Facing dwindling funds, North Brooklyn Mutual Aid recently launched a fundraising initiative and merch sale.

Historically, NBK Mutual Aid spends between $30,000 to $40,000 annually, yet the live public dashboard reports only about $14,000 left in the bank. This puts many beloved and essential community efforts at risk.

“Without an increase in community donations, we will spend down the remaining funds within approximately three months, even with our cost saving measures in place,” Natalie Green, coordinator for NBK Mutual Aid, said.

NBK Mutual Aid is an entirely volunteer-run collective based in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. You may know the organization from their maintenance of community fridges, work in the McCarren Demo Garden, collaborations with now-paused compost sites at McGolrick and Transmitter parks, or events hosted alongside North Brooklyn Open Streets. Many of their less public efforts go toward neighbors in need: conducting home grocery drop-offs and distributing care kits.

The Greenpoint Community Fridge located at the Lot Radio (17 Nassau Ave.) Image via NBK Mutual Aid website.

It’s a story bigger than our neighborhood. The group was founded in March 2020, amid the rising tide of mutual aid networks across the U.S., with an initial focus on provision of food and medical supplies, particularly to high-risk populations. As the urgency of the pandemic waned, so did the trendy appeal of mutual aid—and with it, the corporate philanthropy and family foundation donations that rolled in in the beginning. NBK Mutual Aid is now 100% reliant on community funding.


“Mutual aid remains as important as it was in 2020 (and well before then), for continuing to challenge our imaginations on how we can be better neighbors to one another and imagine more equitable structures and ways of being in community with one another,” Green said.

Just as the organization evolved since COVID-19 lockdown times, it continues to do so. Funds raised now will go toward existing programming, while also fueling new projects in climate resiliency and emergency preparedness.

For those who’d like to keep community care alive in the neighborhood, consider making a one time or recurring (tax deductible!) donation.

The popular NBK Mutual Aid sweatshirt. Image via NBK Mutual Aid website.

You can also pre-order merch designed by local Greenpoint illustrators, Matt Reuter and Iain Burke. While the limited edition Demo Garden shirt sold out right away, there are hats, totes, and sweatshirts still available—something for everyone! Plus, we’ve heard through the grapevine that NBK Mutual Aid merch tends to get lots of compliments on the streets of Greenpoint.

For those who don’t have the funds now, there’s always a need for new volunteers. Reach out at greenpointhelpers@gmail.com and stay connected at @nbkmutualaid.

“I hope that North Brooklyn Mutual Aid is around for the next four years,” Green said. “And for the next ones after that, in whatever shape and structure makes the most sense. We’re so grateful for any support you can offer in dreaming together both on the now, and on the what comes next.”

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