Acts of Kindness: Harlem community raises money for mindfulness nonprofit ahead of organization’s ninth anniversary

Photo courtesy of Adrian Bueno

A GoFundMe is raising money to help a Harlem nonprofit refurbish its physical space.

Nine years ago, Adrian Bueno founded Mindful Harlem, a nonprofit wellness and meditation center for the community. Located at 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd, the nonprofit offers programs such as yoga, meditation, and other practices with no religious affiliation.

Bueno wanted to make a space for people who might not be able to afford these services otherwise.

“The meditation center was to create an environment to kind of like translate the teachings of meditation and mindfulness into people that they are secular and offer all different types of practices because of sometimes the economic background, of the cultural background of some people, they cannot access it to them,” said Bueno. “So everything that is offered in the center is over donation based. The idea is always to create an environment where people can give freely and if they cannot give, they don’t give.”

Over the nine years, Mindful Harlem has been serving the community, operating on a donation-based system to compensate its instructors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization had to leave its physical space and shifted to an online model.

Regardless of how the community has taken part in the practices (whether it is in-person or online), Mindful Harlem has truly left its mark on the community.

“The vision of the center was always to create an environment of safety to really talk about things that sometimes are kind of hard to talk with people that they are close to us. We have people that deal with cancer, we have people that went through breakups, and we also celebrate the joys of people,” said Bueno. “It’s been very rewarding, at least for me, to be part of this journey.”

To celebrate its ninth anniversary, Mindful Harlem is hosting an event on May 13 at Vinateria Restaurant, also located at 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., visitors can reunite with each other, eat, and celebrate the work that Mindful Harlem has brought to the community.

“It is a time for people that have been away or people that just want to celebrate to come together and enjoy themselves on a person-to-person basis,” said Bueno. 

A GoFundMe was organized for Mindful Harlem in tandem with the nonprofit’s ninth anniversary. With the funds raised by the GoFundMe, Bueno says that the organization will be able to get back into the physical space and refurbish it.

“Since we left the space, there’s been leaks, parts have been destroyed and need to be repainted so it comes like a lot of work,” said Bueno. “Hopefully we can build this space back, refurbish this place that we used to have.”

At the time of publication, the GoFundMe has raised $2,825 of its $3,200 goal. Click here to donate to the fundraiser.

For more information about Mindful Harlem, visit mindfulharlem.com.