In these fast moving and uncertain times, it’s important that we show up for each other and remember that we are not alone.
Mutual aid is a powerful way to build strong connections- we all have something to offer and we all have something we need.
The COVID-19 global public health crisis has thrown every contradiction and failure of capitalism into striking relief; at this time more than ever, we must turn to our community networks for solidarity and collective care.
That’s why NYC-DSA has partnered with other grassroots groups in all five boroughs to help create Mutual Aid NYC (MANYC), a city-wide directory of local mutual aid responses. You can use MANYC as a hub to find local mutual aid infrastructure in your neighborhood and plug in directly.
We want to avoid duplicating efforts and support existing groups as much as possible. If you have a pre-existing relationship with a community group, reach out to them and listen to what they need. If you know of any groups who are or may be doing mutual aid work already, please have them fill out the MANYC group intake form if they’re interested so we can support them by having our Neighborhood Point People funnel volunteers, resources, and aid requests to them.
Shortly after you fill out your information, a Neighborhood Point Person will contact you and let you know how you can get plugged in to support an existing aid group, or help them start one in neighborhoods where none exist yet.
They may add you to an existing neighborhood Slack, or our new Mutual Aid Slack for neighborhoods that don’t have their own communication infrastructure yet. There, you will be able to see aid requests that come in from Airtable and coordinate with each other to fulfill them.
BECOME A NEIGHBORHOOD POINT PERSON!
On our volunteer intake form, there is also a section to sign up to be a Neighborhood Point Person (NPP), which is more involved than being a general volunteer. As an NPP, you will be heavily involved in coordinating volunteers, bottom lining scaling up these mutual aid groups, and supporting them long-term.
There are various Neighborhood Point Person (NPP) roles you can help fill, including:
Finding and coordinating with existing neighborhood aid groups to listen, learn, and support their efforts; creating aid groups in neighborhoods where there are none
Receiving and tracking volunteers and aid requests from the central Airtable and coordinating them to fulfill requests ranging from grocery delivery to childcare
Orienting and providing guidance to your volunteers re: proper sanitization procedures, etc. (we will provide training)
If you want to take on more aid requests, flyering your building or creating a phone tree to identify needs
Using a central fund to reimburse grocery deliveries, requests for cash, etc.
Citywide Support Squad members and Citywide Accounting Team members, who will essentially be performing the same functions that NPPs do for volunteers, but for NPPs (ie, orienting NPPs, providing tech support, collecting resources, etc) and our citywide mutual aid fund.
If you indicated that you’d like to be a Neighborhood Point Person (NPP), download Signal if you haven’t already, and we’ll add you to a group chat to explain next steps! There will be several NPPs per neighborhood and a core team to help you out!