About the Sit-a-thon

The Brooklyn Sit-a-thon is a borough-wide event where we join together on May 11th to spend a day in sitting meditation as a way to raise funds for the Awake Youth Project – a program coordinated by Brooklyn Zen Center in partnership with Brooklyn College Community Partnership to bring mindfulness and meditation programs to Brooklyn youth.

Many of the young people with whom we work live with considerable economic hardship and risk for violence. They struggle with enormous stress, anxiety, anger and other strong emotions that make an already demanding life schedule all the more difficult. Consequently Awake Youth Project’s high school-based groups employ meditation and mindfulness practices to address the many challenges in the lives of our youth.

Now going into our fourth year, requests for replication of these groups are emerging. However the volunteer efforts that have been the backbone of this endeavor require funding for stabilization so that we can continue with our programs at Erasmus and Jefferson high schools as well as other schools who are requesting our programming.

For this reason we launched the annual Brooklyn Sit-a-thon! This year we are hoping to raise $40,000 from participants willing to ask their family, friends, and communities to sponsor them in a day of sitting meditation. We feel confident that 50 participants willing to ask 20 friends for $40 will take us right up to our goal in no time!

This $40,000 will go toward staffing, supplies and space so that Brooklyn’s teens can come together to support one another in meditation and mindfulness practices that support all other aspects of their lives as they mature and deepen into wholehearted members of our community. We are also using the funds to expand to new schools. Although public high schools are willing to offer funds in support of this programming, it is not usually enough to cover the true costs of the programming.

So on May 11th, we will be sitting meditation together from 9am–7pm. Our commitment is to the entire day with breaks as needed. We want to take care of our bodies of course! Currently the venue will be Brooklyn Zen Center unless interest in the event results in our growing out of the space. If that happens, we will notify you of any changes in plenty of time.

To join this effort to bring mindfulness and meditation practice to our community’s youth, please read here about setting up a First Giving profile where you will find everything you need to get started. For details on the day itself, read here. For support with raising gifts, you can download our fundraising guide by clicking here. Thank you for the generous support of your time! See you on May 11th!