Meet Our Volunteers

What an amazing organization! It is changing lives. And the reaction of the people who receive a backpack, filled with life saving items from food and basic toiletries to rain gear and space blankets for the cold months, is priceless.

This is a project that benefits everyone! Each quarter, the backpacks have different items depending on the season. We even offer food for those homeless brothers and sisters who have a dog or cat with them.

And this project is growing exponentially. We are going from 150 to 300 backpacks.

Stocking the backpacks is a great bonding experience. Giving them away is even a more rewarding experience because it makes you realize that no matter what you may be going through, it probably is less stressful than being on the streets of NYC!

If you can, get involved with this project be it by donating financially or volunteering. It will have an everlasting impact on you!

Emil Gavrailov, Manhattan

I read about BFTS online and was immediately inspired by Jeffrey and Jayson. Volunteering in July was an amazing experience, and brought so much joy and hope to the people we met on the street, as well as to all of the volunteers.

Not to be cheesy, but my faith in humanity is restored! Thank you for all your hard work, passion and compassion!

Laura Sander, Greenwich Village

Jeffrey and Jayson are two angels sent by God to help our community. They are a kind, humble and hardworking couple who are motivated to help the homeless population in NYC.

I was fortunate to have volunteered with them recently. Distributing backpacks filled with essential stuff helped many homeless individuals on the streets. Living in NYC I realized that its very easy to just walk past a needy homeless man, but it takes a lot of courage to stop and help that same man.

David Guddoo, Long Island City

I had an absolutely wonderful experience volunteering with BFTS. It was extremely well organized. Jeffrey and Jayson did an amazing job, and it is obvious how much this organization means to both of them. The volunteers were all such positive, compassionate people. They helped make this experience even more rewarding.

I look forward to volunteering with this group again, and would strongly encourage anyone who is able and available to do the same.

Erin Nicole, Philadelphia

Always organized, great communication, and a mission with more heart and soul than most, BFTS was an incredible volunteering experience with a diverse group of people showing the power of working towards a common goal. I’ll definitely do this again.

Courtney Wilson, Manhattan

Amazing work! So much compassion and generosity from the two wonderful humans doing this out of the goodness of their heart. All the donated money goes to the homeless in a way that will make a difference to their lives.

We take so much for granted, and unfortunately the homeless people living on the dirty streets of New York City are just dismissed. Jeffrey and Jayson not only provide them with essentials, they also treat them like human beings.

Irina Soko, Long Island

I’ve only volunteered with Backpacks for the Street once but it will definitely not be the last time. They responded to my message right away and we even met that same day. They are kind, generous, and truly care about what they do. Their unwavering dedication impresses me to no end and I can’t wait to see what big things are in store for this organization.

Elisabeth Kern, Manhattan

For homeless people living on the street, life is a daily battle for survival. At the end of the day, there is no guarantee of dinner, no one to turn to for support, and no safe place to call home. In a city with a population of over eight million, homeless people often feel isolated, invisible and insignificant.

What I love about BFTS is that we acknowledge, respect and engage people living on the street in the moment, right where they are. It doesn’t matter where people are from, how they ended up homeless, or what their story may be, BFTS brings humanity and compassion in the form of a warm smile, friendly conversation, resource information and a backpack filled with items to help make living on the street a little easier.

It’s amazing how a little kindness, a handshake, and showing people you care can make a huge difference in someone’s day, maybe their life.

Clarice Nakata Hall, Greenpoint

BFTS is an organization with nothing but love at its core. Jayson and Jeffrey run an outstanding non-profit that touches the hearts of not only the homeless, but also the volunteers. I can’t say enough good things about them!

Katherine Myers, Manhattan

This is a great organization. It’s so nice to meet people who truly care about the welfare of others, without expecting anything in return. Volunteering with this group was a wonderful experience and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

Jessica Anne, New Jersey

I’ve volunteered with BFTS. This organization is providing a vital service to people who are homeless and unaware of housing options that may be available to them. The charity does more than just give out backpacks.

I found the experience truly great. That the CEO does nightly runs distributing backpacks shows the level of dedication involved to help end homelessness. I was so proud to have seen the charity showcased in a segment of the news and I look forward to continuing my volunteering with them, as well as donating.

Michael-Alexander Raphael Gomez, Bronx

People say they’d give the shirt off their back. No one does. The J’s do. One time five years ago, a guy had no socks on and asked if the church had any. They did not. Jayson took off his own socks off and handed them to man in the middle of winter. The next week, Jayson showed up with a half dozen pairs of socks for him.

Alan Scott, Astoria

Helping the homeless was a value I learned at St. John’s University. Years after graduating, I searched for organization that I could support, not only financially, but with both my time and energy, as well as see the fruits of my contribution and labor, right before my very eyes.

BFTS is that very organization. Jeffrey and Jayson put together an organization with the most amazing groups of people who have the biggest hearts, and who become instant family. If you have time, do it!

Robert Carr, Staten Island

Volunteer With Us

13 + 10 =

I encourage everyone to write a check or volunteer for Backpacks For The Street. NYC is fast-paced and crowded and it’s too easy to pass by, not notice—or pretend not to notice—the suffering that goes on right under your nose. BFTS doesn’t only provide basic supplies to help homeless folks cope with their situation, but, thanks to Jayson and Jeffrey’s hands-on approach, the organization brings a a sense of hope and dignity to every person it serves.

Eddie Sarfaty, Manhattan

I volunteered to help distribute backpacks full of supplies to people that have fallen on hard times and are forced to live on the streets. BFTS is direct impact charity that has a heart!

Ron Shuman, Hell's Kitchen

Although they are just starting their non-profit, Jeffrey and Jayson have managed to make and influence a positively great change in the lives of the volunteers and recipients of the backpacks. These guys not only oversee the entire operation, but they keep their volunteers educated and interested in the cause and the process.

As New Yorkers, we are almost guaranteed to come across a homeless person when we are out and about. Even if we have chose to turn a blind eye, or simply just stop noticing them, they are there. Although most of us assume the lifestyle is warranted, we never know the real reason someone may have ended up living on the street.

BFTS not only creates awareness to the urgency of the situation, but provides hope and reassurance that there are people who care and are going to do something to help.

I will definitely volunteer again, and would recommend this non-profit to anyone who wants to make a positive difference in the lives of those who need it.

Alejandro Pagán, Bronx

This is the best organization to join if you want to directly be a part of helping the homeless. The backpacks, with food and necessities, offers a great way to start a conversation with people living on the street. Having someone to talk to is desperately needed, especially if you live on the street and feel invisible.

David Sulieman Falcone, Manhattan

Helping Jeffrey and Jayson on their crusade of reaching out to homeless has opened my eyes and realized that we could, should do more.

Their efforts to reach out to homeless is courageous and kind, to say the least. Volunteering is an experience we should try at least once, or better yet, on regular basis.

If more people follow the example of Jeffrey and Jayson, we could bring about changes for good. Love and kindness, and empathy and compassion can go a long way; so do donations, which help to keep BFTS’ labor of love going for a long, long time.

Miguel Jurado, Manhattan

I have had the pleasure of participating with BFTS, and it was such a joy to be able to reach out to those less fortunate with essential needs and encouraging words.

This organization is a blessing to New York City, for both the needy, and for those who wish to extend a helping hand, especially during the holiday season. The volunteers are dedicated in their commitment to one another and the homeless, reminding us that we ought to practice charity every day.

God’s grace is certainly on display through the efforts of BFTS.

Reed McGowan, Manhattan

I have never met two people who are so dedicated to helping people in need and being so selfless with compassion. My Gran-gran would say “they are on the side of the angels sent from the heavens.” To see them in action is inspiring and a blessing.

My buddy Rico and I volunteered with them a few years ago to feed the homeless and hungry in Brooklyn. These fellows are like no others I’ve ever met. They really walk the walk.

Marret Lequix, Fort Greene

I was fortunate to have met Jayson and Jeffrey at a community meal and food pantry in Greenpoint, last year. When I first heard of BFTS, I knew it would be a success and really wanted to contribute. I was out of town for the first outing but luckily I was able to help this July.

If anyone out there is looking to volunteer some of their time or donate some money or goods, I highly recommend BTFS. Not only are Jayson and Jeffrey extremely dedicated, they are also very good at what they do.

You will also have the opportunity to hang out with some pretty amazing people and know that you are helping some awesome people too.

Carlos Jesus, Brooklyn

These guys are the real deal. They’re rock stars. I’ve never seen two people walk the walk the way they do.

When I tested HIV 7 years ago, I flipped out. I spiraled out. I lost my job and my apartment, and ended up in a shelter. I wanted to die. Jeffrey Newman saw a post of mine and reached out. He got me into treatment and in an apt. Please support these guys. We need more people like this.

Wayne Laurents

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