Bee and plant themed yellow graphic reads "Thank you! With your help, we raised $39,293 benefiting Pollinator Partnership

Thanks for Supporting the Pollinator Partnership By Shopping Our Earth Day $1 Sale!

 

Did you shop the $1 Sale at Buffalo Exchange on Earth Day weekend? If so, give yourself a pat on the back: thanks to secondhand-savvy shoppers like yourself, we raised $39,293 for Pollinator Partnership, the world’s leading non-profit dedicated to improving the health and habitats of pollinators in North America and around the globe! Psst… now’s the perfect time to plant your pollinator-friendly garden. If you’re looking to foster your green thumb, check out Pollinator Partnership’s regional planting guides.

Woman wearing floral skirt set holds a Buffalo Exchange tote bag standing in front of a pop up canopy

On Saturday, April 23rd, customers around the country queued up at their local Buffalo Exchange stores to shop a special selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for just $1 apiece. Rising early to arrive with dollar bills in hand and empty tote bags in-tow, these shoppers knew this $1 Sale would be too good to miss. Luckily, despite a few drops of rain here and there, Saturday was a beautiful day and the sale went off without a hitch! 

Crowd of people standing in front of Buffalo Exchange New Orleans's teal exterior

As the first Earth Day $1 Sale after a 2-year hiatus, this year’s sale was all the more special. Tons of excited customers came out to put their dollars to excellent use and support The Pollinator Partnership. Since starting this sale in 1997, our Earth Day $1 sales have raised upwards of $757,694 for a variety of animal and environmental causes. In recent years, the $1 sale brought in over $50,000 apiece for The 5 Gyres Institute, which works to reduce microplastics in our oceans, and The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team.

Two people smiling stand next to each other holding armfuls of clothes

If you didn’t get a chance to shop this year, don’t fall to the FOMO just yet  — we’ll be back in April 2023 with another great environmental organization to support! And remember, you can celebrate the earth year-round by selling your closet cleanout and shopping sustainably at Buffalo Exchange. Shopping secondhand keeps clothing out of landfills and reduces pollution! Plus, with each shopping trip, you’ll have the chance to donate 5 cents to one of several local non-profits doing good in your community through our Tokens for Bags® program. Don’t think 5 cents can make a difference? Since 1994, Tokens for Bags® has raised over $893,860 for thousands of non-profits nationwide and kept over 17.8 plastic bags from polluting the environment. If you’re interested in letting your closet cleanout spark joy for someone new, we buy from open to close, 7 days a week, no appointment necessary. Stop in anytime!


illustration of a bat, bee, butterfly, hummingbird, insects and flowers

Our Earth Day $1 Sale is Back!

Photo Credit: Pollinator Partnership

Who: Buffalo Exchange, of course!
What: A special selection of clothing for just $1 apiece with all proceeds going to Pollinator Partnership. ***CASH ONLY***
When: Saturday, April 23rd. Sale starts at normal opening hours for your local store
Where: All Buffalo Exchange Locations (Excluding Buffalo Outlets in Nogales, AZ and San Antonio, TX)

Mark your calendars and get your dollar bills ready, because on April 23rd, all Buffalo Exchange locations (with the exception of the Buffalo Outlets) will be hosting the annual Earth Day $1 Sale! You heard that right: you can shop a special selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for just ONE DOLLAR apiece, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of pollinators in order to sustain healthy ecosystems. That means each item you purchase at the $1 Sale will contribute directly to the improvement of critical habitats for these special species that keep our planet full of food, fruits and flowers! On the day of the Earth Day $1 Sale, all Buffalo Exchange stores will open during regular business hours, but it’ll be far from your typical Buffalo shopping trip — customers tend to line up early, with empty bags ready to be stuffed full of $1 items – so plan to arrive early and make sure to stop by the ATM on your way!  

hummingbird drinking from orange flower

So… What’s the Buzz with Pollinators? 

When you think about pollination, you probably picture a bee flying from bloom to bloom, drinking nectar and carrying with it the pollen needed to produce seeds for the next generation of plants and fruits. But did you know we also rely on bats, butterflies, birds, moths and other small mammals to spread pollen? These pollinators are all part of an intricate system crucial for repopulating 75-95% of the flowering plants that contribute to agriculture, natural resources and our food supply! In recent years, the decline of natural habitats, overuse of chemicals and changing climate patterns have had a negative impact on these pollinator populations – but don’t bee discouraged, the Pollinator Partnership is here to help!

Jamaican Fruit Bat covered with pollen sitting on pink flower buds

An Earth Day Initiative for Everyone 

The Pollinator Partnership started in San Francisco, California and has been studying pollinators for over three decades, providing scientific research and data, school educational programs and workshops to help educate the community, along with government initiatives and conservation efforts that now span the globe! They have programs to study migratory species like bats and Monarch butterflies that take flight to Mexico, various projects researching bee populations in places like Africa and South America, a dedicated Pollinator Partnership in Canada and established networks in Europe. Here in the United States, they offer up a wealth of information about gardens and farming, seeds and restoration for your region, leaving you no shortage of ways to get involved.

 

Did you know? Pollinators are responsible for:

  • 1 in 3 bites of the food you eat!
  • ½ of the world’s oil, fiber and raw materials
  • Prevention of soil erosion
  • Contribution of 217 billion dollars to the global economy
  • Cleaning the air we breathe
  • Supporting other wildlife and their natural habitats
  • And even protection from severe weather conditions
monarch butterfly on pink flowers
photo credit: Pollinator Partnership

How Do You Become a Pollinator Partner? 
Check our blog and social media regularly throughout April, where we’ll be sharing easy pollination tips, announcing some fun surprises and continuing to share info about our Earth Day $1 Sale benefiting the Pollinator Partnership. 

Want to get a jump start? Here are three things you can do today:

  1. Save the date: April 23rd! When you shop the Buffalo Exchange $1 Sale, you’ll be directly supporting the Pollinator Partnership’s efforts (not to mention scoring cute clothes!)
  2. Tell your friends – share your excitement and the new info you’ve learned about the importance of pollinating species. Then, of course, bring them shopping to support the cause!
  3. Check out the Pollinator Partnership website – they showcase lots of ways you can help our planet’s pollinators, including regional planting guides and handy cards that make it easy to choose plants for your home garden that will help attract and support the pollination process in your area. If that’s got you buzzing with excitement, stay tuned — we’ll be sharing more tips and tricks to becoming a Pollinator Hero all month long!
bee sitting on yellow flowers
photo credit: Pollinator Partnership

6 Charities You Can Support by Shopping at Buffalo Exchange

6 Non-Profits You Can Support by Shopping at Buffalo Exchange

 

Every six months, we support new local non-profits through our Tokens for Bags® program. Instead of giving out bags, we give customers the opportunity to donate five cents (the cost of the bag) to one of four local non-profits each time they shop. Since starting this program in 1994, we’ve raised over 803,000 for thousands of local organizations and kept over 16 million single-use plastic bags out of the environment. Read on for a sampling of some of the heartwarming orgs you can support right now!

Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

When you shop at Buffalo Exchange Nashville, you can support The Elephant Sanctuary. This non-profit provides captive elephants with individualized care, the companionship of a herd & the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their well-being.

Love a bulldog

Love-A-Bull in Austin

Love-A-Bull promotes responsible guardianship & improves the image & lives of pit bull-type dogs through community support, education, advocacy & rescue. You can support these adorable pit-bulls just by shopping at Buffalo Exchange Austin!

Artreach San Diego

Artreach in San Diego

Artreach provides free visual arts residencies & mural programs in schools throughout San Diego County regardless of zip code or socioeconomic status so that kids can participate in uplifting murals like these. You can help out this awesome program when you shop at Buffalo Exchange San Diego (Pacific Beach). Just drop a token in their box!

Lessons for Life

Lessons For Life in Richmond

Do you love setting young adults up for success? Then give back to Lessons for Life when you shop at Buffalo Exchange Richmond! Lessons For Life provides high school students guidance with financial literacy, occupational opportunities, life skills, college tours and workforce etiquette.

Berkeley Humane

Berkeley Humane in San Francisco

These adorable furry faces need your help! And it’s easy to do when you shop at Buffalo Exchange San Francisco (Mission). Berkeley Humane provides life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivates compassion and strengthens the human-animal bond. Drop a token in their box next time you stop into the store!

Deeds not Words

Deeds Not Words

Deeds Not Words galvanizes the power of young women to advance gender equity through organizing, policy-making, art and voting. Show your support next time you shop at Buffalo Exchange Austin!

With Tokens for Bags®, not only can you support fantastic local non-profits in your community, but you also help out the environment by skipping the single-use plastic bag. If you do need a bag, Buffalo Exchange sells cute  reusable totes made of 70% recycled plastic bottles. What are you waiting for? Stop into your local Buffalo to support a wide variety of great local organizations!


Unidas Program members meet virtually in a Zoom conference call

Buffalo Exchange Donates $5,000 to Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona’s Unidas Program

 

This spring, Buffalo Exchange sponsored the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona’s Unidas, a philanthropic program that serves teens by teaching them how to give back to their local community. “We are incredibly excited and thankful for Buffalo Exchange’s generous gift and commitment to support Unidas each spring,” says Dr. Amalia Luxardo, WFSA’S CEO. “Their donation will not only enable our budding teen philanthropists to award a local grant, but will also give them a firsthand look at corporate social responsibility.”

 

Two members of Unidas smile for a photo
Photo from 2019 Unidas meeting

 

Focused on fostering a philanthropic spirit and supplying the knowledge and tools to create change in the community, Unidas gives young women the opportunity to grow while creating interpersonal connections with peers and mentors that will last a lifetime. “Unidas has given me so much valuable perspective on the world around me. I have met so many amazing, strong… inspiring young women through Unidas, which I wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Unidas participant Dylan Greenhill. “I have grown as a person, ally and advocate.”

 

Single member of Unidas stands in a room, smiling for photo. Other Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona stand out of focus in the background.

 

Kerstin Block and daughter Rebecca Block, Founder & VP of Buffalo Exchange, are excited for this chance to support young women in Tucson: ““As a predominantly female company, we’ve always felt strongly about empowering women,” says Kerstin. “We also believe in the importance of giving back to the communities we’re apart of. The Unidas program not only empowers young women, but it teaches them to be our future’s philanthropists. We’re proud to support that mission.”

 

11 girls in turquoise and purple polo shirts smile for a Unidas program group photo

 

Click here to learn more about Unidas and the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. For more of Buffalo Exchange’s community support initiatives, visit our Giving Back page!


Tokens for Bags

Tokens for Bags® Charities

Every six months, we support new local charities through our Tokens for Bags® program. Instead of giving out bags, we give customers the opportunity to donate five cents (the cost of the bag) to a charity of their choice. Our Tokens for Bags® program has raised over $893,860 for thousands of local charities since 1994, saving over 17.8 million bags from polluting the environment!

Find your local Buffalo Exchange below and check out the charities you can give back to.

Full Story


Equal Justice Initiative Fundraiser

$1 Sale Benefiting the Equal Justice Initiative

This past July, Buffalo Exchange Tucson hosted a socially distanced Dollar Sale to raise money for the Equal Justice Initiative. This fantastic organization works hard to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in America. The sale generated $2,390, with all proceeds going directly to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Customers Shopping

During this sale, we tried out a variety of new strategies to ensure a safe shopping environment for customers and employees. For example, we limited it to no more than 45 shoppers at a time in the large parking lot of the store; customers signed up in advance for a shopping time slot; and boxes of clothing were spaced at least six feet apart, while proper use of masks was required for all. We also had customers count their items into trash bags to reduce contact and encouraged contactless payment options like Venmo.

Employees at CheckoutPayment Options Sign

Overall, the sale was a great success! Customers were able to shop safely while scoring some amazing deals and supporting a great cause. Soon, we hope to hold more socially distanced $1 sales at all of our stores to raise money for a wide variety Black non-profit organizations.


Buffalo Exchange, Arts Award, Allison Miller, Bryan Falcon

Congrats to Allison Miller and Bryan Falcón – Recipients of the 2019 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award!

Each year, Buffalo Exchange teams up with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to award an artist in Southern Arizona with the Arts Award. Candidates are selected by two separate panels of experts who are familiar with the Southern Arizona Arts scene and judged based on both the candidates’ artistic endeavors and the impact they’ve made in the community. Since 1994, Buffalo Exchange has awarded almost $240,000 to 26 Southern Arizona artists.

Rebecca Block and Kerstin Block with Allison Miller and Bryan Falcón

For the 25th round of recipients in 2019, Buffalo Exchange Founder & President Kerstin Block and her daughter, Vice President Rebecca Block, celebrated by offering two awards of $10,000 – one in performing arts and one in visual arts.“We created the Arts Award because we believe art is essential to the well-being of the community,” says Kerstin. “This year, we’re glad for the chance to honor Allison and Bryan, who both have an incredible impact on the local area.”

Allison Miller with Buffalo Exchange Founder Kerstin Block and CFSA Director of Community Investments Kelly Huber

Meet Allison, a Tucson-Born Muralist
Allison Miller, a muralist and native of Tucson, has spent much of her career giving back to the community through public art projects. She currently coordinates and facilitates murals that are artistically accessible for community members, allowing young artists and other volunteers to contribute. “A lot of it for me is involving people in creating an identity for their specific space,” says Miller, “whether it’s a park or their jogging path. When people are invested in beautification, they keep it that way.” Having worked on dozens of murals, Miller’s art is a familiar sight and an ode to the unique identity of Tucson.

Scoundrel & Scamp Postcard: Images by Tim Fuller, Design by Cat Dog Mouse Media

Scoundrel & Scamp Production of Blood Wedding: Photo by Tim Fuller.

Bryan Falcón with Buffalo Exchange Founder Kerstin Block and CFSA Director of Community Investments Kelly Huber

Meet Bryan Falcón, Founder of Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre
Bryan Falcón, winner of the performing arts award, is the Artistic and Managing Director of the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, a nonprofit he founded with his wife after becoming enamored with the art scene and diverse culture of Tucson. Bryan believes that theater uplifts society by transporting people to places that they would not otherwise go. “We have a chance to step into somebody else’s skin for a little while and try to understand and, hopefully, walk away with some sort of connection to the heart,” says Bryan.

Allison Miller Mural

It’s reasons like these that Buffalo Exchange has continued this award for the past 25 years. “Art is not something that humans do when they have nothing else to do,” said Spencer Block, Buffalo Exchange co-founder. “Art is an essential part of the human condition. It happens everywhere and in all circumstances.” To learn more about the history of the Arts Award and to see a list of all other artists who’ve been honored over the years, visit the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona’s website!


Buffalo Exchange, HQ. Arts Award, Arts Award Honorees

Celebrating 25 Years of the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award!

Happy awards season, everyone! While we certainly love watching our favorite celebs strut the red carpet, there’s another important accolade that comes to mind: the 2019 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award! According to Buffalo Exchange co-founder Spencer Block, art is not “the cherry on top” of life — rather, it is “essential to the well-being of society”. For the past two and a half decades, Buffalo Exchange has supported the creative spirit of Southern Arizona by honoring local artists, and performers with the Arts Award. Read ahead to learn more about the history of the Award and some of our past honorees. 

How the Arts Awards Came to Be

In 1994, Kerstin and Spencer Block founded The Buffalo Exchange Arts Award in partnership with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA). Since that time, the Fund has awarded $10,000 a year to one deserving local artist. This has allowed artists to continue their work in the local community.  We are absolutely thrilled to celebrate 25 years of the Arts Award by honoring not just one, but two Southern Arizonans who’ve made a significant impact in the lives of fellow Arizonans through their work. This year’s dual award will go to Allison Miller for Visual Arts and Bryan Falcón for Performing Arts. They’ll both receive $10,000 to continue their excellent work in the community during a ceremony on January 30th, 2020 at the Community Foundation Campus.

Buffalo Exchange Arts Awards Honorees

Buffalo Exchange, Arts Award, Dante Celeiro

Dante Celeiro, Community Leader and 2018 Arts Award Recipient

Dante Celeiro is a leader in the LGBTQIA+ community of Tucson. After moving from NYC to the desert over 25 years ago, Dante has worked with the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and now manages Boys R Us, Arizona’s first gender performance group. Dante also created Fluxx, a non-profit organization that advocates for an open dialogue around queer culture and works to increase visibility of queer arts and culture through exhibitions, performance art and workshops.

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Interpretive Dance, Performing Arts Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Nathanael Meyers, Performing Arts

Nathanael Gregory Myers, Multi-Discipline Performing Artist and 2017 Arts Award Recipient 

As a multidisciplinary artist, Nathanael has showcased his art throughout a wide array of Tucson venues – most notably through his work with the Museum of Contemporary Art and through performances at Artifact Dance Project and The Rogue Theatre (you can also find some of his paintings hung in galleries across town!). A painter, dancer and musician, Nathanael works to combine romanticism, biology and elements of nature as he explores the mediums of visual and performing arts.

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Painter, Rachael Rios

Rachael Rios, Visual Artist and 2016 Arts Award Recipient

The 2016 Buffalo Exchange Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Award went to artist Racheal Rios. Rachael is a native Tucsonan who describes her drawings as a reflection of her relationship with the desert and the things that inhabit it — common elements of her artwork include cactus flowers and various Arizona wildlife such as coyotes, javelinas and jaguars.

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Rick Wamer, Performing ArtistBuffalo Exchange, HQ. Arts Award, Rick Wamer, Performing Artist

Rick Wamer, Visual & Performing Artist and 2015 Arts Award Recipient 

Rick Wamer has been described by Tucson Weekly as “part dancer, part actor, part comedian”. Mentored by the famed French actor and mime Marcel Marceau, Rick is a globally recognized performing artist who inspires and touches the lives of thousands each year. Rick is the co-founder of Embody Learning in Tucson.

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Musician, Chris Black

Chris Black, Performing Artist and 2014 Arts Award Recipient

Chris Black is a composer and performer from Tucson. Currently playing primarily as a solo double bassist, he is the founder of the alt-classical chamber music concert series ChamberLab.

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Arts Award, Artist, Heather Green Heather Green, Visual Artist and 2010 Arts Award Recipient

The 2010 Arts Award was bestowed upon visual artist Heather Green. In Green’s own words, her work examines the “historical and ecological narratives of the Northern Gulf of California and Sonoran Desert.” A Tucson native, Heather currently works in Tempe as Assistant Professor of Book Arts at Arizona State University.

Since its creation in 1994, Buffalo Exchange has awarded over $214,000 to artists in Southern Arizona. As we look forward to the next decade, we’re reminded of a quote from Spencer Block: “Artists are the visionaries. They go where no one has gone and show us the way.” In 2020 and the years beyond, we can count on Buffalo Exchange and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to continue to celebrate artists in our community so they may continue their work, and in turn, continue to show us the way into the future.


Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Tokens for Bags, Giving Back

When You Shop at Buffalo Exchange, You Support These Charities!

 

If you’ve been to Buffalo Exchange, you may have seen Tokens for Bags® boxes near the checkout counter and wondered how they work. At Buffalo, it’s important to us to have a positive impact on the communities we’re apart of and on the environment. So, instead of giving out single-use plastic bags, we give shoppers 5 cent tokens to donate to their choice of three local charities. Since 1994, we’ve raised over $778,000 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations across the United States. We’ve also kept over 15.5 million plastic bags out of the environment!  Read ahead to find out more about some of the non-profits you can support right now just by shopping at your local Buffalo Exchange.

Providing Love and Care to Senior Dogs at Frosted Faces

Frosted Faces Foundation, Animal Humane, Tokens for Bags

Frosted Faces, Animal Humane, Smiling Puppy, Tokens for Bags

You can donate a charity token to Frosted Faces any time you shop at our San Diego, Pacific Beach location. Frosted Faces advocates and delivers quality veterinary care for senior animals whose lives are in jeopardy. By the looks on their adorable faces, you can see how much these love bugs appreciate all of the help and affection they receive from this awesome non-profit!

Fostering Creativity & Sustainability with Turnip Green

Turnip Green, Recycling, Tokens for Bags

Love helping the environment? Drop a charity token in Turnip Green’s box any time you shop at our Nashville, Tennessee location. Turnip Green fosters creativity and sustainability through community education and reuse, diverting usable material from landfills. In particular, they collect paper and plastic products to use in artist workshops and after-school programs for children throughout the greater Nashville area. We love what Turnip Green does to help reduce waste and keep our planet green!

Keeping Active and Promoting Wellness through Chicago Run

Chicago Run, Tokens for Bags, Children Playing in Sports Field

 

Support Chicago Run when you shop at Buffalo Exchange Chicago (Wicker Park). They promote the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging and sustainable youth running programs. Their goal is to improve and enhance the physical fitness and social/emotional well-being of all participants, ages pre-K through high school. Chicago Run serves 18,000 children and youth from 36 diverse neighborhoods throughout the area!

These are just a few of many amazing organizations you can support through Tokens for Bags®. Because of customers like you, we’re able to give back to communities across the US, so treat yourself to a feel-good shopping trip! Want to know which charities you can support when you stop by your local Buffalo Exchange? Find out more on our Tokens for Bags® page!


Dante Celeiro Receives 2018 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award

 

By Savy Kroop and header art by Jessica Gonzalez

Every year, the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award honors a member of the local art community in Southern Arizona with $10,000 so that they can continue doing their great work. On January 29, 2019, family, friends and other local artists gathered at the University of Arizona Poetry Center to celebrate as this year’s winner, Dante Celeiro, accepted the award.

Dante Celeiro accepting the 2018 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award from Kerstin Block, Founder of Buffalo Exchange

History of the Arts Award

The Buffalo Exchange Arts Award was established in 1994 by Buffalo Exchange founders Kerstin Block and Spencer Block to highlight emerging artists in the performing and visual arts as well as individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts through education, organization and advocacy. Each year, candidates are selected by two separate panels of experts who are familiar with the Southern Arizona Arts scene. Over the years, Buffalo Exchange has worked alongside the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to award over $200,000 to 24 Southern Arizona artists.

Community Leader Dante Celeiro

Hailing from NYC before heading to the Southwest, Dante has been involved with social activism in the arts community for over 25 years. He started the Tucson AIDS memorial quilt panels at the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and now manages Boys R Us, Arizona’s first gender performance troupe. Feeling that there needed to be more safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, he also created Fluxx, a non-profit that advocates open dialogue about queer culture. The organization aims to boost visibility and encourage the creation of queer arts and culture through exhibitions, performance art and workshops. Fluxx recently hosted a 10-week “School of Drag” program, for example, that taught 11- to 16-year-olds about the history of drag, makeup, costumes, wigs and dance.

Photo by Rachel Castillo

At Buffalo Exchange, we know that we owe our success to the communities that surround us. “We’ve always believed that art is essential to the well-being of the community,” says Buffalo Exchange Founder Kerstin Block, “and Dante really exemplifies that. He has dedicated himself to mentoring young people in the arts and providing them with safe spaces where they can be themselves. We’re proud to support someone who has done so much for LGBTQ youth.”