The organizations we have highlighted so far, for the most part, have been focused on the big picture. These are national and international groups that recognize the global nature of this pandemic, and use their resources to react on a large scale. This kind of widespread response is necessary, and the work that these groups do should be applauded.
At the same time, we should not forget the importance of smaller, community-based organizations right now. It is these groups — neighborhood councils, local churches, mutual aid orgs — that are able to fill in the gaps that larger, more bureaucratic organizations tend to miss. It is also a great way to get involved in your own community, and give back in a way that is both tangible and empowering.
These organizations come in all shapes and sizes. In New York City, a burgeoning network of mutual aid groups has grown amidst the crisis, including the Corona Carriers — bicyclists who deliver supplies all over the city — and The Astoria Mutual Aid Network, designed to serve the citizens of Astoria and make train rides unnecessary. Groups like these are not just a great way for neighborhoods to support themselves during the pandemic; they are a great model for the benefits of increased community organization.
Finding a mutual aid organization in your own community might take a little Googling, but it’s a great way to get involved. And if no one has started organizing in your area yet, you can be the first!