Hippies for Hope: Tie-dye for a Purpose

Hippies for Hope sells shirts and stickers during the farmer’s market in the Lecture Center (outside once the weather is nicer) every Thursday. Pictured is co-president Kira Boccasino. Photo by Nicole Bressi

Tie dye shirts aren’t the only things the SUNY New Paltz Hippies for Hope branch creates. They spread kindness for those in need and their donations support secondary donations overseas.

The organization spreads kindness to those in need, and their donations support secondary donations overseas. 

Hippies for Hope is a grassroots non-profit organization that has six branches including: Ballston Spa, New Paltz, Geneseo, Berkeley, Cortland and Brockport. Ashlie Busone, creator of Hippies for Hope, was inspired to help children after babysitting two girls one summer. She tie-dyed with them and saw the bright smiles on their faces. Busone wanted to make shirts for pediatric wards, and since then the success of her mission has grown. 

In the second year, “Ashlie was asked by a non-profit called Nurturing Minds to donate shirts to girls in Tanzania, which is why we still donate a portion of our proceeds,” said Kira Boccasino, co-president of Hippies for Hope.

The six branches combined have sold over 3,000 shirts and have raised $5,000 towards supporting education.

Each time the New Paltz branch sells a shirt, they donate a shirt to a child in Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York.  The New Paltz Hippies for Hope club also gives half of their proceeds to James House, a non-profit organization in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Boccasino said Kelsey Simmons, one of the co-founders of the New Paltz branch, studied abroad in South Africa where she worked with the James House. The club wanted to donate there to uphold a legacy.

Hippies for Hope was created to spread awareness of social problems and secondary education here and abroad. Last year the club raised over $600 for the James House. 

“Being a part of this club is important to me because it warms my heart to know that the hard work that we put in together makes an impact on children’s lives. Within my life I hope to feel that same feeling in whatever I end up doing,” said secretary for Hippies of Hope Dia Delgado. 

Those interested can donate to Hippies for Hope by buying tie-dye t-shirts at the New Paltz farmers market on Thursdays in the Lecture Center, which is soon to be outside once the weather gets warmer. They sell their t-shirts for $10, long sleeves for $15 and stickers for $1.

“By creating, selling and donating our shirts/proceeds, we hope to spread more smiles to sick children and help out those in need overseas. Hippies for Hope allows us to have a creative outlet while also helping so many different people. We hope that we can continue to do that,” Boccasino said. 

The club hosts a lot of tie-dye events and is excited about educating people for a good cause. Through Hippies for Hope’s tabeling across campus, they encourage people to ask questions about what they do. Members enjoy telling the origin behind the club and how they help many children, along with the classic collaborative event of tie dying together. 

“We love when people give us suggestions on what we should do next,” said member Jennifer-Biana Gelman.

Hippies for Hope meets twice a month on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in SUB 402. The club posts on social media and sends out emails about meeting times and events they are hosting. Their Instagram is @newpaltzhippies and email is hippiesforhopesunynp@gmail.com.