Covid 19 Mutual Aid Lexington Kentucky
Dear mutual aid community,
It’s time to take our breath and hit pause.
You have moved mountains. In the face of an unprecedented emergency, incredible anxiety, and institutions collapsing, we’ve shown what we already knew; neighbors helping neighbors can change the world. This network has moved nearly $15,000 dollars during the greatest economic crisis in a century, and we did it faster than many social service agencies and nonprofits are able. Every day, we’re seeing folks perform simple acts of kindness and solidarity that help us survive. Each and everyone of us should not only be proud but hopeful. We are actively building a new community that people in power have told us cannot exist. We have resisted that message, and we’ve made a massive impact.
The need in our community is great, even before COVID-19. In the past month we’ve connected people directly for cash assistance, as well as provided critical support around food, petcare, etc. We’ve met thousands of dollars in immediate and critical financial need, but there is still $30,000 of needs outstanding. More requests come in every day. It’s a strange and hard feeling to be more successful than many of us have ever been, some of us working our entire lives in organizing and social service roles, and yet still so far from our goal. Fundamentally, this is a reflection of our society.
We are holding off on taking new submissions on the form. Doing so gives us the breathing room to reflect on our role as organizers, and develop a vision and direction for the next phase of this mutual aid network.
This is a hard decision, but a necessary one. We are committed to mutual aid work, to learning from our successes and failures, and listening to one another. That means responding to the overwhelming needs we already have, and planning for the future.
This work has been rooted in trust. This is a radically simple act; rather than endlessly interrogate someone about whatever choices preceded their circumstances, we only asked what they needed and connected them to someone who could meet that need. Removing red tape to access resources makes us a much easier alternative than current governmental and nonprofit structures. Mutual aid is not the same as charity.
In the meantime we’ve observed that the Facebook page has continued to be an important space for people to post and offer needs. Keep going with that! Also, we’ve begun compiling a list of community-based resources/information that we hope is useful to all of you, and will share that with everyone shortly.
We want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their vulnerabilities and reached out for help. We want to say thank you to everyone who’s seen themselves in someone else's need and stepped up to bridge the gap. We’re excited for the next iteration of this project, and will keep folks posted.