What with the amount of spam that floods our inboxes on a daily basis, the amount of Nigerian princes who’ve requested fund transfers from us, the amount of times robocalls have informed us we’ve supposedly won cruises and homes and lotteries, New Yorkers are rightfully paranoid of giving their time or money in the name of free stuff, or even more money. So it may be difficult for you to believe that every Friday for the indefinite future, an anarchist network is hosting a Brooklyn Free Store in Bed-Stuy and giving away “crates of books, food, household goods, bags and bags of used and new clothing, and more.” Also from their website:
“The idea of the Free Store is simple: take whatever you can use, bring whatever you can give that someone else could use. It is a model for another way of living without money and without scarcity.”
The group, In Our Hearts, is composed of “autonomous collectives, projects and individuals who share the goal of building a culture of resistance in the City and beyond.” In addition to hosting the Free Store, In Our Hearts also organizes anti-war demonstrations, supports targeted activists and is involved in a number of other programs to help get necessities to the needy.
The group debuted their Bed-Stuy Free Store back in the summer of 2010. Before that, the store was located in Williamsburg; that location shuttered back in 2005.
That something as DIY as this has survived for so long in New York speaks to In Our Hearts’ mission and implementation. When Brokelyn reported on the Free Store back in 2013, the place seemed ephemeral, a fleeting, pure entity and attempt solely to do right by our fellow earthlings. That four years on, it’s still going strong, well – hold that fact close to your heart.