Mutual aid groups join to help those in need during COVID-19

Harrenson Gorman is a co-founder of Desert Indigenous Collective, a group begun amid the rise of the novel coronavirus./Cronkite News

By Katelyn Reinhart | Cronkite News

With grocery stores picked over by panicked shoppers and relief checks slow to arrive in mailboxes, Arizonans are coming together to distribute goods and services to those in need through grassroots “mutual aid” groups that target the most vulnerable.

The idea of mutual aid is not new, and it’s not the same as a donation. For example, a person may offer a service to a friend, and that friend would reciprocate with his or her own service. The concept applies to communities as well, when different organizations come together to look after one another by sharing and exchanging supplies, time and resources.

Harrenson Gorman is a co-founder of Desert Indigenous Collective, a group begun amid the rise of the novel coronavirus. Its members have been providing food and cleaning supplies across Phoenix with a focus on helping the elderly, homeless, marginalized and immunocompromised.

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