Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



Recap: The 2nd Annual BWB Global Wave of Service

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The Global Wave of Service (Formerly known as the BWB 128 Initiative) has helped create a culture of ongoing engagement of BWB projects in our Regional Burning Man Network. At the Global Leadership Conference we make a call to participate in a civic engagement project that expresses some of the Ten Principles and that can be accomplished in a day or evening. For 2016, there were 13 regional groups that answered the call to action and were represented from the United States, Canada and China. This is what was asked:

You may initiate your own project, or explore within your broader home community, identifying existing volunteer opportunities where your Burner family can collaborate and bring something special to that volunteer role for a day. Whatever you choose, make sure the projects are at the level of complexity you feel most comfortable with. Some examples can include a food or clothing collection at an event, food bank crew shift, costume neighborhood clean-up, a day on a Habitat build, wall painting project at a shelter, or a costumed bar crawl food & cash fundraiser.”

Big thanks to all the groups that participated and helped in their local communities!

AUSTIN: Graffiti Park Clean Up

Burners Without Borders - Corpus Christi

BWB Austin got together to clean up a local graffiti park of its litter and also of some hateful messages on the walls. Before the crew went to work, they participated in an eating ritual at a restaurant across the street appropiately named “Bacon.” After breakfast, the crew collected the recyclables and trash and covered the hate messages with messages of inspiration and love, including a BWB tag of course.

BWB Austin 2 BWB-Austin 2

DETROIT: BWB Detroit Street Store

BWB Detroit

BWB Detroit has been serving the homeless population, especially in the Winter time, for over 9 years with the Homeless Backpack Project, which distributes backpacks filled with essential items to the homeless. For this project, they created a “Street Pop-Up Store” so that those who live on the street can choose what exactly they need at that given time.

There was clothing, food and hygiene packs that were hung up for those to choose from. As with all the homeless oriented projects of BWB Detroit, those who received goods in the project were treated with kindness and dignity.

Burners Without Borders Detroit 2

SHANGHAI, CHINA: I Luv JCJH (Jam Crawl Jam Hop)

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In what can be a conservative environment in the city of Shanghai, a group of over 100 went to the streets to inspire the local community to rise above their fears and explore their creative talents in an inclusive and loving environment. Welcome to the JCJH or the Jam Crawl Jam Hop.

JCJH brought about people from all walks of life together, to simply make freeflowing beautiful music throughout the night and into the morning. There were pre-determined locations such as parks, rooftops and street corners and everyone brought their own instrument or voice, whatever it was. Sometimes the local police approached with intent to halt the celebration, and then ended up participating themselves! Each participant was encouraged to follow their own natural rhythm and flow. The Shanghai Burners would like the next ones are to be at local monasteries, villages and schools.

Burning Man China 1

NORTH TEXAS: FiVe- A Fundraiser Banquet


BWB North Texas hosted a feast of the senses as 5 chefs prepared a 5-course French meal on the 5th of November. The event was of course, called FiVe. Diners were accompanied by an immersive decor, fire performance, sculptures and an inflatable cuddle space with festivities lasting until the early morning. Over $1,500 was raised to support City Square, which provides tiny homes for the homeless in Dallas and the BWB compost toliet project at Standing Rock.

BWB North Texas 3 BWB North Texas 5

FLORIDA : BWB Costumed Beach Cleanup


BWB Florida had a clean up day picking up the MOOP (matter out of place) from Cypress Point Park. The event encouraged those who participated to come in their zaniest costumes, and of course, they did not disappoint. The park is on the beach and is the location of a monthly fire spin jam held by the local burner community. The vibrant crew hauled the bags of trash and glass to the local dumpsters on site, and made some interesting impressions to the local park go-ers.

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CHICAGO: The Community Grant Salon

Burners Without Borders Chicago 1

BWB Chicago hosted its 5th annual Community Grant Salon. Each year local grassroots organizations are invited to give short presentations of their work and all the attendees of the salon give their vote to where the funds will go that night. In the past 4 years, this unique event has raised over $10,000 for great causes in the Chicago region.

This year four organizations were chosen by a judging panel to attend and were then all awarded from the attendees votes. The South Merrill Community Garden received $1,500, the Girl Rising Teen Leadership Academy received $750 and the Jamieson Learning Garden and Chicago Plant Rescue Greenhouse both received $250.

Community Grant Salon Chicago 1 Community Grant Salon 2

VANCOUVER: Team BWBV for SOS Children’s Village Walk/Run

BWB Vancouver participated in the SOS Children’s Village British Columbia Walk/Run to help make a difference for over 9,000 BC children and youth in foster care. 
They registered as a team and collected pledges and raised $490 for the SOS Children’s Village. BWB-Vancouver members came in costume on the day of the walk/run and brought extra costumes for others who were interested to wear some. The founders of the SOS Children’s Village wore the costumes with pride! 

SOUTH FLORIDA: Artastic Artists for Autism 

BWB-South Florida

A group of specialized educators and artist volunteers got together to provide lessons of art to children on the autism spectrum. The students received instruction in art theory and technique and were also provided lessons in the business side of art and how to support oneself through active participation in a such avenues like a community art walk and in selling in a gallery. The classes were uniquely designed to provide these budding artists an opportunity to foster peer relationships, how to work well in teams and self-motivation practices as well. 

NEW JERSEY: Rockaway River Cleanup


A core crew of local New Jersey Burners got together to get dirty. They went out to the Rockaway River and there they cleared all sorts of good junk like logs, car tires, miscallaneous trash, and yes, even a dead cat. The team represented BWB as part of a larger project organized by community members of the town of Denville in New Jersey.

GEORGIA: Santa Con!

Burners Georgia 1

BWB-Georgia and the Dirty Southern Burners celebrated its 10th anniversary of Santa Con and called the event A Decade of Red. The annual event usually draws around 500 Burners from throughout the South East region of the US. It is a time to be merry, and to celebrate the year along with helping some local causes. 

This year, through the merry merchants of the pubs and restaurants along the Santa Walk, the group collected over $700 that was contributed to the designated charity, DrawChange, which is an empowering art program for children in need. In addition to the funding raised, participants contributed canned food for a LGBTQ homeless youth organization and additional art supplies to be used by the children in the DrawChange project.

SANTA CRUZ, CA: Save Our Playa

Burners Without Borders- Santa Cruz 1

Santa Cruz burners partnered with the local Santa Cruz organization Save Our Shores to do an afternoon beach clean up at Panther Beach. Dozens of participants gathered to collect over 80 pounds of trash and 45 pounds of recycling. The clean up ended with a social bonfire that was themed around educating Burning man virgins who were going to Burning Man for the first time. 

NORTH BAY/NOR CAL: Breaking Barriers, One Ride at a Time


Volunteers in the northern counties of Sonoma and Mendocino outside of the San Francisco Bay Area provided bus passes to those with disabilities. The region is a vast and rural area and those with disabilities sometimes lack the financial resources for transportation to address their basic well being. Bus passes and vouchers were distributed to those who need it so they can gain some independence and take care of themselves by going to local clinics, pharmacies and grocery stores. 

ALABAMA: bHam Hop Food Drive

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A group of Alabama Burners held the bHam Hop. The mission of the event was to create greater awareness of the startling fact that the state of Alabama is currently having the 2nd highest food hardship in the United States, which is about 25% of the state’s population.

The event was fun in nature and included bunny costumes and an obstacle course for the “hoppers.” Art projects, including a make your own bunny ears were also available to the public, and most important of all, a food collection drive. Through this first time event, the Alabama collected over 40 pounds of food for a local shelter food pantry.


That wraps up the 2016 Global Wave of Service! Thank you so much again to the groups who answered the call to action and supported your local communities.

We will be having another one in 2017, so stay tuned! If you ever want to do your own project AT ANY TIME, please either connect with your local BWB Chapter or Regional Contact or contact us here at BWB at BMHQ. We are always open to exploring possibilities to foster civic engagement around the world. 

The projects were also displayed at Everywhere Pavilion at BRC 2016

The projects displayed at Everywhere Pavilion at BRC 2016


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