Director of Community Education and Engagement
Brooklyn Community Services
DEEPER COMMITMENTS YIELD BIGGER IMPACT
Fast fact: Tweet her @tina_ reintamm
Social justice work at nonprofits in the summers between her college years inspired a full-time career in community engagement for Kristina Reintamm. Since 2012, she has helped to quadruple Brooklyn Community Services’ volunteer base. She runs BCS 360° sessions to attract new volunteers each month and developed their signature annual volunteer initiative: Spring into Action. She developed the Brooklyn Stand Up! panel series and organized a BCS Community Engagement Summit, which featured several Brooklyn community leaders who encouraged attendees to give back. Kristina is a first-generation immigrant to Brooklyn from Russia.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF
KR: I am actually particularly proud of our Spring into Action volunteer initiative, which I built up when I took over running our volunteer program. We have a really popular volunteer program. We were named one of the best places to volunteer in Brooklyn by Brooklyn Magazine. We have 900 people volunteer with us every year. So that’s definitely what I see as something I’m really, really proud of and I’m proud that every year that we have Spring into Action we try something new. We try a project that we’ve never tried before. We put that trust in the community that people will work with us and they’ll be open to a project that’s a little less traditional. So I’m also really proud that every year we’ve been able to try a new thing and it’s worked.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
KR: I think what would be really great is if a lot of our volunteers who we love and we appreciate would, in addition to volunteering with us for a one-time project and task-oriented projects, would essentially magnify their impact by having a vision of volunteerism that also includes board service and philanthropy and activism. I think what we’re really trying to accomplish in the volunteer department is to push people to commit a little bit deeper.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
KR: At BCS we have an annual walk in Prospect Park. It’s our annual fundraising walk which uses the model where friends support their friends or sponsor their friends. It’s called One BK Unite, and something I would love to see is for the walk to become a real movement. My dream is that one day in the future the walk raises $100,000 and brings out 500 people. I’d love to see it turn into a real movement for Brooklyn that unites our community around the issues of poverty.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
KR: I tell people this all the time, but I really wish people knew just how passionate and dedicated our staff is here at Brooklyn Community Services.