*Feel free to visit our website for further modes of donations and ways to volunteer*
Our Call For Financial Aid
Our Call For Financial Aid
Small Brooklyn Business Playground Coffee Shop is in urgent need of financial assistance to keep our doors open or, we will face possible closure. At the tail-end of 2021—after our two-year Pandemic hiatus of not offering indoor seating and activities —we were finally planning to open our doors and return to a constant pace to sustain our business front. Then, we faced a difficult surprise with the persistence of COVID-19 due to the rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Since our Coffee Shop’s intentional mission is to keep people safe and engage in the interests of our community’s health, we could not in good conscience open our doors. We could not put the people we intend to serve at risk of illness and possibly death, regardless of vaccination status or retained immunity.
This reality leaves us at a stalemate for the long winter ahead. To-go coffee, merchandise, and limited bookstore hours are not capable of generating enough income to keep us open. We need exceptional aid to cover our staff, supply, coffee, in-house-upkeep, and rent costs. An additional blow to our morale is that we have repeatedly been denied state and federal aid in addition to private institutions and third-party prizes, awards, and grant funding. Looking to our community for crowd-sourcing seems one of our only remaining options. If you have the means to aid us in the fight for our sustainability, please donate. Please help in the fight to keep us alive.
The $30,000 we are seeking to raise will be allocated to overhead costs such as utilities, rent, staff payroll, and non-profit initiatives and maintenance. That primarily means every dollar donated will go to giving our staff the ability to sustain themselves and continue to have a safe environment to work in. It also means that you will be helping us do what we do best, help others — from our staff to the countless community members and families we aid through programs like the Playground Community Fridge Initiative, our yearly Coat and Hygiene Drives, and more!
Playground Coffee Shop, a community space, and coffee shop focused on social and conscious awareness in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In our neighborhood, we provide a space for local activists to organize around poignant issues. In aiding the community we exist in, we not only want to alter the thinking of the community but of the entire culture.
Playground Coffee Shop was founded by Zenat Begum in 2016 as a coffee shop and community space in Bed-Stuy. The space was previously Zenat’s family business that operated as a hardware store for 20 years. When Playground first opened, we had a zine rack which housed DIY, radical, and alternative literature which was then expanded into a bookstore in 2018 named Playground Annex. Also in 2018, we started our non-profit, Playground Youth to solidify our platform and be able to expand our programming in order to meet the needs of the community.
Initiatives Outside of Our Coffee That You’d Be Saving:
Playground Community Fridge Initiative
The Playground Community Fridge Initiative is committed to bringing free and fresh produce daily to Bed-Stuy in direct protest to food insecurity. The Community Fridge Initiative is part of Playground’s food equity programming dedicated to making food healthy and accessible.
Since March 2020, we have provided the following tools & resources:
- A network of 500 volunteers.
- Assembled and distributed over 8,000 PPE kits.
- Distributed over 800 free meals a week.
- Raised over $7,000+ at Playground Fundraisers for local initiatives & fed 1,000+ people.
Playground Take One, Leave One Library
Inspired by Playground Annex, the mission of the Take One, Leave One Free Library initiative is to provide free, thoughtful, and radical books by Black, Indigenous, Brown, POC, and LGBTQI+ authors to our community. The premise of taking a book and leaving one is an act of care, sharing stories, spreading resources, and amplification of voices that may have been overlooked. Through the library, we want to increase awareness around a myriad of topics and encourage the joy of reading.
Playground Youth is a 501(c)3 community organization operating out of Playground Coffee Shop in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. At Playground Youth, we support Bed-Stuy by ensuring a safe space to exchange art, cultural knowledge, and strategies. We tackle a range of community health needs, including Arts and Culture, Wellness, and Food Equity through a range of accessible programs, workshops, and events.
The Playground Annex is the bookstore extension of Playground Coffee Shop. We prioritize books written by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Brown, AAPI, Queer, and Trans authors, organizations, and collectives.
Playground Radio is our online radio platform. We are an independent internet radio station serving as an open-access platform. We are intentional in our efforts to create an environment tailored to sharing space for artists within our community.We cultivate a dynamic range of original programming in partnership with all of our collaborators. In this abundant era of digital existence, Playground Radio acts as a digital archive of sorts, recording, collecting, and memorializing the stories of our community.
The Greenhouse tackles food accessibility and challenges the notion of food sovereignty in an
urban landscape by locally growing free and fresh green produce for our Community Fridges. This
initiative addresses the lack of food equity and grows our understanding of food systems so our
neighborhood will be equipped to reclaim them.
DonationsSee top donations
- Kavita Ahuja
- Perry-Elena Segura
- Natalie Liff