One of the oldest Black women’s aid groups in the United States urgently needs your help.

The United Order of the Tents is a secret society that has worked quietly for more than 150 years to care for Black women and children.

But in recent years, its historic Eastern headquarters in Bed-Stuy has come under threat due to bad contractors, financial hardship, and opportunistic property developers.

Now, the Brooklyn Tents needs YOUR help to ensure its legacy can be protected for future generations.

About The Tents

The United Order of Tents is one of the country's first Black women’s benevolent societies, initially founded in 1848 to provide aid to enslaved people via the Underground Railroad. For more than 75 years, the women of the Eastern District Tents have been quietly fulfilling their mission to feed the hungry, tend to the sick, bury the dead, help raise children and care for the elderly here in Brooklyn.

Its Eastern District headquarters is the once-opulent mansion at 87 MacDonough Street, which has hosted meetings, weddings, and luncheons and has been a center for mutual aid since the Tents bought it in 1945. This historic home was built in 1863, is listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places, and sits in Stuyvesant Heights, a historic district. It is a beacon of history for the Tents and the community. Unfortunately, today we are struggling to save our home and rebuild our organization in the Eastern District. We hope to continue to be a beacon of hope in the Bed-Stuy community.

We are embarking on a campaign to grow our membership and protect our legacy for decades. For more than a century, secrecy has served as our bond and protection, but it has also prevented the public from knowing about our great work.

The Challenges

In the last few years, the headquarters of the Brooklyn Tents has fallen into disrepair. With dues dropping due to members passing away, the society has struggled to find money to pay for the property’s upkeep.

Several years ago, the Tents sold a large part of their land in Bed-Stuy to restore the historic villa to its former glory. A contractor was paid to do the work, but sadly, the women of the Tents say workers did significant damage to the building.

The mansion is still in operation as the Tents Brooklyn headquarters, the center of the group’s mutual aid work. Still, the women now work in a building with half-done construction, boarded-up windows, a leaky roof, faulty wiring, and no radiators.

Plus, due to its location, the Tents have been repeatedly targeted by property prospectors hoping to acquire their headquarters for profit.

What The Tents Need

The Tents are raising $250,000 to do the following repair work on their headquarters at 87 MacDonough Street and make sure their legacy is preserved for future generations.

Right now, they urgently need money to:

● Replace a leaky roof ($24,138)
● Replace ceiling and floors from water damage ($18,894)
● Complete renovation of walls inside of the building ($31,297)
● Refurbished the front of the building ($25,427)
● Restore all the windows ($12,091)
● Replace the door in the basement ($1,024)
● Replace electrical wiring throughout the building ($7,000)
● Installation of radiators in the building ($4,000)
● Replace the fire escape ($1,400)
● Replace masonry steps going into the basement ($2,000)
● Replace water pipes inside and outside of the building ($10,000)

The items above are a start to a long-term project that needs significant financing. Please give generously to ensure the Tents can continue its excellent work, keep its home in Bed-Stuy, and be remembered.

Donations (3.1K)

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  • Taquiena Boston
    • $25 
    • 3 d
  • Ashley Johnson
    • $40 
    • 11 d
  • Lisa Kowalski
    • $15 
    • 16 d
  • Shontel Nicholas
    • $6 
    • 18 d
  • Molly Ryan
    • $25 
    • 29 d
See all


United Order of Tents of Brooklyn of the Eastern District No 3 Jrg A
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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