Ridgewood community hub moves to bigger location, launches fundraising efforts

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Woodbine opened a new location as operations grew in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Woodbine)

Woodbine, an experimental and resource hub in Ridgewood, has moved to a new location in the neighborhood after seven years.

Originally located at 1882 Woodbine St., the volunteer-led organization moved a few blocks away to 585 Woodward Ave. The new space is three times bigger than their old one and will help them expand their efforts, which evolved from events, meetings, and rentals space to a full-time emergency response center at the height of the pandemic.

“We are excited for everyone to see the space, and imagine all the potentials it offers our community to grow and increase our capacities,” Woodbine organizer Matt Peterson wrote. “The new spot feels good — it is enormous and bright, pretty and cozy. We’ve signed a five-year lease, which gives us an anchor and some stability to project ourselves into an uncertain future.”

They have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise $70,000 to make the move, build out the new space, and maintain their community organizing and service work.

Photo courtesy of Woodbine

Since March, Woodbine has partnered with Hungry Monk, a Ridgewood-based homeless outreach and community response vehicle, to establish a food pantry. Their pantry, run by dozens of volunteers each week, has served hundreds of local families each day for the past nine months.

They launched a community fridge, so community members can pick up or leave food items freely, as well as a mutual aid in order to highlight the local information and resources that community members need during these unprecedented times.

Photo courtesy of Woodbine

They also hosted several community events, both in-person and virtual, including a pumpkin carving and a Halloween party.

Woodbine will host a holiday market on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with more than a dozen vendors, with a portion of the proceeds raised will help fund their new space and continue their food distribution. The vendors at the market will include Topos, SMK Ceramics, Eric Zhang, Mil Mundos, Nina Berman Ceramics, Mark Tallowin, Sacred Bones Records, Lo Monte, Saffron, myfawnwy, Rebecca Kaebnick, Weaving Herbs, Doubles Tennis, Soft Squares and Ridgewood Kitchen CSA.

In addition to the vendors who will be there, Boot Boyz Biz will design a Woodbine shirt and tote bag, so all proceeds will go to their new space.

They will encourage social distancing in their vendor layout and will limit capacity.

Additionally, FUNNEL, a nonprofit gallery, is hosting a virtual arts exhibit from now through Feb. 1, featuring work by more than two dozen artists.

“We took a leap, and we need everyone’s support to pull it off,” Peterson wrote. “We have to cover moving expenses, the broker’s fee, insurance, the rent increase we took on, utilities and the renovations needed to make the new space usable. We need to hire carpenters, electricians and plumbers. We need new furniture and supplies to outfit the space, including a new stove, kitchen sink and air conditioning system. We need shelving, tables, chairs, kitchen supplies and more PPE. We would also like to invest in a van of our own, to be able to make deliveries and pickups for our food pantry through the winter.”

To find out more about Woodbine’s efforts and programming, visit www.woodbine.nyc.

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