Saturday, June 13 - SWMA Working Groups

Need help?

Sunnyside & Woodside Mutual Aid is bringing together our neighbors to support each other. Our network has collected resources to help those struggling and is striving for broader community action.

For everything from food assistance to legal advice, click here.

For an overview of gathered resources, click here.

Free Food Pantry Saturdays

For food assistance, find us on Saturdays from 1 pm - 4 pm. We will have stations set up at 46th Street-Bliss @ 7 train station; 61st St-Woodside @ 7 train station; and by Woodside Houses @ Broadway & 49th.

No matter your situation - you can get nutritious food!


Get Involved

Mutual aid is about fostering reciprocal support and greater connection within our communities. Sunnyside & Woodside Mutual Aid [SWMA] empowers individuals in our neighborhoods to actively contribute and take care of each other.

Interested in joining the SWMA? Get more information here or read below for some of our existing working groups. Think you can contribute to one? Is something missing from the list? Let us know!

For more, find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, or help us spread the word the old-fashioned way! And if you live elsewhere, find out about nearby mutual aid and community support networks here.

Learn about our working groups below and consider joining an orientation session or our Slack channel.

Communications

The Communications working group currently consists of three working groups—flyering, newsletter, and social media—to build community through information gathering and resource sharing. By highlighting the contributions of neighbors, local projects, proposals, and other mutual aid groups, this working group reveals the ways a more sustainable and supportive world is possible.

Community Aid Coordination

The Community Aid Coordination working group dispatches volunteers to community requests for assistance or support. Empowering individuals to act as “case workers,” these volunteers can work not only to resolve single issues but to develop deeper bonds in the community with the support and guidance of this working group.

Community Inclusion

The Community Inclusion working group is integrating SWMA with existing community organizations and finding ways to better co-exist with our neighbors who have been here for decades. If you have long-standing ties to Sunnyside and Woodside and want to be involved in this effort, or if you belong to any neighborhood organizations you feel we should know about, please email Ethan at ethanhova@gmail.com.

Database & Information Resources

The Database & Information Resources working group is dedicated to creating, maintaining, and organizing the data, forms, documents, webpages, and information resources that support the needs of other working groups and of our community.

Food Relief and Sustainability

The Food Relief working group is building partnerships to source and distribute food to our neighbors, including developing long-term solutions for food self-reliance. Coordinating with local restaurants, bars, schools, groceries, and markets, they have hosted Free Food Pantries on Saturdays and have collected information on other local organizations offering food services.

Housing

The Housing working group gathers information about housing services provided by the city government as well as local organizations. From rental assistance to domestic-violence support, the group provides options and resources to those facing housing insecurity.

Mission and Operations

The Mission and Operations working group maintains the cultural core of SWMA, ensuring that our work aligns with our mission and values.

Personal Protective Equipment

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) working group manages the collection and distribution of PPE, from donors to families in need. Sourcing disposable gloves, surgical masks, fabric masks, N95 masks, and locally made hand sanitizer, family-sized kits are then assembled and distributed to the community.

Tech

The Tech working group uses digital tools to organize and coordinate neighborhood outreach and support, including maintenance of the SWMA website, Slack channel, and Notion database, among others.

Translation

The Translation working group ensures the outreach and communications of SWMA are accessible to as many community members as possible—currently with translators working in Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, Mandarin, and Bengali.

The group is looking for more translators, particularly Bengali translators.

Complete the Census

The 2020 Census is happening now! Everyone living is the US is counted and all are able to respond online, by phone, or by mail.

Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. And remember, when you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics, determining where to build roads, hospitals, schools, and so much more!

To complete your census online today, click here. Or call, 1-844-330-2020.


Vote By Mail in the Primary Elections on June 23

Do you want to vote in the primary election but are concerned about the spread of COVID-19? Vote absentee and remember the last day to postmark is June 16, 2020! Here is how to get your ballot to vote absentee:

  1. Request Your Application: Visit vote.nyc/page/absentee-voting to download the application, call 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692), or complete the application online at nycabsentee.com. Absentee ballot applications are also mailed by New York City Board of Elections to all registered voters, but by requesting a ballot you can ensure its timely delivery.

  2. Complete Your Application: Print and fill out the application at home, or complete online. On the application, you may check “temporary illness or physical disability” as the reason you are requesting an absentee ballot, if you are requesting a ballot because of the potential of contracting COVID-19. Please make sure to sign and date the application.

  3. Send Your Application: Send the completed form via email to AbsenteeJune2020@boe.nyc. You can also mail your form to the Queens County Board of Elections at 118-35 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, NY 11375.

Woodside Sunnyside Composting Collective

Woodside Sunnyside Composting Collective is a volunteer-led organization transforming food waste into compost. They have created a petition to turn the proposed new park in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District into a temporary community composting site to relieve the city waste stream during the hiatus of the Brown Bin Program.

As part of the petition, the area would also be used to grow food to be donated to families who have been directly affected by the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information on the petition and their proposal, click here.

The New York Times featured the above photo from journalist Ryan Christopher Jones on their Instagram. The caption, in part, reads: “Last week, in Sunnyside, Queens, a dozen or so volunteers from the [Sikh Center of New York in Queens Village,] served demonstrators 500 portions of matar paneer, rice and rajma, a dish of red beans stewed with tomatoes. They also handed out 1,000 bottles of water and cans of soda. ‘Where we see peaceful protest, we are going,’ said Himmat Singh, a coordinator at the World Sikh Parliament, an advocacy group providing volunteers for the Queens Village efforts. ‘We are looking for justice. We support this.’”

P.S. Don’t forget, if you plan to protest, Amnesty International has developed a toolkit for how to do so safely.