Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

A story written by Lydia Gilbert.

Bed-Stuy Strong is a neighborhood mutual aid network formed at the beginning of COVID to provide groceries and supplies to vulnerable community members. In the past year, it has grown wildly into a radical hub for a variety of projects such as clothing drives, POC-owned business support, trash clean-ups, free libraries, voter and census outreach, and vaccination support!

Food security is still our main focus, and we just hit a huge milestone in March: $1 million in donations redistributed to the community in food and supplies! I wanted to provide a way for people to contribute to this massive effort even without money, and Bushwick Ayuda Mutua (a similar mutual aid group in a bordering neighborhood in Brooklyn) pioneered the model of reaching out to local POC or LGBTQ+ artists to have them design a piece of merchandise to sell as a fundraiser.

We have ~5 Bed-Stuy artists each month create a piece in their unique style and we offer these on Bonfire for a month, donating 85% of the proceeds to Bed-Stuy Strong and the remaining 15% to the artists to recognize their hard work. We’ve had three releases, showcased work from incredible local creatives, raised over $8,000 for BSS, and given people the opportunity to rep a movement that means so much to them.”

At the time of this story, Bed-Stuy Strong had sold 785 pieces of apparel! You can check out all of the awesome campaigns from Bed-Stuy Strong in their Bonfire Store.