茄枝视频So many coronavirus mutual aid groups have popped up in the past five days that there are now circulating on Twitter, Nextdoor and Facebook that contain extensive lists of the groups as they form across the country. The spreadsheets also link to templates for flyers and printouts that can be left in neighbors’ mailboxes, as well as instructions for starting neighborhood phone trees to be sure to reach those who aren’t online.
茄枝视频Kamil, who graduated high school last year, said the fundraising will be able to help people for weeks as social distancing and self-quarantining continues. For neighbors who didn’t see the their Google forms circulating online, the group plans to go out into communities in the south and west sides of Chicago and hand out food and supplies to anyone who needs them.
“Our target is low-income black and brown families who have been hit financially or healthwise by this crisis,” she said.
Kamil’s group is also taking precautions. People who deliver food will have gloves, masks and use hand sanitizer.
“And we’re going to disinfect all the cars that have groceries in them and avoid all physical contact,” she said.
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Astra Taylor, an author, organizer and co-founder of the Debt Collective, an organization that focuses on collective actions to dispute debt, said that the local focus of many groups show how the coronavirus has tapped in to community solidarity that may not always be apparent in normal times.
“While we’re confined to our homes, on the one hand, organizing online could conceivably be international,” she said. “But this is a kind of direct and physical solidarity.”
茄枝视频“We know we’re heading into a future with more emergencies, not less. We’re heading towards more climate disasters and mutating viruses and other pandemics, so trying to think of these mutual aid networks as more than just a spontaneous reaction to this moment is really important,” Taylor said.
茄枝视频The idea with these groups, according to one collective in the Somerville and Medford neighborhoods of Boston, is that however the coronavirus pandemic shakes out, everyone is in this together.
茄枝视频“In these fast moving and uncertain times, it’s important that we show up for each other and remember that we are not alone. ¡Lee en español!,” the introduction to the Somerville online packet, which is posted on Nextdoor, reads, linking to a full translation of all the resources in Spanish.
On Friday, Shandra Benito, an executive director of an arts nonprofit in Salt Lake City and a disability rights activist, asked in a Facebook post if anyone would want to join her in forming a local mutual aid group to help those who can’t leave their houses to get groceries.
She had seen people she knows in Seattle on Facebook forming similar groups in response to the coronavirus outbreak and knew that as businesses and schools started to close in her community, people in Salt Lake City would need to help one another too, Benito said.
茄枝视频She sent an email to everyone who responded. Over the weekend, the group started building a website, setting up an email address, putting together a Venmo account and a GoFundMe page, and a couple of Google forms.
“While we’re still possibly a couple weeks away from seeing a systemic government response, we knew that people would need support now,” Benito said.
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茄枝视频The group that formed worked around the clock all weekend before launching the Salt Lake Valley Mutual Aid website on Sunday. By Wednesday afternoon, the group had raised $16,000, surveyed the needs of about 250 people, and 300 volunteers signed up to help.
茄枝视频Not all mutual aid projects are focused on a single city or neighborhood. The is a free tool that was built over the weekend by a group of seven volunteers who responded to a call on Twitter by activist and author Malcolm Harris to build a project to help parents and child caregivers coordinate to watch one another’s kids.
Since its launch Sunday, volunteers have translated it into Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and French.
By building their own volunteer-run tool, “we could make sure we’re not taking people’s data to run experiments or monetize in any way,” Harris said.
Kamil in Chicago said her group is now thinking about how they can set up an emergency fund for their neighbors to provide more substantive financial support for people who are out of work now and were struggling long before the pandemic.
茄枝视频“Living in a city where a lot of our elected officials won’t necessarily care for us all the time, we want to make sure that we are the ones that are providing and sharing love with each other,” she said.