Ward 3 Mutual Aid

Washington, DC

Ward 3 Mutual Aid is one of seven ward teams associated with the DC Mutual Aid Network (DCMA), a citywide grassroots mobilization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mutual aid can be loosely defined as neighbors helping neighbors. We operate a hotline through which anyone can request support. While free or subsidized groceries are the most common request we get, we are much more than just a grocery service! Through our hotline, we give & receive many kinds of support while building the long term relationships that sustain our community of care.

Background: The DC Mutual Aid Network emerged from the pre-existing mutual aid work already being undertaken across the city by Black-led organizations including Dreaming Out Loud, Black Lives Matter DC, the Black Swan Academy, the Peace House DC, Peace Fellowship DC, Deanwood Tenants Association, Black Youth Project 100, Current Movements, and the campaign to elect Anthony Lorenzo Green. The “East of the River” team was the first to set up a community hotline & free grocery deliveries in mid-March, and they called on organizers in every ward to do the same. Ward 3 organizers launched our hotline on March 23, 2020.

As of September 2020, we have a roster of over 700 members who give and receive support in Ward 3. We have answered over 1600 hotline calls, and made over 950 grocery deliveries in our ward, as well as completed over 200 intakes for other kinds of support such as housing resources, applying for benefits, prescription medication pick-up, home goods donations, rides to the doctor, mental health resources, childcare, and so on. We have dozens of trained hotline operators and over 100 grocery shopper volunteers who fill requests every day of the week. We provide all hotline resources in both English and Spanish, Monday - Friday from 10am-6pm, thanks to our language team. We deliver about $2550 of free groceries and 40 hot meals to our Ward 3 neighbors every week, plus we commit an additional average of $650 a week to supporting other wards.

As a grassroots cooperative organization, our goal is for every one of our members & supporters to make a monthly contribution -- and join our organizing! We may each have little to give, but all together we are powerful!

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