Giving Compass' Take:
- Alexandria Herr explains that mutual aid groups stepped up to fill the gaps left by the government after storms took out Texas utilities.
- Those embedded in communities are best positioned to determine what needs are most pressing. How can you give support to communities during crises?
- Read about the importance of grassroots mutual aid networks.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
When a severe winter storm tore through Texas last Monday, Kirby Lynch lost water and power in her RV home in Collin County. The snow came up to her ankles — higher than she’d ever seen in her life. Nonetheless, Lynch’s first instinct was to get to work. Lynch is one of two organizers behind North Texas Rural Resilience, a mutual aid collective that services rural areas outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In the wake of the storm, Lynch and Sakiewicz delivered groceries and supplies and found hotel rooms for people without housing, despite bad roads and store closures. North Texas Rural Resilience is one of a plethora of mutual aid organizations that sprang into action in the wake of the storm across Texas. Similar organizations, including Austin Mutual Aid, DFW Mutual Aid (in the Dallas-Fort Worth area), and Mutual Aid Houston, have been organizing on the ground and through social media to redistribute funds to people in need, house people from homeless encampments in hotels, and organize supply drives and deliveries of food and water to communities impacted by power outages, freezing temperatures, and water and food shortages.
Extreme weather (including, potentially, extreme cold) will only accelerate as climate change progresses, and groups facing structural inequality — including low-income communities, communities of color, and people with precarious housing situations — feel the burden of these extreme events hardest. With “solidarity, not charity” as their guiding principle, these mutual aid groups aimed to lighten that burden and fill the gap in services left by the government in the days immediately following the storm.
Read the full article about mutual aid by Alexandria Herr at Grist.