Central Ohio Mutual Aid is an organization formed by local organizers and activists in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting societal social distancing. We believe in connecting our community to address urgent community needs.
The phrase “mutual aid,” first defined by Russian revolutionary Peter Kropotkin, is an organizational term defined as the voluntary act of supporting a community through providing resources and services. Mutual aid is not charity work, but a recognition of duty to neighbors. Central Ohio Mutual Aid aims to connect people to people and people to resources through our Facebook group and other community-focused organizations. If someone two streets down from you fills out our form saying they can drive you to work, we will connect you. If a neighbor is running short on food and you have extra groceries, we will connect you. In short, mutual aid is about building new social relations that are more survivable than our current ones.
We are asking you to give now to financially support our neighbors in a time of job instability, evictions, food insecurity, and other dire needs, in a way that helps us avoid oppressive power structures of other social services. We ask you to give whatever amount you think is reasonable. Once we have raised $1500, we will open a form for community members to apply for Round 1 of weekly payouts. In terms of choosing who gets the payouts, we aim to fulfill all needs that are noted in the form, but will prioritize needs of those of marginalized identities who do not have other access to wealth. Payout amounts will be determined based off of those who apply and the urgency of the need. We can't know for sure how funds will be used. But mutual aid means trusting in neighbors to ask for what they need and not take more than necessary. To quote Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, “If you don't trust people, you make them untrustworthy.”
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