Helping Homeless Women - NYC

$16,200 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 364 people in 27 months
MZ
Mickey Z.  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.

***

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you give out?

Here’s a sampling: food (way too many examples to list - please ask me for specifics), water, juice, pads, tampons, wet wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, combs, brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, make-up, nail polish, perfume, jewelry, towels, nail clippers, water bottles and thermos, hair ties and clips, mirrors, deodorant, sewing kits, chapstick, sunscreen, band-aids, ACE bandages, hoodies, jackets, coats, sweatshirts, thermals, shirts, socks, underwear, tank tops, shoes, boots, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, hats, bandannas, scarves, gloves, hand warmers, toe warmers, pocketbooks, tote bags, backpacks, purses, fanny packs, sketch pads, art supplies, pens, notebooks, journals, cortisone cream, nose spray, blankets, books, magazines, newspapers, Q tips, earplugs, sleep masks, umbrellas, rain ponchos, cat food, dog food, pet toys and supplies. Also: smiles, friendship, respect, trust, reliability, consistency, compassion, hugs, non-judgmental listening, conversation, companionship, validation, and more.

Do you give out money?

No. Sure, if some homeless women will only accept some coins or a couple of bills in their cup, I’ll do that. Otherwise, I focus on handing out the direct relief supplies listed above. As I get to know each woman better, I can be more targeted and specific in my giving.

Can I make material donations?

Yes, please! At least half of the donations so far have been in material form. But please note: I am a one-man operation and must carefully gauge how to best utilize my time and energy. Therefore, I will request that you drop off any large donations and otherwise meet me in a mutually agreeable location. For an idea of what I accept, read the list above or just reach out to me and ask!

Do you use all the donated money to buy supplies?

Yes. The only money that is allocated elsewhere is what I use for a monthly unlimited Metrocard so I can cover all the ground I do each day.

Why help homeless women?

I invite you to watch this 4-minute video .

***

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 269
Posted by Mickey Z.
3 days ago
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NYC is in the midst of a cold spell and is now bracing for more starting on Friday: a snowy winter storm followed by a plunge to single-digit temperatures. This means I’ll head out soon (and again tomorrow) with larger than usual packages - supplies that may have to last a little longer in light of the weather forecast.

Your support is always needed. During winter, it becomes even more crucial. Monetary donations are very, very welcome. Also welcome: purchases from my Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG.

Thank you in advance… <3
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Update 268
Posted by Mickey Z.
7 days ago
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Today marks 11 years since my beloved Mom passed away. I've been blessed with so many positive influences in my life but I can confidently state that I would not be doing things like running this project for more than 2 years if I were not Ann’s son. As I make my rounds in this winter weather, I can feel her presence and I hope she is proud of me.

If you are so inclined, I’d be honored to receive donations in my mother’s memory. I’d be just as honored to receive donations in memory of anyone who has touched your life. For inspiration, I’ll share some of what Fred “Mister” Rogers said upon receiving a lifetime achievement award in 1997:

"So many people have helped me to come here to this night. Some of you are here, some are far away, and some are even in Heaven. All of us have special ones who loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are, those who cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. Ten seconds of silence. I'll watch the time. (pause) Whomever you've been thinking about, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they have made.”

If you’ve made a donation here in anyone’s memory, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they have made.

I love you and miss you, Mom.
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Update 267
Posted by Mickey Z.
10 days ago
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The other day, when I emerged from a subway station with my bags of supplies, I heard the unmistakable sound of an amplified voice. I glanced around and saw NYC’s very tall Mayor Bill de Blasio standing head and shoulders above a small crowd. There were cameras and lots of security as the mayor spoke into a microphone.

I quickly moved on - expecting to see a handful of my regulars in the general area. But they were nowhere in sight. It was instantly and painfully obvious that this was not a coincidence. I walked and walked and walked until I finally found T. several blocks away. She sadly explained that she was firmly told to disappear while the cameras were rolling for the mayor’s speech.

As if being a homeless woman in winter isn’t enough hardship, the city bluntly reminded them that they are also perceived as a blight on the photo op landscape. This is all the more reason for us to do the work to connect with the vulnerable among us. We cannot change the political culture but we most definitely *can* strive to be ordinary heroes - every single day.

Like this humble kid, for example: https://youtu.be/7y8HjalvoaM

Donations needed and welcome and please don’t forget my Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG
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Update 266
Posted by Mickey Z.
12 days ago
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During the recent holiday season - as is the case every December - my regulars were overloaded with “blessing bags.” Basically, church or school or civic groups put together small bags to hand out to homeless people. For women, it’s usually hats, gloves, scarves, menstrual products, and perhaps a snack. In addition, there is the annual abundance of coat drives - which often result in homeless people having to explain they already have a coat. To reject any donation can lead to wiseass comments about them allegedly being ungrateful or drug addicts or even frauds.

Why am I telling you this? Two reasons.

1. It’s another reminder that effective giving involves more than handing someone what you assume they need and/or something you want to get rid of. Giving is a more complex action, e.g. making sure the person wants your help and if so, communicating with them as to what you’re capable of giving and most importantly: what they exactly need and want. As a result, you not only do a more efficient job but you also make a human connection with someone who probably lacks such connections. To me, this really puts the blessing in “blessing bag.”
2. Also, I wanted to point out that some of my regulars have stockpiled the redundant supplies and offered them to me so I can hand them to women who perhaps didn’t get such “blessing bags.” To me, this really, REALLY puts the blessing in “blessing bag.”

There’s one more reason why all this info is relevant. It helps highlight why I most often seek monetary donations and/or purchases off my evolving wishlist ( http://amzn.to/2ztEWrG). With the money, I can buy precisely what women ask for and with the wishlist, *you* can buy precisely what the women ask for. We all become better givers and the beneficiaries truly benefit.

Thanks, in advance, for your January donations! <3
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Read a Previous Update
Julie Merriman Chickering
4 months ago

The snack pack you recently added to your wish list, Amazon wont deliver to the wish list address. You may want to swap it out for something else.

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Mary St Anczyk
7 months ago

Not sure how you can ramp up donations. Mindset out there is if you want to help the homeless that donations should go directly to organizations whose work is to help on a higher level the needs of the homeless. With that though comes overhead and salaries which I am not a fan of. I try to support on a small scale and pocketbook, non-profit groups and persons like yourself who give service to homeless persons both here in Detroit and NYC who aren't working with overhead or salaries taking a chunk out of donations. If you can connect with a local group or groups to hold a fundraiser for your work either monetary or for in kind donations??

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Mary Stanzk
22 months 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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$16,200 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 364 people in 27 months
Created October 16, 2016
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RC
$25
Richard Cole
5 days ago

In honour of positive influences. Solidarity from the UK.

EH
$25
Elizabeth Heelan
6 days ago

In memory of A

JC
$25
julie chickering
7 days ago
$50
Anonymous
14 days ago
MM
$100
Michael Mew
18 days ago
RC
$25
Richard Cole
18 days ago

Happy New Year!

$100
Anonymous
19 days ago
AC
$100
Allyn Creel
25 days ago

Merry Christmas Mickey.

AC
$100
Allyn Creel
1 month ago
$5
Anonymous
1 month ago
Julie Merriman Chickering
4 months ago

The snack pack you recently added to your wish list, Amazon wont deliver to the wish list address. You may want to swap it out for something else.

+ Read More
Mary St Anczyk
7 months ago

Not sure how you can ramp up donations. Mindset out there is if you want to help the homeless that donations should go directly to organizations whose work is to help on a higher level the needs of the homeless. With that though comes overhead and salaries which I am not a fan of. I try to support on a small scale and pocketbook, non-profit groups and persons like yourself who give service to homeless persons both here in Detroit and NYC who aren't working with overhead or salaries taking a chunk out of donations. If you can connect with a local group or groups to hold a fundraiser for your work either monetary or for in kind donations??

+ Read More
Mary Stanzk
22 months 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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