(c) 2022 The Buy Nothing Project, Inc.
What Buy Nothing Aid Looks Like
Mobilize.   Connect.   Collect.   Deliver. 


We all have the power to mobilize, connect, collect, and deliver exactly what is needed through the resources we have at our fingertips. Buy Nothing communities are neighborhoods filled with Givers, Askers, Transporters, and Organizers.

Toolkit for Person2Person Aid Anywhere in  the World:
MOBILIZE: How to Help During a Refugee Crisis or Natural Disaster
Spread the Word:
Share about the Buy Nothing Project with anyone you know in affected areas and regions where refugees are being received or where they are moving through. There may be Buy Nothing groups in communities where resettlement is taking place, and the app is available for anyone to join the movement immediately. Not every town and city that may be welcoming a refugee population has infrastructure in place to assist. This is where Buy Nothing groups and the app can help. With its geo-location feature, the BuyNothing app enables anyone to join wherever they are. They can start posting their needs and/or their bounty they have to offer. This is the quickest way to connect people through one centralized resource for needs and goods/services to be matched up and deployed.

We have the Buy Nothing 101 document in a shareable form in several languages now. Feel free to share it with friends and family worldwide!
Help With Temporary Housing: 
Airbnb.org enables anyone to offer up space in their home to house refugees. Please sign up and encourage others to do so!
Resettlement Needs: 
When refugees arrive in your area, you can post in your Buy Nothing community, asking neighbors and those affiliated with resettlement organizations what newly-arriving refugees in your area might need, like household items. You can take the lead on collecting and delivering those items to families in need. By example, one woman in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, helped women from Afghanistan by asking for sewing machines in her Buy Nothing community. The sewing machines were exactly what the women needed to make their own clothes and to preserve their cultural identity. We've seen many times that the special strength of Buy Nothing communities is meeting specific personal wants and needs, so that people who have lost everything get just what they're looking for to start building back. Focusing on getting people the right sizes and styles of clothing, for instance, makes people feel seen and respected. Whenever possible, reach out to meet individual needs instead of offering bulk piles of goods.
CONNECT: Networking in the Buy Nothing Project
Find Those Who Need Help: 
One of the toughest actions you can take is to network outside your community to find people you can help. There are people in need all over the world, and you can adopt any community and find ways to meet their needs. Talk amongst your community members to offer your help or read the news and reach out to organizations asking for help. You have the power to help. Use our resources creatively and share what you learn with other Buy Nothing participants to empower others to follow your lead. 
Ask For What You Need: 
If you have any needs, just ask! The Buy Nothing Project is here to help. We want everyone in the world to be able to ask their neighbors for assistance in anything they might need in times of peace, war, crisis and peace. This is how we build interdependence, mutual aid and resilience! 
COLLECT: Collections In and For Affected Areas
In Affected Areas: 
If your home community has been hit with a natural disaster or you find you’re caught in the midst of military conflict, be sure to rely on your Buy Nothing community for whatever you might need, and share what you have to offer with others in need. We have many examples of people reaching out through the Buy Nothing network to provide mutual aid.
For Affected Areas: 
If you are traveling to a part of the world where aid is needed - due to natural disasters, poverty, wartime crises - ask people on the ground there for exactly what they need. If tents, tarps, and sleeping bags are needed, for example, ask for them (along with duffel bags for packing them up) in your Buy Nothing community, pack them up, and bring them with you. Find other people traveling to these areas and ask them to take them, too. Often, these kinds of supplies are not available in affected areas because they have run out of supplies. You can make a difference by bringing them to those who need immediate housing.
Special Collections: 
Find out what people’s true needs are, and see if you can meet them. We bring, as an example, sunglasses and work/garden gloves with us every time we travel to Nepal because we know that people in remote villages in the Himalayas can use sunglasses to stave off snowblindness in the winter. The ragpickers who collect garbage in Kathmandu, who make a living doing so, need work gloves to protect their hands. These are lightweight easy-to-pack supplies that can make a difference.
DELIVER: Find Transporters, Give In-Person
Do it Yourself or Find Volunteers: 
If you have collected exactly what an affected area needs, and you have a contact person who can receive your collection, find volunteer transporters to transport and deliver your collection to the people in need. You can ask in your Buy Nothing community. Here’s an example: When the Camp Fire burned Paradise, CA down to the ground and hundreds of families were displaced, having lost everything, many Buy Nothing communities were able to gather up very specific items that were asked-for (some families asked for musical instruments, as they used them before the fire during community gatherings and they were now greatly missed). The items were gathered in Washington State and then delivered in-person by someone who was driving through the area within a matter of days.
Person-to-Person Connections
One of the greatest benefits of giving in person is meeting those who have bravely asked. Please keep in mind that the long term needs of people who have been displaced from their homes are going to change over time. Keep in touch, and empower everyone to become valued participants in Buy Nothing gift economies. That could, perhaps, be the greatest gift you can give -- Community.