Hi, friends. Thanks for landing on this page. While it’s true that we live in a world plagued by injustice, inequality, and corruption, I’m a firm believer that every deliberate act of love creates a ripple of positivity and healing.
We all have the opportunity to support those who face oppression, hardship, discrimination, and marginalization with a portion of our income, however large or small. Below is a list of organizations that are supporting various communities in tangible ways. Some are local to NYC, but there are national and international options as well.
This list is by no means exhaustive or reflective of all groups in need. But it’s a place to start. Consider setting up automatic monthly donations, which give organizations a chance to budget and plan—and don’t be shy about contributing even small amounts. Imagine if a few hundred of us each contributed $1-5 each month. It adds up!
Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community is a resource guide created to discuss the impact of racism and discrimination on the mental health of our Black communities. Despite being more susceptible to struggle with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, statistics show that only one out of three Black people will receive the help they need.
This guide aims to make information about accessing mental health services easier than ever. Special thanks to Claire O’Neill of Sunshine Behavioral Health for submitting this important resource.
Bushwick Ayuda Mutua is a network of Bushwick neighbors supporting neighbors. Update 2020: This is the organization that fed over 2K Bushwick residents during the COVID-19 crisis and continues to do great work.
Clean Bushwick Initiative is committed to cleaning up parks and streets as well as connecting the community through environmental awareness, education, art, and fun.
Bushwick City Farms provides free food, access to space, and education programs for community members. They operate by a “give what you can, take what you need” philosophy.
Girls Write Now is a writing and mentoring organization for NYC girls and gender non-conforming youth.
Materials For The Arts collect arts and crafts supplies for NYC educators to utilize in their classrooms and programs.
EV Loves NYC delivers free food to those who need it most in NYC.
The Loveland Foundation provides free therapy to women of color with a focus on Black women and girls.
No White Saviors – A Uganda-based campaign dedicated to educating and uprooting harmful white-centric narratives in philanthropy and volunteerism.
BOLD facilitates social transformation and fundamental improvements in the lives and living conditions of Black people.
Black Girls Code is empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.
Women’s Earth Alliance catalyzes women-led, grassroots solutions to protect our environment and strengthen communities from the inside out.
Girls Write Now is New York’s first and only writing and mentoring organization for girls and gender non-conforming youth.
Freelancers Relief Fund is supporting freelancers who have been left without work and fewer unemployment options.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is committed to challenging the racism, inequality, and injustice of a criminal legal system that disproportionately target and harm low-income communities of color. They also created the Immigrant Freedom Fund.
Adopt a Native Elder provides assistance to Indigenous American elders without an agenda to interfere with their traditional culture or lifestyle in any way.
Native American Rights Fund is the oldest and largest nonprofit legal organization asserting and defending the rights of Indigenous American tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide.
Note: These are organizations I’ve given to in the past or give to monthly on a recurring basis. I’ll endeavor to update this list whenever possible, but at the time of publishing this post, links and information are accurate to the best of my knowledge. Feel free to reach out if you spot an error or have a suggestion.
Moving to NYC?
As an NYC transplant since 2005 (with an NYC-based blog since 2008), I post a lot about my experiences living here. As such, my readers and viewers over on YouTube sometimes ask about moving to NYC.
But we can’t talk about moving to New York City without talking about gentrification. It’s a source of great distress for many lifelong NYC residents. The ever-increasing influx of new residents causes real estate inflation, problematic development, and over-policing.
If you’re moving to the city, be conscious of how your presence impacts established communities. Then do something to counter at least a fraction of that negative impact. In other words, make sure you’re giving back in some way. You can do things like…
Support local small businesses instead of large chains (groceries, clothing, and home goods stores, etc). Walk around your neighborhood to find these places and make a point of patronizing them regularly. This is crucial, especially now that the pandemic has devastated businesses across the board.
Donate time, money, and resources to local organizations, both neighborhood-specific and citywide. I’ve listed a few above, but do some research on others, too. Brownstoner has put together a list here.
Participate in street clean-ups and neighborhood projects. There are so many of these, including projects initiated by some of the organizations listed above. Search for projects in your neighborhood, pay attention to signage, and seek out local social media to follow. A recent project co-founded by my friend Fei is Plants For The People Brooklyn. They provide free plant clippings, gardening tools, and information about growing plants to community members. They also participate in street cleanups. It’s super cool!
Just be a good neighbor. People will always want to live in this city. It’s magical, challenging, and inspiring. But yes, your presence will impact people. Whichever neighborhood you pick, commit to being a good neighbor. Be friendly. Be gracious. Know when to mind your business. 😉