Helping Homeless Women - NYC

$3,830 of $10k goal

Raised by 107 people in 6 months
Mickey Z. Zezima  ASTORIA, NY
The goal of this project is fundamental: I'm raising money to buy supplies I can hand out in person to homeless women in NYC.

I've done it before on a smaller scale out of my own pocket, but now I want to help as many women as possible. To do that, I need your help. Even $1 can make a difference!

Woman are most often victimized. Homeless people, in general, are ignored or dehumanized. Homeless women? They might as well be invisible.

This is where Female-Oriented Relief (FOR) comes in.

FOR women
FOR homeless women
FOR homeless women in NYC

All funds donated here will go directly towards to purchasing supplies and durable bags for those supplies (along with subway fare for me so I can cover as much ground as possible). If you live in NYC and would rather just hand me stuff, that works, too!

What am I looking for? Anything and everything a woman may need - that can fit into a large purse or fanny pack. Gloves, hats, scarves, hand sanitizers, tampons and pads, foot and hand warmers, toothbrushes and paste, Q-tips, band-aids, and more! In terms of food, I'd happily accept donations of durable packaged goods like power bars. 

Thank you in advance for your donations and for spreading the word. This is a collective project so let's team up to offer some temporary relief FOR women in need.
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Update 51
Posted by Mickey Z.
1 day ago
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Long update but I implore you to read it through...

Once again, the only reason I came home was because I ran out of stuff to give out. Every day, I encounter at least one woman I'd never seen before. Today it was two...both while riding the subway. I have my GoFundMe business cards now and some folks watched me intently, but I felt self-conscious and didn't hand them a card. I'll get better at it. However, one women leaned closer to me and said: "God will provide for you."

I also found J., who is fast becoming a highlight of my life. She saw me and said, "I was just thinking about you." From there, she showed me that the old plastic bags in which she carries her stuff, and the fraying bungee cord that hold them in place in her cart. She knows where to buy them but (at her age) can no longer navigate crossing insane NYC streets. I told her I'd do my best (but I need donations, folks). I gave J. food and water and a sweater (the weather is out of whack here). She said: "You're so nice. You think of me." I replied, "Always." Then, with a twinkle in her eye, she asked if I had a sweater in a better color!

My last stop was L. She's been homeless ever since escaping an abusive mate. She's also a recent cancer survivor AND she just rescued a sick cat (Pooh Bear) that she now cares for. I looked in her usual spot but didn't see her. There was a young homeless couple there instead, with two pit bull puppies.

Then I noticed L. a short distance away, waving and smiling to me. She explained that she got up to use the bathroom and lost her spot. I gave her food and water and two cans of cat food for Pooh Bear. I also had a nice blanket she happily took. Then I apologized in advance because I was going to bring some dog food (I also carry that with me) to the pit bulls. Not only was L. not mad but she insisted I give the blanket to the couple instead. "They'll need it for the puppies," she said. My eyes welled up at the kindness and generosity she was displaying in her situation. And trust me, the couple was thrilled to get food and a blanket for their rambunctious canines.

Friends, the PIX11 segment did not result in donations. I need help. More importantly, these women need help. Please dig deep to help me keep this project going and growing. Thank you. <3
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Update 50
Posted by Mickey Z.
1 day ago
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In 7 days, I mark another birthday. The only gift I want is a week’s worth of donations flowing my way. Please find it in your heart to help me help others. And please spread the word. Thanks in advance… <3
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Update 49
Posted by Mickey Z.
3 days ago
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Update 48
Posted by Mickey Z.
4 days ago
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A diverse, interesting, and productive day. On my way to the subway, I stopped by a local thrift shop that's about to close. Normally, it’d be sad to witness a small business fail but the two women who own it are closing by choice. They have other ventures to pursue. However, they are more than willing to donate LOTS of their inventory to me to give out on the streets. That will happen in May! :)

I also made a visit to the Fearless Girl statue near Wall Street. While there, I couldn’t resist passing by Zuccotti Park - birthplace of Occupy Wall Street. By coincidence, I ended up giving food to a homeless woman nearby the park - thus marking the first time I’ve ever done real and useful activism in that area.

Side note: The woman asked me where I got the food I gave her. It seems there was a female Wall Street worker who fed this homeless woman every day. However, as she eventually learned, the food was coming from the garbage. There’s a reason why all those ugly clichés exist about the financial district crowd.

Lastly (for now), I finally found J. to give her the cortisone cream she desperately needed (see earlier update). She was sleeping on a subway platform bench with a fair amount of people standing around - pretending they didn’t see her. I inched closer to J. and softly said, “Excuse me?” No luck, so I said it again but louder. This woke her up and it also got the full attention of everyone in the general vicinity. New Yorkers interact so rarely with homeless people that I garner some truly astonished looks.

J. awoke, saw it was me, and exclaimed such a happy “hello.” Now the onlookers were intrigued, a few even smiling. I gave her some new shirts (she has a terrible rash or hives on her chest), a towel, a bottle of water, and a tube of cortisone. She was ecstatic! J. and I chatted a bit and then I moved on. As I walked away, she yelled out a loud “thank you.”

Everywhere I looked, I was greeted with shocked faces. Three women in particular were gaping at me with their jaws hanging. One them was tearing up. I cannot wait till I have my GoFundMe business cards (arriving next week) so I can hand ‘em out in such situations. I don’t seek admiration but I do seek and need your help.

Thanks in advance for the donations you are about to make....and: Tomorrow, the PIX 11 News “Change Makers” sequence airs! <3
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Read a Previous Update
Mary Stanzk
1 month ago

You are such a blessing to your homeless friends. Did not realize there was homeless women in NYC. On all my visits there I've only been aware of homeless men on the streets and in subways. I've managed to tick off quite a few native NYers when I visit because I like to walk slow and take in the sights, sounds and vibe when I am there. My daughter who lives there keeps reminding me that I have to walk faster or risk being mowed over. Definitely a very fast paced place.

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$3,830 of $10k goal

Raised by 107 people in 6 months
Created October 16, 2016
$50
Anonymous
3 days ago
1
1
BT
$25
Bob De Thomas
3 days ago
1
1

God bless you for doing this Mickey.

$5
Anonymous
3 days ago
1
1
RJ
$50
Roland Jesperson
6 days ago
1
1
MS
$9
Mary Stanczyk
9 days ago
1
1
RA
$20
Rich Alexandro
9 days ago
1
1
$25
Anonymous
9 days ago
1
1
$200
Anonymous
9 days ago
1
1
LS
$20
Laura Serna
14 days ago
1
1
PG
$36
Paul Goldstein
17 days ago
1
1

Good luck! Nice work!

Mary Stanzk
1 month ago

You are such a blessing to your homeless friends. Did not realize there was homeless women in NYC. On all my visits there I've only been aware of homeless men on the streets and in subways. I've managed to tick off quite a few native NYers when I visit because I like to walk slow and take in the sights, sounds and vibe when I am there. My daughter who lives there keeps reminding me that I have to walk faster or risk being mowed over. Definitely a very fast paced place.

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