"Thinking local, thinking about people, thinking about helping the community and how we can be the catalyst to create a better place to live is what we're about," Reyn Cabinte, pastor of Uptown Community Church, told DNAinfo.com.
The team describes its simple mission on Facebook:
"Simply put, [cash mobs] are a way of showing support for a local business by getting a large group to purchase products and services in a short span of time."
One of their first cash mobs targeted Will Alicea, an Inwood artist battling leukaemia. On the day of the cash mob, he saw an additional $500 in sales online and at the Indian Road Café where he sells his custom "Will Teez" T-shirts.
See photos of the cash mob here.
"We might sell three of Will's shirts in a week," Indian Road Café co-owner Jason Minter told DNAinfo.com. "We sold about 30 shirts and 22 buttons that day. It was great for us and great for Will."
"The cash mob phenomenon is great," Alicea said. "It shows love for people in the community, love for people who create. Love is the most powerful healer of all, not chemotherapy."
On October 13, Dichter Pharmacy, still struggling financially after suffering a massive fire, will be the recipient of the team's next cash mob. The team is encouraging people to buy cold-season supplies — and then donate their purchases to Uptown Community Church for distribution to local schools. The church will match donations.
"These days, every store is in need," Dichter Pharmacy owner Manual Ramirez said of the upcoming cash mob. "I'm grateful they chose me."
"We chose Manny because he is an Inwood guy through and through," Valerie Herron, who heads up Neighbourhood Renewal Team, told DNAinfo.com.
"I want the shelves empty when we leave," she added.