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day, or just sign up for one of the many races CIBBOWS organizes. One mile in the ocean too easy for you? Try 120 miles down the Hudson. Not even Phelps does that.

Yogis on Wheels

No, this organization does not involve race cars. It is, however, the coolest type of yoga I’ve heard of in a long time. At several facilities across the Bay area, Yogis on Wheels offers yoga classes designed for people with physical disabilities. With about two volunteer instructors for every student, people who have not been able to stretch their bodies for years are able to experience that excellent post-yoga feeling that many of us take for granted. Check out the video on their website that gives a quick overview of what a class is like. And send them an email if you’re a yogi from in the Bay area and would like to help out!

I hope you enjoyed my first organization spotlight and checked out these three stellar nonprofits. Don’t forget that as an Idealist user you can connect with any organization you like, leave comments on their page, and check out what volunteer opportunities, jobs, or events they’re offering now. Happy searching!


Organization Spotlight: Theatre, cricket, and garden furniture edition

As a thank you to our community, each week we’re highlighting interesting organizations and opportunities that you’ve shared on our website. Because of you, is a hub for people who want to create a better world. Thank you.


Today's star: YOU! (Photo Credit: Spigoo, Creative Commons/Flickr)

For each of these installments, my plan was to pick one neat new organization or opportunity on the site to share with all of you, but there’s just too much awesomeness out there to share just one. Here are a few that struck my fancy this week:

La Petite Morgue

I don’t know a lot of French, but I think you get the vibe of this organization. La Petite Morgue presents performances of original and classic works of horror. In their innovative works they combine the interactive haunted house experience with the experience of a live stage act to “reach theatre fans who are scared of horror and horror fans who are scared of theatre.” Their upcoming production is called “Fresh Blood.”

The Cricket Association of the Blind, Nepal

While touring schools for the blind in India, Nepali teachers discovered Indian students playing cricket with special balls that made a distinctive sound as they whizzed by. The Nepali teachers brought them back to their own schools, and the sport has since spread across Nepal to seven schools for the blind and twelve districts throughout the country. The Cricket Association of the Blind promotes the sport through events, raising money, providing scholarships, and encouraging awareness. They aim “to give blind people dignity, opportunity, a social platform and a robust counter to the old and tired perceptions of visually impaired people in Nepal and South Asia.” This year, they’re hoping to send their first team to the World Cup!

The Forest Trust

Every product has a story, and TFT is looking to rewrite the stories of products we use every day – from garden furniture to shoes to paper. TFT is a UK-based global nonprofit that works to bring about sustainable development by improving products and supply chains. They focus on the “extraction” stage of production, working with companies and local communities to change social and environmental dynamics surrounding the use of natural resources. Their member businesses include eighty retailers and manufacturing companies, and their projects impact about 8.5 million hectares of forest land across the globe.

High fives all around! And if you ever see an organization you like, add a comment to their page or click Connect to show your support and keep up to date with the opportunities they’re offering. The Idealist community is brimming over with great ideas, interesting work, and exciting people. Take a look around. Leave anything interesting you find in the comments!

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