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CHMA Weekly Updates: May 21, 2020

Thank you for being part of the CHMA extended universe! With so much going on here and in the world, we wanted to provide some easily digestible updates on what we've been up to.

Call for Donation Pledges and Volunteers

If you're here because you made a pledge using our new form, THANK YOU! Your generous donations are going directly toward buying groceries and other essentials for families in need. If you can, please consider making a weekly pledge using the new option on our form. If you want to help CHMA in other ways, please join us on Slack! As you'll see below, we have plenty of exciting opportunities on the horizon. Right now, we are especially in need of intake and delivery volunteers. If you're already in our Slack, check out the #community_needs, #delivery_volunteers, and #meeting_announcements channels.

Big Picture: New Working Groups

Guided by our recent community calls, we are working to build a resilient community grounded in solidarity, not charity. With that in mind, we are restructuring and rolling out new working groups, which include Partnerships, Housing, Education, Structure and Governance, Community Building, Communications ... and many more! Check the CHMA Slack or Facebook for more info.

Updates from Existing Teams

INTAKE: This amazing team of people is growing by the day and working hard to return calls from neighbors in need of assistance, connect with them, and link them up with a delivery volunteer. However, due to a great deal of need, we are falling behind on processing requests. These challenges are being addressed through discussions about restructuring, and are on the radar for the Intake & Needs Assessment Working Group. If you'd like to get involved with intake, check the #meeting_announcements channel on Slack for upcoming trainings.

DELIVERIES: So far we have made over 1,300 deliveries to neighbors within and outside Crown Heights! We are always coming up with new delivery systems to reach more families more quickly. As exciting as this is, there are many more deliveries that have yet to be made. Please keep an eye on the #community_needs and #cars_and_bikes Slack channels if you're able to help with deliveries. We now also have an awesome map that shows delivery requests by location - find it pinned in the #community_needs channel! Also, if you haven't yet tried working within our #cluster_delivery model, join the Slack channel and give it a chance!

PPE: In the past week, we sent 250 fabric masks, almost 70 KN95s, and about 300 dust masks to a Crown Heights nursing home, and distributed 800 gloves to three shelters in Crown Heights! In all, this brings us to over 3,000 PPE items that we have made, sourced and distributed within the neighborhood and beyond.

FINANCE: Our new pledge system allows people who are not regularly on Slack to reimburse delivery volunteers directly. In the first two weeks, we received a little over $10K in pledges and used over $9K. We are now up to over $12K! Please help us keep this system alive by sharing our PLEDGE FORM with your networks!


  • Brooklyn Packers: We are in conversation with Brooklyn Packers about forming a partnership to be able to order, pack and deliver food items in bulk.
  • CSA launch: On June 1, we're launching our CSA pilot program, where we'll distribute CSA shares to neighbors in and around NW Crown Heights. You can DM @Lauren H on Slack if you're interested in getting involved with this project.
  • More partnerships: We've also worked with Eleven36, Colonia Verde, and Food Issues Group to distribute ~200 meals to several family shelters, including the Kingston Family Residence and the St. Johns Place Family Center. We raised $1200 through Chuffed, which went to a donation of 600 pounds of produce and 40 chickens delivered to the Kingston Family Residence!
  • Sistas Van: This past weekend marks the third time CHMA members have helped to bolster the work of Sistas Van, a mobile pantry and healing unit organized by Black Women's Blueprint. Sistas Van has regularly brought counseling and health/hygiene products to neighborhoods in multiple boroughs, and is now able to distribute groceries as well thanks to our shoppers and coordinators. Talks are in motion to shop and fund groceries for the Van even more often, so that it can make more trips to more neighborhoods!

Check out these affirmations from the community:

"No words can describe the love the families felt from this wonderful donation. During this hard time we are blessed to have your support! Thanks a million."
- Program Director of Kingston Family Residence

And we'll close with this note Brooke S. received from our neighbor Celia, who also gave $20 to pass on to another delivery.

Thanks for reading! Stay safe and remember: #SolidarityNotCharity

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Crown Heights Mutual Aid · Crown Heights · Brooklyn, NY 11213 · USA

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