It is amazing to see the amount of action happening across New York City, around the United States, and globally on setting up local support groups so neighbors can support each other through COVID-19.
Groups might be:
- building or street-level groups
- neighborhood groups
- boroughs-level networks (made up of neighborhood groups)
- existing community groups that want to offer mutual aid services to their constituents and members.
The following resources are compiled from around the country and can be used to:
- help groups set up,
- use tech, tools and templates to manage groups
- connect with best practices from other mutual aid groups.
Please note, we haven’t fully vetted all of these resources. We know groups are looking for resources to help set up and run groups, so we have compiled this list of resources we know of. We hope to provide more specific Mutual Aid NYC resources in the future, and will post them to this blog as they are developed, but in the meantime, we hope some of these are useful.
Setting up a group
- The Neighborhood Support Network NYC steps through a range of how-tos in this guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yty6ZmeA_27yKvyFR3Vfjj40DOEmNkLOgseMR7lQaNU/edit
- One of the best maintained databases of resources for mutual aid groups can be found here:
- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HEdNpLB5p-sieHVK-CtS8_N7SIUhlMpY6q1e8Je0ToY/edit#gid=832179775 It was created by Database by Shadia Fayne Wood.
- Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville have a great set of resources for a non-tech volunteer group to get up and running:
- Another awesome resource is Bree Gaddy’s Drive of resources:
- How to set up a neighborhood pod:
- Simple tips for neighborhood pods/groups from NYC Uptown Coronavirus Group:
- AARP suggestions:
- This list looks like it is from the UK and has a table of resources and templates, but the link was broken when i tried:
- Mutual Aid starter pack:
- Organizing steps list from Vermont Mutual Aid:
- Draft toolkit from Vermont:
- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UUyYMst2xJqq_EPCigc6Bph_vihIZ5Ml7mmq6f6UDPs/edit Draft community response kit from Vermont: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dA-Zl59sZkxd1MV2XTRC5ewnUDNEF06sZdUPwoD-Zfs/edit
- Organising suggestions from DC:
- Templates for setting up community delivery services from Brookline:
- Mutual Aid delivery safety practices:
- Movement NetAid suggestions for organising in a crisis:
(After reading these suggestions, if you decide you do not want to create a mutual aid group or there already is one you can join, and you still want to help out in other ways, consider looking up the Help with Covid site: https://helpwithcovid.com/)
- How to set up a slack group for your mutual aid group or neighborhood pod:
- Create a whatsapp group easily: http://joingroupchat.com, a completely free-to-use website that makes it easier to connect people through WhatsApp. The website lets group admins create custom and password protected (optional) WhatsApp group chat links.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Use SignupGenius to allow volunteers to ‘claim’ job tasks:
- The NextDoor app may have some useful features:
- Action Network has made their tools available to mutual aid groups:
- Mobilize Us has also offered their apps for free for Mutual Aid organizers:
- Golden is setting up specific mutual aid organising tools at:
- MutualAidNYC’s mapping team is focused on building new features to make the map on our website more interactive and useful. To make feature suggestions, send us a message on the Mutual Aid NYC slack channel #digital-data-mapping, or via the GitHub mapping repo, or via email to email@example.com and we will add it to our list. You can see more of our mapping work and join us via GitHub:
- BetaNYC has a map that aligns different ways of setting boundaries of districts together to help with defining a neighborhood:
- Medford and Somerville Mutual Aid has a straightforward resource that explains how to use google forms and google docs to create a map. They provide all queries to cut and paste so non-coders can replicate a map that matches volunteers with needs and shows available groups in the area:
- EFF recommendations (great advice on how to keep volunteer and requesters information secure when building mutual aid groups):
- Add to the Mutual Aid NYC map:
- Add to the US mutual aid map:
- Add to the AARP Community Connections listing of mutual aid groups:
- (Direct link to the form: https://aarpcommunityconnections.org/add-listing/?listing_type=gd_place
- Crowdsourced spreadsheet with form that is collecting available groups:
- This list includes some general resources for creating Mutual Aid groups and a list of known mutual aid groups around the US:
- Suggested NYC neighborhood support group flyer in English and Spanish: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yty6ZmeA_27yKvyFR3Vfjj40DOEmNkLOgseMR7lQaNU/edit
- Simple flyer with translations in a large range of languages: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WwBe0-Feg45sIkfVqe1lQAzrZFZDp3KEpXY-hzHJYPQ/edit
- AARP: Neighborly invitation Multi-lingual flyer template Flyer template
- Lincoln Sudbury template/flyer:
- Astoria Mutual Aid group (coming soon!)
The bulk of this resource list was collected by Hannah Brown for the Mutual Aid US group.
This list will be updated regularly. Last update: 31 March 2020.