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The Impact of Impact: Members in Action!

Inspiring stories of Impact 100 NYC members who have directly partnered or volunteered with a grant recipient to make an even greater impact.  Interested in volunteering? Reach out to



Did you know that for a Canner to earn $100 means collecting 2000 cans? This was only one of the remarkable statistics 13 Impact 100 NYC members learned on a visit to 2023 Innovation Grantee Sure We Can. Also impressively: New York's sole non-profit redemption center supports a diverse community of over 1000 dedicated canners who collectively process a million materials each month, all while fostering social inclusion, environmental awareness, and economic development.

Ryan Castalia, Sure We Can’s Executive Director, informed us that while NYC’s Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY)municipal recycling programs recycle 20% of their collections, Sure We Can achieves an impressive 70% recycling rate. Additionally, he mentioned a focus on future infrastructure enhancements, and that art and collaborations also hold a prominent place in Sure We Can vision. Imagine this dynamic space hosting art shows, seasonal craft fairs, fundraisers, and expanding collaborations like Petlamp's innovative upcycled lamps.

We also met Josefa Marin, a canner for over 20 years, a member of the SWC Board of Directors, and the driving force for the Canner-Led Redemption Center project who explained that Sure We Can is not only a place to work, it is a place to connect, which sets SWC apart from other facilities. Every canner experiences a profound sense of belonging. They come together to celebrate baby showers, weddings and birthdays. As Josefa eloquently puts it: "We feel at home here. We teach the new canners and it's a true community." She also asks all of us, “Please give more respect to the canners. We offer a lot to the community and to the environment.”

”The canners and staff here are a community. Meeting them and seeing the facility left us profoundly enlightened and inspired,” said Judy Golberg, a member of the Nonprofit Relations Committee and Impact 100 NYC’s liaison for Sure We Can.

This visit was the second by members of Impact 100 NYC and, yet, there's so much more to learn about Sure We Can, the Bottle Bill, the Right to Public Waste, and the canner community — their challenges, aspirations, and incredible contributions to both our community and the environment.

“With Sure We can,” added Goldberg, “I know I have been inspired to act and see an opportunity for Impact 100 NYC members to become advocates, to get involved, and perhaps even to help reshape policies that will have a positive ripple effect.”


Founding Member Natalie Silverstein wrote the book on community service, literally. An author of two books on kindness and service, including Simple Acts: The Busy Teens Guide to Making a Difference, Natalie created the Simple Acts Guide website and hosts a weekly podcast focused on celebrating and amplifying the stories of teen changemakers.

Natalie is making a big difference herself. For Impact 100 NYC 2020 Operating Grant Recipient George Jackson Academy Natalie kickstarted a community service club to help the students find their passion and purpose through volunteer efforts in their communities. In recognition of her service, the school honored Natalie at its 3rd Annual GJA Scholars Celebration on May 14th, 2023.


Through our amazing member, Ann Cutbill Lenane, our nextgen teens partnered with the nonprofit she co-founded, ONE BLOCK UWS, for a street cleanup. The nextgen teens joined the volunteer army that Ann amassed to do their part in making the city shine even brighter.

If you know an 8th-12th grader interested in making an impact in NYC, contact our teen leadership board at


Alexandra Stewart and Kendall Quinn Sprows know how to mix business and purpose. As co-members of Impact 100 NYC and co-workers at The Trade Desk, an independent media buying platform designed for the open internet, Alexandra, Director of Business Development, and Kendall, a Senior Account Executive organized a career field trip for 20 Futures & Options students at The Trade Desk’s offices.

Kendall, who worked directly with the F&O team to bring the event to life, provided the students with an overview on the state of advertising. She also moderated a panel of senior teammates, which included Alexandra, an Impact 100 NYC board member, and colleagues in marketing, business and client development, discussing their educational and career journeys. Kendall and TTD teammates then led breakout sessions where students worked on advertising strategies. Alexandra said “it was so exciting seeing the students connect the dots between how their favorite brands end up on their screens, and showing them how different career paths can all lead to work you love.”

Also helping provide F&O students exposure to post high-school careers is founding member Jo Umans. She’s been involved in the Impact 100 NYC-funded program that introduces students to careers in the medical field, supporting their interests in wanting to be doctors, research scientists, nurses, technicians, and many other healthcare-related areas. Jo has been helping the students with resume-writing, interviewing and presenting.  Jo describes her volunteering as a “wonderful experience” and says that the students are “eager for the coaching and take notes like pros!”


With Thanksgiving fast approaching, a lack of funds threatened to cancel Reaching Out Community Service’s Annual Operation Gobbler Giving when Impact 100 NYC member Shelley Spevakow stepped in and stepped up!

She made the event possible with a significant donation from her SSASSY FOUNDATION in honor of her Mother’s birthday -- and her own! This year, after reading that the demand for RCS’s food pantry became so great that they had to turn away people in need of basic food security, she provided additional funds through her foundation to sustain the program.

RCS, recipient of a $15,000 grant from Impact 100 NYC in 2021, “is an extremely special place. I am SO happy to help them. I love that Impact 100 NYC discovers and supports such deserving organizations,” said Shelley, who joined in 2022 as an Evergreen* (auto-renewal) member.

Impact 100 NYC, Inc. is incorporated in the state of New York and is a nonprofit organization exempt from federal taxes under U.S. Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Contributions are tax deductible. Impact 100 NYC is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Office to solicit charitable contributions and hold charitable assets in New York State.

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