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Do Something: Ride Bikes, Feed the Homeless

PMA Bike Riders pedal pie to the homeless around Philadelphia. Plus, munch on ugly fruits and veggies, grow your neighborhood and more ways to satiate your need for good citizenship this week

Every Monday we round up a handful of fun ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email tips here.

Behold a New and Improved Donafy

Photo: Donafy.net

A launch party Monday night introduces the newly expanded version of Donafy, local disruptor Nikki Johnson-Huston‘s app that connects those in need with organizations that can help them. The gathering will introduce both Apple and Android versions of the app, which Johnson-Huston says allows more users to access the technology. She’ll also announce plans to create a desktop version of the platform, which she hopes will be released by summer. Besides all the new developments, Johnson-Huston also plans to use this affair to announce a partnership with Defenders Association of Philadelphia, which she says “has allowed us to more than double the organizations featured in the app, as well as expand to include re-entry services, services in Spanish, drug and alcohol treatment and youth services.” Stop by to check out all those developments and more. Food and drink will be available. Monday, January 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Benjamin’s Desk, 1701 Walnut Street, 8th Floor.

Discuss Neighborhood Growth

The future of our neighborhoods will be the topic of conversation Tuesday night at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (CCFGP)’s “Roadmap for Growth.” CCFGP has assembled a panel of civic, business and community leaders for a discussion about kickstarting growth and development projects in underserved areas of Philadelphia, including Mayor Kenney’s Chief of Staff Jane Slusser, HACE President and CEO Maria Gonzalez, Skip Schwarzman of Feast Your Eyes Catering and Ken Weinstein, who founded Jumpstart Germantown. The conversation will include a look at initiatives that have worked successfully in places like South Kensington, East Passyunk and Mount Airy, and the ways in which the same ideas can be implemented in lagging neighborhoods that need it most. Tuesday, January 24, 5:30-7 p.m., $35, 1750 N. Front Street. 

Get Mad, Then Get Elected

Urging local people to run for public office is something we’ve waxed on about on numerous occasions here at The Citizen. Running for local office could be one of the most effective tools to bring the change we need to local politics. Philadelphia 3.0 thinks an excellent place to start is running for a commiteeperson seat in your ward. This week, the organization hosts a workshop called “Get Mad, Then Get Elected” that’ll cover everything you need to not only start a campaign as a Ward Committeeperson, but how to win. A handful of presenters, like attorney and campaign finance expert Adam Bonin and Felicia Harris from Influencing Action Movement will dole out tips and tricks on everything from running a local campaign on a budget, identifying your win number and getting your voters out to the polls. A handful of current committeepeople, like 36th Ward Committeeperson Jen Devor, will be on hand to talk about their experience on the job and how to get the most impact out of the role. At the end of the night, you’ll walk away with all that knowledge plus a few invaluable resources, including walk-lists of supervoters in your division and personalized campaign materials. All that’s left is announcing your candidacy. Wednesday, January 25, 6-9 p.m., $10, Pipeline Philly, 30 S. 15th Street. 

Dine on Ugly Fruits and Veggies

If you’re looking for a more civically engaged way to get involved with Center City Restaurant Week (which is taking place now through January 27), show up at Bistro 7 on Thursday night for not only a good meal, but a lesson on combatting food waste. The University of Maryland Alumni Association hosts “Ugly and Tasty,” an evening of dinner, drinks and discussion to honor Evan Lutz, founder of Hungry Harvest. The organization fights food waste by collecting blemished fruits and vegetables from local farms that would otherwise throw them away and moves them to hunger-fighting nonprofits like Philly’s Philabundance (you can also have a box delivered to your door CSA-style). The dining portion of the night comes courtesy of Bistro 7 Chef Michael O’Halloran, who will whip up delicious vegetarian creations out of some of the misfit fruits at Hungry Harvest. Proceeds from the $40 admission price benefit Philabundance. Thursday, January 26, 7:30 p.m., $40, Bistro 7, 7 N. Third Street. 

Ride Bikes, Feed the Homeless

Photo: PMA Bike Ride

Steamy slices of pizza will make their way into the hands of homeless people across Philadelphia Saturday, courtesy of a cool initiative from The Equality Coalition called PMA Bike Ride. Here’s how it works: You pedal your bike to Rosa’s Pizza in Center City between 5 and 7 p.m. There, you’ll be given at least one fresh pizza that you’ll simply deliver to homeless people around the city.

Organizers suggest bringing a bike with a rack to make the job easier, but it isn’t necessary. As they rather funnily stress on their event page, “it isn’t that hard to bike with a pizza.” If you don’t have a bicycle, rent one from Indiego. Or don’t. The point is putting food into the hands of the less-fortunate, so you can walk, drive, skateboard, whatever. After the deliveries are finished, join fellow PMA Bike Riders at Bob & Barbara’s, where you’ll be treated to a complimentary Citywide Special for a job well done.

If you’re wondering, PMA stands for “Positive Mental Attitude,” an idea that founder Joe Cox, advocacy coordinator at The Equality Coalition, says the mission is trying to spread. Besides the oozy, cheesy goodness, “We are trying to create a movement of positivity and love around the U.S.,” he says, noting that he hopes to take the movement across the States. For now, the ride happens at least once a month here in Philadelphia. Follow future updates here. You can also donate to help keep the pies flowing via this crowdrise link. Saturday, January 28, 5-7 p.m., Rosas Pizza, 25 S. 11th Street. 

Header photo by I Bike Fresno via Flickr

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