What is mutual aid?
In common understanding, mutual aid is an exchange of services and resources on the basis of a promise to reciprocate. The underlying idea is that the members of a community or group have a responsibility to care for each other, as well as the interests of their group. In organization concept, mutual aid is a voluntary mutual exchange of services and resources on the basis of a promise to reciprocate. In short, it is an institution for which an obligation is imposed by individuals to care for and defend each other.
In theory, the members of a society voluntarily make a commitment to care for each other by sharing their resources with one another on the basis of a promise to return the favor when needed. In practice, however, many people find it hard to practice this principle, especially where some of them have strong selfish desires. Those who are in genuine need might find it difficult to take care of their neighbors, who may have less urgent needs, but whose health or misfortune may cause problems that a more affluent neighborhood is able to cope with. Others may not feel that they have any obligation to those who are poor, even though they may have similar tastes or behaviors.
One way that you can make your community more caring and generous-to-its-neighbors is to get started with a mutual aid project. There are organizations across the United States and in other countries that provide hundreds of different kinds of help. Many of these organizations conduct fundraisers in which you can help the neighbors who don’t have health insurance or who don’t have clean water. Or, if you prefer, you can build houses and provide them to the needy, and then raise money to help them maintain them. There are dozens of other ways in which you can participate in a mutual-aid project.
As a general rule, there should be some common ground on which you can work toward a mutual-aid program. The first step is always to talk about the issue. It is possible that there will be disagreements on the basis of race, religion, or national origin, but if you are thinking of starting a Pandemic relief effort, for example, the discussions that you have will inevitably include gender and class. Race doesn’t have to be a major factor in deciding where to get started; it may only be a deciding factor in determining which organization to work with.
Once you have decided what you all want to do, it’s time to get involved. There are various ways that you can get involved, and it is up to you to choose which ones are the most appealing to you. If you have children, participating in a student-base effort at school will make you feel good while doing your best for the kids. You can also get involved in smaller projects around town. If you are someone who likes to volunteer, a youth development group or a church can be a great place for you to get involved.
One way that many people get involved in a mutual-aid project is by putting their money where their mouth is. If you know someone who is in need of money to do something nice for a neighbor or loved one, you might consider offering to help that person out-of-pocket. People who are shy about asking others for money often appreciate the help that they receive from people who are willing to give. Of course, you will need to learn some negotiation skills in order to ensure that you are getting your fair share. This skill should not be overlooked as it is an important part of becoming an effective giver.
Another good way for you to get involved with a mutual-aid effort in New Hampshire is by volunteering to work at a charity. There are many different types of charities in New Hampshire, and you can choose which ones you would like to volunteer at based on your interests. Some of the best places to volunteer at include pet shelters, nursing homes, schools, and soup kitchens. Each of these places is very important in helping to provide the assistance that one would need during an emergency, and you can prove to those that you help that you are very dedicated to doing so.
One of the most important aspects of any charity or mutual-aid program is the distribution of items. You may be surprised to find out just how many people in the United States suffer from hunger, thirst, and lack of shelter over the course of the year. Two organizations that you can donate to in New Hampshire are The United Way and the Knights of Columbus. These two organizations focus on providing food, water, and shelter to those in need. The food that is distributed through a mutual-aid program is donated to the local food bank. The water that is provided through the Kropotkin Soup Kitchen in New Hampshire is used for cooking, clean up, and other household needs.