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Buffalo’s B-Team Taking Memberships

“If you want to help the city of
Buffalo, here is your chance,” said Joe Malczewski, chairman of B-Team
Buffalo
.

The B-Team was organized in March 2008 because a few
friends came together with an interest in becoming actively involved in making
a better Buffalo. In the past year, the B-Team has grown to over 100 members.

“We’ve come together because we’re like-minded
and there are a lot of people like us out there. The more you talk to people
the more you understand that there are a lot of people like us who want to give
back to the city and are just looking for a way to do it. A fun, inventive,
young way of doing things that is thinking outside the box,” said
Malczewski.

An aspect of the group that members are particularly
proud of is the level of influence each member can have on the group as a whole. Anyone can suggest and
head up a project idea, and projects can range from planting trees to scrabble
tournaments, the mission is broad.

Matt Carlucci, the B-Team Buffalo’s Vice Chairman
said, “Our mission is not narrow, we can work with everybody. That’s why I
love the idea of this group, because if somebody comes to us and gives us an
idea that we don’t have, we’ll run with it.”

“What we’re not going to do it let someone come
in and propose an idea and then walk away from it. All too often in Buffalo
people say ‘I have a great idea’ and give their opinion but they don’t do
anything to back it up. We always prescribe to the notion that talk is cheap,
we’re not going to be a that group that sits around and talks, we’re going to be
a group that takes action. That’s why we consider ourselves an action
organization,” Malczewski said. 



bteam group.jpg

Anyone from the greater Buffalo area is welcome to
attend the general member meeting on February 24th at 7 p.m. The meeting is at
Lafayette Presbyterian Church at 875 Elmwood.

“We’re going to let people propose their own
projects. If there is something they have wanted to get done for the longest
time and didn’t have the man power, or the means financially or physically to
do, that is the kind of thing we want to make possible for people,” said
Carlucci. “They are going to have the opportunity to say ‘this is what I
think Buffalo needs’ and we’re going to listen to them.”

Malczewski added, ” It’s important that they know
that we’re not going to take political stances, we’re not going to speak out in
favor or against a certain issue. We are in favor of anything that helps the
city.”

The B-Team has partnered up with Re-Tree WNY, Carvings
for a Cause, Literacy Volunteers and several more local organizations. The
experiences they’ve had with each group were positive and have led to lasting
relationships between the groups. Their first major solo project was completed
in December, titled “City of Light,” when the group went into a
University District neighborhood and decorated houses.

“It was a freezing cold day and we had 60
volunteers, not including the families, out there hanging lights,” said
Carlucci.

The instant bond they created with the community made
the project well worth it. “We tried to enhance civic engagement in the
community that we went into. We had food for everyone, it was more of an
experience,” added Malczewski. “The most important thing is that we
bring our volunteers back because we do these fun projects.”


Bringing people back and keeping people inspired is
the main goal of the B-Team.

Carlucci said, “We don’t want people to just
volunteer. We want people to be inspired, we want to make people want to help
their city.”

“We’re a young organization and the reason we’re
successful is because we’ve branched out to friends. We’ve done no recruiting,
it’s been friend to friend, and people come to us and say, ‘Hey, I want to help
what can I do?’ It sort of caught fire, sponsors come to us and people ask us
to sit down at meetings with people. When you have a good idea like this, it’s
going to catch attention,” Malczewski said.

Your chance to learn more about the B-Team is February
24th at 7PM. The meeting is at Lafayette Presbyterian Church at 875 Elmwood.

Visit their website at bteambuffalo.com.



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