Started in late February 2020 based on ideas and visions that we’ve been thinking about for a few years. Previously, the idea was to start forming a group of people who were interested in learning about community sufficiency and mutual aid programs and then start implementing these ideas slowly around Morris County. But when the Covid-19 virus became an urgent issue, we pivoted away from conversations and education toward taking action.
Since then, we have helped over 3,000 families and welcomed as many as 100 volunteers at a time. During the heights of the pandemic, we were busy all day buying and delivering groceries and other essentials, covering the costs for families that couldn’t afford them, paying cell phone bills to keep people from getting disconnected, organizing remote tutoring for children and ESL classes, providing information and referrals to other services, and educating people about our shared structural oppression. Now we continue with community organizing and using this opportunity to create local networks and systems to protect ourselves from this crisis and the next ones as well. We are not delivering charity, we are building relationships of people helping each other directly according to what we actually need, instead of waiting for governments, corporations, or industrialized non-profits to decide how we need to be helped. We recognize that the systems are the problem, not the individuals who are being left behind under these systems.
In future, we plan to continue and evolve this work. We recognize that we can’t go back to business-as-usual. It will take all of us to work together to decide what kind of future we want to build.
Learn more about mutual aid at http://bigdoorbrigade.com/what-is-mutual-aid/