Open Collective
Open Collective
UPDATE: April-September 2021
Published on September 30, 2021 by AR

Happy Fall y'all! Thanks for your patience on our late update. We have been busy at work with mutual aid! This post will include our 2nd and 3rd quarter updates for this year.
 Despite the summer’s high temperatures, we were still downtown in Moore's Square every Saturday. From April through September, we gave out thousands of meals, toiletries, fruits, veggies, snacks, drinks, and non-perishable goods as part of our Saturday distro. Just as importantly, we formed & maintained bonds in our community and shared knowledge with each other.

The meals team made a ton of delicious food (including with ingredients we grew ourselves) and, towards the end of the summer, received preliminary approval from a local church to occasionally use their industrial kitchen for cooking. This would allow us to cook more food communally and less effort.

Our gardening team, Food Not Lawns grew and harvested lots of delicious peppers, tomatoes, squashes, zucchinis, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelons, pink oyster mushrooms, greens, and herbs. All of which were either distributed or made into meals to give to the community. We also were able to expand our existing plots, break ground on new ones, and disseminate gardening, farming, and biodiversity knowledge. FNL is now prepping for our fall and winter gardens.

The deliveries team was able to distribute groceries equivalent to hundreds of meals worth of food to families throughout the greater Raleigh area.
We were able to set up more free pantries at convenient locations throughout the city containing useful necessities for people to take and give as needed.
Clothing needs changed as we moved from spring to summer: fewer sweatshirts/hoodies/coats/thermals; more t-shirts/sandals/shorts/hats. One week a community member told us that he had been wearing the same t-shirt for two weeks, and he was so relieved to receive a fresh one from us. The need for tennis shoes, boots, backpacks, and underwear remained constant. While we attempted to source as much clothing as possible from community donations, the specific nature of the requests we received often necessitated trips to purchase these items, especially items like work boots.
Just through April-June alone we fulfilled requests for at least: 
  • 12 pairs of boots
  • 23 pairs of tennis shoes and sandals
  • 23 pairs of pants and shorts
  • 11 shirts
  • 4 dresses
  • 8 backpacks
  • 2 camel backs
  • 1 stroller
  • 6 hats
  • 3 hoodies/jackets
  • 3 belts
  • and many other specific items such as first-aid supplies, home items, and reading glasses

This was in addition the large amount of clothing we took out to distro every week for community members to select from (which usually comes from community donations). With the cold weather coming up, me need warm weather blankets, sleeping bags and tents more than ever. Please stay tuned to our socials for what our community needs!

All of this wouldn't be possible without people volunteering time and effort or without YOU! Big thanks to our dedicated volunteers. As well as our community backs and donations, they are so crucial, we deeply appreciate everyone who has donated, and so does the community in need. Everything we do is (and will always be) free for anyone and everyone, because food (and all necessities) are a right, not a privilege! We keep us safe! We could always use more help, so if you're in the area and are interested, check out our signup page

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Posted on November 4, 2021

Amazing work team! <3

Passing this on:
Share a picture of your initiative making a difference in your community and win $1000!

Our insurer who specializes in nonprofits is having a photo contest. If you want to enter, please put in “Open Collective Foundation” for the nonprofit name, your own info for the rest, and check “NIA member”. If you win, OCF will add the funds to your Collective balance.