Help Homeless Women - NYC

$3,125 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 91 people in 5 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 36
Posted by Mickey Z.
1 day ago
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In the photo, you see the 3 large bags I lugged into Manhattan this morning. By the time I got home, they were all empty! So many stories to share but I'll focus on just two.

Remember the older woman I made first contact with the other day on the subway platform? Well, we reconnected today. I found out her name (J.) and gave her a bag. J. asked me if I was from Italy. I said yes (I’m half-Italian and my father was born there). She smiled with palpable pride and declared: “I can always tell!” We shared a laugh and I promised to keep checking on her.

I also met someone new (M.) - a disabled young African-American woman who was incredibly hungry. I gave her food, of course, and other supplies. I also promised M. that I’d check in on her as often as I can.

I cannot overstate the importance of your donations and how you’re helping me directly impact the lives of women on the streets. Please keep sending money and good vibes and keep spreading the word! Thank you for all your support and generosity… <3
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Update 35
Posted by Mickey Z.
3 days ago
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Another productive and meaningful morning. I learned that one of my "regulars" has come down with a really bad cold and could use some over-the-counter remedies.

Also, I saw L., the blind woman who sings for money, and gave her the last of the brand new clothes I had for her 6-year-old daughter, Isabella. They are both so happy and grateful! Btw, L. sits on concrete all day and requested something like a bathmat to help ease the discomfort.

I saw a different L. - I'll call her La. She's been battling cancer and recently had minor surgery and a biopsy. She finds out this week if they got all the cancer. I gave her a bunch of stuff, promised to pray for her, and I plan to find her by the weekend to see how it went.

If any of you can send along a few bucks for cold remedies, a bathmat (or perhaps a yoga mat), and maybe a little "congrats" gift for La. when I learn her good medical news, please do so now. And no matter what, PLEASE keep sharing the link - especially to FB groups and e-mail lists who may not yet know about this project. Thanks! <3
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Update 34
Posted by Mickey Z.
5 days ago
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A very productive outing today. There’s still a lot of snow on the ground but the sun was out and I was thrilled to encounter some familiar faces I hadn’t seen since before the storm. In addition, I finally had an opportunity to interact with a woman I’d seen 3 or 4 times before. She covers herself up but, if I had to guess, I’d say Latina, mid 50s. She always pushes a shopping cart and listens to an old school transistor radio.

Today was the first time I felt comfortable approaching her. She was seated on a subway platform bench, radio playing music. We made direct eye contact so I smiled. She kinda smiled back so I took a chance and asked her if she could use some snacks and supplies. I pulled out a small bag (sort of like a make-up bag) and showed her.

She went, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,” as she lowered the music and placed the radio gently on the bench. “What do you say is in that bag?”

“Some snacks,” I replied, “and supplies that might come in handy.” She eyed me and the bag suspiciously.

“And what do YOU want?” she asked. “What do you want in return?”

“I don’t want anything,” I smiled. “I just hope you’ll take it.” I held the bag closer to her. She looked at it and then at me. I added: “It’s for you.” She took it! And even thanked me! I will now watch for her and see if I can get to the point where she tells me specifically what she needs so I can be more helpful!

In other news, check out the photo to see a BIG donation of supplies I just got from MZ! I’m asking all of you to help out today. Cash contributions are most welcome. If you live in NYC and wanna arrange to meet up and donate supplies in person, that works for me. And - no matter how you choose to donate today - please keep sharing the link with people who haven’t yet seen it. Thank you everyone! <3
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Update 33
Posted by Mickey Z.
8 days ago
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Interesting morning. I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to read about it: Manhattan is typically, um, “challenging.” New Yorkers are generally rude, harried, stressed, oblivious, and distracted by their smart phones. This goes triple at rush hour. Due to unexpected circumstances, I was navigating all this - post snow storm. The shady side of the streets was like an ice skating rink. The sunny side: more like a swamp of slush. Crossing the streets required a blend of Olympic-level athletic skill and a ruthless lack of remorse.

There I was, carrying two large bags filled with smaller bags and supplies and a huge bag filled with two brand new winter coats. The heavy load and the snow had me moving slowly. Plus, I always move slowly when carefully looking for homeless women. This morning, I was cursed out, barreled into, and if looks could kill…I’d be dead 20 times over.

First reaction: I had a moment of arrogance. These people are wishing me dead but probably 95% of them are going to jobs they dislike or even hate. Don’t they know what I’m out here doing in this freezing weather? Don’t they watch NY1News?!? :P Then I had a moment of shame: Of course, none of them could’ve known what I was carrying so - logically - I was just a slow-moving white dude in their way on a messy morning commute. Even if they did know my mission, they were under no obligation to be late for work just to accommodate me. “Don’t fall back into that activist superiority complex mindset,” I chided myself.

In the midst of this existential crisis, I was trudging all over but having no luck finding any homeless women. I decided to get back on the subway and try another area. After nearly being knocked off my feet by charging pedestrians, I looked up and saw a familiar face. A homeless woman smiled and greeted me by name before excitedly taking a bag and one of the winter coats. We chatted a little as waves of humanity streamed past us. I marveled at her calm, in-the-moment energy.

I wished her well and moved on: knowing I’d now find more women to help and happily reminded of how much I love doing this work. The maddening throng faded into a blur as I finished my Thursday morning rounds.

I thank the universe for that much-needed refresher course and I thank all of you in advance for the awesome donations (monetary and material) you’re about to make! And please spread the word! <3
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Read a Previous Update
Mary Stanzk
8 days 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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$3,125 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 91 people in 5 months
Created October 16, 2016
MS
$15
Mary Stanczyk
1 day ago
1
1
SM
$10
Sean Mulligan
2 days ago
1
1
MS
$15
Mary Stanczyk
4 days ago
1
1
$10
Rifat Brown
5 days ago
1
1
$100
Anonymous
5 days ago
MS
$5
Mary Stanczyk
8 days ago
$50
Anonymous
8 days ago
JS
$25
John Salutare
9 days ago
1
1

People Helping People is Powerful Stuff!

MC
$25
Michelle Calabrese
9 days ago
1
1
$150
Anonymous
12 days ago
1
1
Mary Stanzk
8 days 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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