Thank you to our first 100 donors! 🙌
Since we launched our fundraising campaign less than a month ago, we have been honored by the response we have seen from our community so far. We want to thank all 100 of our friends, family members, and neighbors who were the first to contribute to Sunnyside & Woodside Mutual Aid (SWMA) through our Open Collective. Together we have already raised over $10,000 from donations such as yours. As a grassroots and volunteer-led group, we have been able to keep our overhead expenses low, meaning your contributions will go incredibly far in supporting our work to collectively care for hundreds of our neighbors in and around western Queens.
Thanks in part to your support, we have been keeping busy. Just in the past four weeks, we…
- Hosted three community drives for non-perishable food items, PPE and hygiene products, and toys to redistribute to our neighbors
- Purchased shelving and bins to better organize our pantry headquarters and maintain our inventory
- Continue to give out food, supplies, and over a hundred nutritious hot meals per week at our three pop-up pantries that take place every Saturday afternoon at Woodside Houses and underneath the MTA stops at 46th Street and 61st Street
- Surveyed our neighbors to better learn what kind of food they would like to see at our pantries, the results of which are already informing our new sourcing model for fresh produce through the winter months
- Relaunched our website, along with a clear articulation of who we are and what we do
- Established a budgeting system and new consensus-based decision-making processes for handling our finances
- Collaborated with our friends from Woodside Sunnyside Composting, 45th Street Composters, Free Clothing Queens, Frontline Foods Queens, The Connected Chef, and Queens Care Collective to provide food, clothing, and supplies to our neighbors in Queens
- And last but not least, our ongoing work continues as we coordinate requests and fulfill needs from neighbors, learn from one another about housing issues and mutual aid, develop and maintain tech tools to support our initiatives, and share out our work through our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and newsletter
Our newly raised funds—especially the recurring donations—will allow us to do even more in 2021. In the new year, we hope to launch a community fridge, acquire supplies to protect our pantries for the winter, identify ways we can make our pantries more abundant, and keep all our initiatives sustainable.
All of this is only possible because of our community's generosity and willingness to contribute their time, energy, and resources. We rely on support such as yours to cover the expenses associated with this work, which is why we are asking those of you that have made one-time donations to consider making a sustaining donation that we can count on each month. We are grateful to know that we can cover at least 20% of our expected $5,000 monthly expenses with the recurring donations we've received thus far. If you can't make an additional donation right now, we hope you will keep up with us online and at our events, and let others know about our fundraising, especially in the next week while our fiscal host has waived their fees through December 31st.
We consider all 100 of you a part of our community, and with you, we will continue to learn and grow in the spirit of solidarity, not charity. If you have ideas or need anything, we invite you to reach out to us at [email protected], join SWMA as a member, or submit a request for help.
Thank you for playing this crucial role in our work. See you in 2021!