Mutual Aid: Supporting Community Members in Need

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic, we're hearing phrases like physical distancing, PPE (personal protective equipment) and mutual aid. What is mutual aid, what does it mean and how are people are using it?

By staying home, we limit the amount of people we come in contact with, which slows the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. But in many cases, staying at home means lost wages and the resources those wages provided. Communities have responded by jumping into action to support each other.

An example of mutual aid might be a neighbor who isn’t feeling well and should not be in a grocery store. He may not have friends or family nearby to shop for him. He shares with his local mutual aid group that he needs a few days worth of groceries, and he sends cash electronically. Someone who is feeling well and has access to a car offers help by picking up the groceries.

Check out these articles and websites for information on inspiring individuals, mutual aid networks and neighborhood pods.

"A University of Chicago Student Explains How Coronavirus Mutual Aid Efforts Came Together on Campus" by Lauren Young
Teen Vogue, March 2020
Lauren Young interviews a college student to learn how mutual aid efforts came about.

"Chicago Mutual Aid Network Connects Those in Need with Helpers Across the City" by Alex V. Hernandez
Block Club Chicago, March 18, 2020
Alex Hernandez reports on a local effort to match resources with those suddenly in need.

"How To Start a Neighborhood Pod" by Ground Game LA
Ground Game LA offers organizational and conversational guidance on how to start a neighborhood pod.

Mutual Aid Networks by Mutual Aid Hub
Mutual Aid Hub created a national listing you can share with friends or family in another state.