Helping Homeless Women - 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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??
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.