project leader
Sarah M
location
725 St Marks Avenue
(Crown Heights, Brooklyn)
latest update rss
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the project

Crown Heights Mutual Aid was formed in March 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. We are a network of neighbors supporting one another and the most vulnerable in our community. We are mobilizing to aid those affected by COVID-19 and the ongoing crises of state violence, food injustice, and housing inequality. CHMA is also a tool for building connections and reciprocal relationships; we all have something to offer and we all have something we need as we struggle towards justice.

One part of our work is connecting neighbors to provide specific items—namely, groceries, household supplies, over-the-counter medication, and other essential goods. These deliveries are currently funded through donations from Crown Heights Mutual Aid volunteers and supporters. In addition, we partner with long-standing local organizations that bring resources directly to community members. If you’d like to volunteer to help out with deliveries, please see crownheightsmutualaid.com for more information.

We are currently spending about $2500 per day. This fundraiser will help us keep our grocery delivery operation afloat, and will allow us to continue to support our community partners.

Sign up here to become a weekly or monthly donor! We'll email (or text) you to remind you to send a donation.

the steps

Our work has already begun, but there is so much more to do!

Here are some of our highlights so far:

  • We have received more than 21,000 calls since we opened our phone line in late March—around 216 calls per day. We average between 20 and 30 deliveries per day, but on our busiest days that number can be closer to 50! To date, we’ve completed 2,800 deliveries totaling over $196,000.
  • We have partnered with Black Women’s Blueprint to get essentials to Black women and femmes in Crown Heights and beyond.
  • We have partnered with local shelters and low-income housing complexes to provide groceries and hot meals donated from area restaurants.
  • We provided seed funding and technical assistance to Ocean Hill Brownsville Mutual Aid, our neighbors to the east.
  • We have created banners in support of the #CancelRent housing movement, and collaborate frequently with the Crown Heights Tenant Union.

Moving forward, CHMA is committed to:

  • Addressing the backlog of 800 inquiries to our hotline by returning calls from neighbors and providing them with groceries and other essentials.
  • Enlarging our pool of delivery volunteers so that we can reach more of our neighbors more quickly.
  • Continuing to expand our network of partner organizations in Crown Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. 
  • Building a sustainable model for our work so that Crown Heights Mutual Aid can continue to operate once the immediate public health crisis ends.

why we're doing it

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast into stark relief long-standing crises of racial injustice, economic inequality, and inadequate social welfare in Crown Heights and elsewhere. We are working towards a mutual aid practice grounded in solidarity, not charity, and we operate in the spirit of collective care and responsibility.

We follow MAMAS’ principle of mutual aid: "You may be able to offer help one day and need something the next. We encourage people to both give when they can and be supported to ask for help when they need it." We are working to reduce the barriers between those giving and receiving aid, and to build reciprocal relationships. Mutual aid can take many forms, and we value people for more than the labor they can contribute. 

We acknowledge that while many were motivated to get involved specifically as a result of COVID-19, our work to further solidarity, justice, and equity in Crown Heights will extend past the immediate pandemic. We support both materially-focused mutual aid and mobilization for justice. We are building new relationships that aim to transform into resources and power to benefit longtime Crown Heights residents who identify as Black or people of color.

budget

$87 is the average cost of a single CHMA grocery delivery.

$150 feeds a family of four for a week.

$400-500 fills up Sistas Van, a project of Black Women’s Blueprint that delivers food and provides other resources to Black women and femmes in Brooklyn.

$1000 funds a season of community supported agriculture shares distributed to neighbors. 

$2500 is the average amount CHMA spends on grocery deliveries each day.

PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED =    $98,500
ioby Platform Fee -    waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)  -  waived
"ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)"  -  $1,500
TOTAL TO RAISE =    $100,000
Please note: ioby fees are estimated and will be calculated based on totals at the end of the campaign.    

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

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