During and after the holiday season it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the capitalistic view of the past week where the only important part is buying and giving material gifts to each other, so I’d like to focus our attention on post-holiday giving that would make more of an impact than any luxurious clothes or hobby materials. I’ve said in previous giving posts that I’m more than privileged enough to have a good job, a savings account, supportive family, and a home to live in (I was lucky enough to have three-four jobs throughout COVID). I’m also blessed to have received even more monies throughout the 2022 post-holiday that would be better directed toward people who need it more than I do. I love shopping for myself and giving gifts to my loved ones during the holidays is like an extreme sport to me, but I want to now focus on fund redistributions to folks who are in far greater need than I am. In my previous job I worked with our houseless community members on a daily basis, so I understand the needs and wants of the people I interact with, and there are so many people who are struggling every day (even more so than what we see driving past our houseless neighbors). I’m equally passionate about working with houseless folks to meet their immediate and long term needs and uplifting and supporting incarcerated organizers in their struggle for freedom. For my 2022 post-holiday fund redistributions, I want to share the individuals and organizations I’ll be donating to.
One of my most revered abolitionist leaders, Mariame Kaba, is raising money for REBUILD: A Help Me Find a Therapist Program that connects over 5,000 formerly incarcerated and criminalized people of color to free therapists of color. The State does nothing to assist formerly incarcerated folks once they’re released, and this program will do amazing work for mental health support. Kaba’s Project NIA is not only partnering with REBUILD, but also NYC’s Bluestockings Cooperative on their Free Store + Seasonal Kit Program to provide material resources to vulnerable and houseless community members in their area. The Cooperative’s wishlist is full of items like hand warmers, soap, snacks, basic clothing, toothbrushes, and more! Survived & Punished NY is raising money to support criminalized survivors through commissary donations. Many people inside would love to receive funds on their commissary as essentials like food, toilet paper, soap, and sanitary products are housed there. An abolitionist comrade of mine is helping a youth organizer named T crowdfund for rental assistance through their Cashapp ($2becontinued1). Even though T’s goal was reached, I wanted to include them in my 2022 post-holiday distributions to continue supporting them in their rental struggle. Survived & Punished NY is also raising money for for their inside member Natalya so she’ll have some immediate resources upon her release. They’ve listed a Venmo (Margaret-linhart), Cashapp (maggielinhart), and PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) for those interested in donating. The Chicago Torture Justice Center is seeking funds to support the continued healing of police violence survivors and they look forward to using the monies for:
- Getting a washer and dryer for a community laundry room
- Fully furnishing a community computer lab
- Getting a massage table to offer somatic healing modalities like acupuncture and massage
- Re-launching an inside-outside book club
- Launching 2 new organizing campaigns for structural change
- Expanding healing arts programming
- Building a raised-bed healing garden
- … and MORE that can come from our collective radical imaginations
Austin and his family have been homeless since February of this year and they need donations to afford a motel stay while they wait on countless housing waiting lists. It’s no secret that local governments all across America have discarded houseless residents and convinced the public that shelters and housing are available if they want to go there. However, Austin’s family—just like so many other unhoused people—are waiting on a dead end and they need money for an immediate stay. Please support them in your 2022 post-holiday redistributions! I’m not Catholic or religious at all, but one of my organizing friends Wally Inglis runs a homeless outreach program called Wallyhouse through St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Kalihi. At Wallyhouse (named in Wally’s honor), folks in need have access to “a hot lunch every Tuesday [for guests], a daily food pantry, mail address, device charging, a prayer wall and a peace garden.” Lastly of my organization selections, the LA SRA Mutual Aid group has an Amazon wishlist with items they desperately need to distribute to houseless folks in their area. California is similar to most other places around the US that can be extremely cold during this time of year, and homeless people are left with no place to keep them warm or dry due to government abandonment. This group will use the purchased products to keep their neighbors safe, dry, fed, and slightly heated!
I know I’ve already listed plenty of organizations and individuals who need funding distributions, so please consider giving to some or all of these as no community is at a loss of suffering people. Additionally, houseless folks, incarcerated comrades, and survivors exist and are in need everywhere in the world, so please give to them in your own communities when and if you ever see them. In the 2022 post-holiday season and throughout the year, I ask that you treat any disposable income you have as belonging to those who need it. Your money can go toward feeding someone and/or addressing their material needs at the moment, and isn’t that what we should always focus on?