Mutual Aid NYC Newsletter
Moving Support, the History and Politics of Mutual Aid in the US, grocery delivery volunteering, and Buy Nothing groups
March 4th, 2022
A snapshot of what you’ll find below:
MANYC’s Housing Moving Support team helps those who have found housing turn it into a home, and is looking for volunteers!
Learn about the long history and political impact of mutual aid in the US
Opportunities to get involved in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and virtually
Reduce consumption by joining your local Buy Nothing group
Crown Heights Mutual Aid is hosting a Community Party Giveaway and Sway on March 12!
MANYC Spotlight: Housing Moving Support Team
More than 45,000 unhoused New Yorkers, a third of them children, are currently living in city shelters. Many others live without adequate housing on the city’s streets
The process of securing more permanent housing is physically taxing and time-intensive, so when individuals and families do have the opportunity to move, they can often use a hand. MANYC’s Housing Moving Support Team connects folks who are preparing to transition into more permanent accommodations with other New Yorkers who can help
The group sources affordable furniture—from couches and beds to pots, pans, and lamps—and organizes teams of movers and drivers, equipped with a 14-foot truck, for day-of support
If you want to get involved, they are always looking for help and offer both in-person and virtual opportunities listed below:
Moving Volunteer (in-person, 3-4 hrs/wk): help with moves on day-of which may be physically taxing, help with planning moves
Volunteer Coordinator (urgent need, virtual, 3-4 hrs/wk): coordinate moves, find roles for volunteers
Furniture Inventory Manager (urgent need, virtual, 3-4 hrs/wk): help organize furniture donations, keep track donation database, facilitate pickups
Moving volunteers are needed on the following dates: Mar 5, Mar 19. To find out more and sign up, email email@example.com. You can also contribute financially to moving support and learn more about the project here
Video: The History and Impact of Mutual Aid in America
How well do you know the history of mutual aid? Some may cite Peter Kropotkin’s famous writings on the topic, but less know of its long history in the US as a cornerstone of oppressed communities.
This video contextualizes the history of mutual aid in the US and discusses its political significance from the Free African Society in 1787 to sociedades mutualistas and labor unions to the Black Panthers to today.
Get informed! → Watch the video here
Written and produced by:
Tyesha Maddox is an Assistant Professor of History at Fordham University and a historian of African American and Afro-Caribbean Mutual Aid movements
Dan Joslyn is a PhD candidate in History at NYU and historian of feminist socialism, whiteness and settler colonialism
Election maps are redrawn after each census, and the post-2020 census/2022 election maps have been released!
Get informed! → Find out what congressional, assembly, and senate district you’re now in here
It is increasingly difficult for homeless families to enter homeless shelters. Advocates cite an overly complicated application process, made worse by the pandemic. Even small gaps in prior residential paperwork or uncooperative third parties can lead to a rejection
Only 24% of applications from families were accepted in 2021, down from 40-50% pre-pandemic
Of those accepted, 62% needed to apply more than once, and 31% applied more than three times
On the Upside
Kristen Gonzalez, a Mutual Aid NYC volunteer and Queens native, is running for State Senate in the new 17th district (Western Queens & North Brooklyn)!
A Starbucks in Astor Place, near Bensonhurst Park in Brooklyn and at the Roastery in Chelsea filed for a union vote. Over 65 stores have filed petitions to hold union elections despite Starbucks’s union busting efforts
Link Up with Your Local Mutual Aid Group!
South Brooklyn Mutual Aid is looking for warehouse volunteers and drivers for their grocery mass distribution program (mass distro). Mass distro happens every other Saturday with the next delivery on March 12
Please sign up to volunteer here and request groceries here
The Environmental Action Lab is running an urban farming apprenticeship program centered on food justice education. Participants will receive a share of the produce and extra produce donated to community refrigerators in Brooklyn
When: Starts Sunday, March 27 from 9am to 3pm
Where: YIMBY Farm 1552 Marine Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested or for more information
Gowanus Mutual Aid is looking for a space to receive and bag produce for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program starting in April. The space should be ground level, available on Fridays/Saturdays, and have refrigeration. Please email email@example.com with leads or suggestions
East Brooklyn Mutual Aid delivers groceries to neighbors in Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York, Starrett City, and Cypress Hills and is looking for drivers and intake volunteers who wanna get to know their neighbors:
Intake Volunteer: gather grocery requests; schedule grocery deliveries using phone, text, and the intake database; act as a “service representative” for the community and answer questions about any delivery issues
Driver: deliver groceries throughout East Brooklyn for 2-3 hours per delivery window on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays
Bonus → This awesome video takes you on a ridealong with East BK delivery volunteers!
Vision Urbana is looking for volunteers to bring meals and smiles to home-bound seniors and adults living in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing on the Lower East Side. You’ll be on your feet most of the time
Times: Mon/Tues, 8am-12pm & 1pm-3pm; Thurs/Fri, 8am-12pm
Where: 64 Essex St, NY, NY 10002
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up
Mutual Aid Diabetes was formed in response to the insulin crisis and is looking to fill a number of fully remote roles with a commitment of a few hours per week:
Sustainability Advisor (background in social work/trauma-informed care needed): works with community members to find long-term solutions that align with their health insurance, public health options, etc.
Intake Volunteer (background in social work/trauma-informed care needed; experience obtaining diabetes medications and supplies preferred): serve as first point of contact for community members
Media/Communications Volunteer: share relevant information and help manage social media/emails, help create digital and print content
If interested, please email email@example.com
Mutual Aid Herbalists of New York is a group of herbal-minded people who meet virtually. They provide a forum for active communication, support, and education within and among herbal communities and facilitate the sharing and exchange of goods/materials, knowledge, and ideas related to plant medicine.
To join their growing community, please fill out this google form
Resource of the Week: Buy Nothing Groups
Buy Nothing groups operate on a local gift economy model and, as the name suggests, help you buy nothing and instead give pre-loved furniture, houseware, cookware, etc., a new home. This benefits the community while decreasing unnecessary consumerism and reducing trash. You can join via Facebook group or download a Buy Nothing app
Some general rules you should know before joining a Buy Nothing group are:
No buying, selling, trading, bartering, or cash solicitations
Only join your local Buy Nothing group to “give where you live”
Don’t resell something you receive
Be polite and keep it legal
Below is just a few of the Buy Nothing groups in NYC:
Events Coming Up
March 4 @ 10-11am (TODAY): Coalition Meeting for Together We Can
Where: Zoom Link
Together We Can, a community resource center in Queens, has a monthly coalition meeting TODAY. The presenter is Paws NY, an organization that helps NYC residents who are at risk of losing their pets due to physical and financial obstacles
March 12 @ 12-4pm: Community Party Giveaway and Swap hosted by Crown Heights Mutual Aid
Where: Historic First Church 221 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Crown Heights Mutual Aid will be collecting and distributing resources for the community, as well as providing groceries and information on tenants’ rights. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and share in music, food, and fun!
Those who can are encouraged to bring items to share with the community, such as coats, books, children's clothing, and other essentials
Find out more at their website!
MANYC Self Promo
Request Help by:
Going to the I Need Help page
Searching for a local group
Searching for a resource
Calling the hotline at: 646-437-8080
Submitting a resource
Donating to Home is a Human Right
Donating to a local mutual aid group
Stay in Touch: