Micah Byrnes


This year, we made 1000 sandwiches and gave out 500 pairs of socks. We literally had a dance party before and then a parade of people going out to give out the food and socks!

Name: Micah Byrnes

Profession: Co-Owner, Monarch Nighclub

Location: San Francisco, California

Tell me about how you give back?:

As a nightclub owner in one of San Francisco’s worst neighborhoods, I am aware of the community that surrounds us. When I can, I try to support it either with concerts where the proceeds benefit a cause or by hosting our own events. We have the space and enable charities to host events here. In the past we have supported music groups, like Blue Bear School of Music in San Fran which helps kids learn music.

In February, you hosted a unique philanthropic event. What’s the story behind it?

Last year, my friend Danny and I had an idea about that silly meme from the early 2000s- Peanut Butter Jelly Time, the dancing banana to that song. We thought, what if we turn it into something good? So, we hosted an event we dubbed” Peanut Butter Jelly Time!! (aka giving pb&j sandwiches to the homeless while wearing banana costumes). Sunday, 2/8 was the second one.

The idea was simple, get people together to have a good time while giving back. For $20  we provided a banana costume and supplies for making PBJ sandwiches. We also collected socks because we understand that’s something very much needed by the homeless community.

How did the event go?:

It was a huge success. Last year, we made 500 sandwiches and gave out 100 pairs of socks. This year, we made 1000 sandwiches and gave out 500 pairs of socks. We literally had a dance party before and then a parade of people going out to give out the food and socks!

I was excited by how many people who showed up. All new people. Just because of the power of our facebook event and website announcing the event. One guy brought his 6 year old daughter dressed up – it was super cute.

What’s next for this event?:

It made me realize the power of leveraging community. We had someone from Yahoo who said next year, he’ll bring his whole team. That’s our goal: for everyone to come together, have a good time and make a difference. Next year’s going to be even bigger and better. I learned a lot from last year to this year.

 


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About

Julia Levy, Founder, has a decade of development experience, including working for a philanthropist, a small nonprofit and now a large nonprofit. She has raised significant dollars for numerous causes, from education to religion and from donors of all ages. Julia holds a Certificate in Fundraising from NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Julia has taught fundraising workshops, most recently at Brooklyn Brainery and coached development professionals.


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Why We Give tells stories of ordinary philanthropists, making a difference, dollar by dollar and hour by hour.  

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