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Hey! So Glad You're Here.

Greater Charlotte Rise (GCR) is a non-profit mutual aid. Mutual aid is an idea and practice that is based on the principles of direct action, cooperation, mutual understanding, and solidarity. Mutual aid is not charity, but the building and continuing of new social relations where people give what they can and get what they need, outside of unjust systems of power.
Our team is focused on helping all members of our community including men, women, children, non-binary, trans-folk, and families. GCR is committed to meeting people where they are. This does not exclude those on a journeys that could potentiality include addiction, sobriety, or returning citizens.

How long has mutual aid been around?

The term “mutual aid” comes from 19th-century anarchist Peter Kropotkin, who formulated the theory after going to the Siberian wilderness. Expecting to observe competition in the natural world, he instead witnessed animals united against common struggle. He later outlined his theory in his 1902 essay collection, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, writing, “In the long run, the practice of solidarity proves much more advantageous to the species than the development of individuals endowed with predatory inclinations.”Throughout American history, wherever poor, marginalized communities have existed, often, so have mutual-aid networks. In the 19th and 20th centuries, “fraternal societies” within the labor movement — which were run by the poor and working class — provided access to health care, paid leave, and life insurance to people across the country. The Black Panther Party also organized a number of mutual-aid efforts in the 1960s, the most famous being its free-breakfast program, which provided meals to 20,000 children.

How does this mutual aid operate?

Mutual aid has always been an aspect of indigenous community care and relationally. Anybody who was your clan, they were considered your relatives…if they were struggling, if they needed any assistance, it was part of your duty to make sure that they were okay and they were cared for.

 

Our mutual-aid group is made up of organizers and volunteers who respond to the needs of communities. This type of mutual aid “takes the red tape and the humiliation” out of the process of applying for assistance. We also gives people the freedom to buy what they need. Often to receive government assistance, you have to jump through all these hoops to prove that you are in enough need or are poor enough in order to gain access, and that isn't us. We are trying to allow people to have dignity as they recover. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein, random but he didn't really say this, but who are we to correct the record.

How can I get involved in mutual-aid efforts?

Unfortunately, the need is great which results in an abundance of work to, but many hands make light work . 

Outreach Volunteer needs: 

 

  • Distribution clothing, food, and other supplies:

    • Coordinate pickup and delivery for community members.

    • Mobilize collect and distribute donated items.

  • Connect volunteers with neighbors that need prescriptions picked up or rides to essential doctor appointments.

  • Match up volunteers that need social interaction and emotional support – this could simply be making greeting cards to send, talking on the phone, or making an in-person visit.

  • Walk, feed (and foster if needed) pets for neighbors who may need assistance to care for them.

  • Help others with navigating benefits processes, such as applying for unemployment or other government assistance programs.

  • Offer technical assistance to those not familiar with the internet or apps that are valuable resources.

  • Host online tutoring, lessons or video events

  • Care at-home with parents needing childcare.

  • Collect donations for families and neighbors needing a bridge before formal financial assistance can be secured.

  • Coordinate volunteers for lawn care schedules for neighbors who cannot do it themselves or who can no longer afford to pay for it.

  • Do you want to volunteer to art, content, white collar, or any skill you didn't see listed pro bono no matter your experience or education level, there are opportunities for you!