When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist. Dom Helder Camara
When people first set out to make a difference, they often gravitate toward charity. Yet charity has existed for eons, and the poor are still poor. As communicated in Peter Block’s Community: The Structure of Belonging, neighborhoods cannot and should not be a substitution for institutional change. He writes, “Institutions provide services, not care. Only communities can provide care.” Enter mutual aid. Mutual aid goes beyond mere charity by establishing a framework of care, and will consequently connect our neighbors to vital services during this crisis.
To learn about the difference between charity and mutual aid projects listen to this podcast by Rebel Steps.
And consider starting your own mutual aid. We recommend that you start by exploring Common Change, who for over 15 years, has been helping groups of people create mutual aid projects.