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Phone Line Pause: June 21-July 19

Dear CHMA community, 

CHMA is at a pivotal moment in our development. On the one hand, we have built working groups and a consensus-building process that are strengthening our foundation, vision and potential as a mutual aid organization. At the same time, we are falling further and further behind with one of our core missions: providing groceries to neighbors in need. Within Crown Heights alone, we are 2500 calls behind and currently unable to offer people a reasonable timeframe for receiving aid. 

In order to honor the requests we have already received over the past two months, CHMA working group leads have reached a consensus to pause our phone lines to all new requests for four weeks effective Sunday, June 21. There is now a new outgoing message that provides callers with an honest understanding of our situation, an apology, additional resources to consult while we're paused, and a date by which our phone lines will reopen: Sunday, July 19. To be clear: all grocery delivery activities will continue in full force during this phone line pause, we will simply be concentrating on providing groceries to people who have previously called rather than calling for the first time now. 

We will have more information coming soon about how CHMA members can contribute directly to this catch-up effort (see below for ways to get started!). The gist of it is that we will need all available hands to help restore the trust of neighbors who have been waiting weeks to hear back from us. From June 21 to July 19, we will be trying to fulfill significantly more intake, delivery, and reimbursement requests than we have over the course of the last month. We humbly hope that during these four weeks we can ask a little more than usual from our currently active members, new members, and less active members alike. 

Thank you so much for everything you do for Crown Heights already, and we hope that everyone understands that the CHMA governance believes this pause will ultimately bring CHMA out the other side even more functional and helpful to our neighborhood than before.

If there are any questions about this, please do not hesitate to consult working group leads, or ask questions on Slack using the #help channel and @help-team!

Ready to help CHMA during our phone line pause?

There are plenty of ways to get involved RIGHT NOW! Our immediate needs are:
  • Delivery volunteers shop for groceries and other essentials and deliver them to our neighbors. To get started, join us on Slack and check out the #community_needs channel!
  • Intake volunteers talk with neighbors requesting help via our hotline to assess their needs. To get started, join us on Slack, check out the #wg_intake channel, and sign up for an intake shift!
  • Chip in and amplify fundraising efforts to support our grocery deliveries! To get started, join us on Slack and check out the #community_reimbursement channel. You can also donate using our pledge form - and share it with friends!

You're invited: Intake banking party THIS SUNDAY!

Who: You, hopefully! And the CHMA Intake Working Group
What: Join us on Zoom to check in and catch up with each other, then we'll stay on the line for the whole shift to answer questions, talk through ideas, and hang out/debrief for a bit afterwards.
Where: Zoom! Check Slack for the link.
When: Sunday, June 28, 12:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Why: See above.

Don't know how to do intake? Join a training Saturday at 3 p.m. Check Slack for sign-up details.
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Crown Heights Mutual Aid · Crown Heights · Brooklyn, NY 11213 · USA

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