'There are people who want to do something:' Residents donate items for BK families in need
Free pop-up stores in North Brooklyn are giving back to borough residents during the pandemic.
Founder of North Brooklyn Free Stores Myles Smutney is creating spaces in Williamsburg where people can shop without having to pay.
"Instead of seeing the plywood and being like another business is closed, I'm like 'OK cool, I can create another free store there,'" Smutney says.
The pandemic has forced hundreds of businesses across the city to close, but Smutney is ensuring that residents still have a place to get what they need.
The store works in partnership with North Brooklyn Mutual Aid to bring together people in need and people who want to give.
"I'll come and see bags of hats and gloves with price tags still on it," Smutney says. "There are people who want to do something in this time of the pandemic, where they want to take care of each other."
Smutney says since opening in October, thousands of different items have been donated and given to new owners for free.
People have donated microwaves, TVs, wood shelves and cabinets.
The free stores will be expanding to a new location that will partner with P.S. 18.