Holiday Mutual Aid Funds to Donate to

Holiday Mutual Aid Funds

Around this time of the year, I usually blog about the clothing, accessories, and books I want to receive for my birthday and Christmas (here’s a list of beautiful things I still love today, looking specifically at the football helmet charm!), but I stopped sharing that type of post when I decided that giving to others is more important than what I want for myself. I’m privileged enough to have two jobs (even despite upcoming furloughs), a savings account, supportive family, and a home to live in. I don’t need people to buy me presents when I can just purchase the items I want. Last year, I wrote about organizations I asked my family members to donate to for either my birthday or Christmas presents (read about them here), but I’d like to go a step farther in 2020 and choose mutual aid funds and fundraisers to direct to instead. Big, well-known nonprofits and organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Network of Abortion Funds have prominence and power and they don’t need money as much as smaller orgs, mutual aid funds, and individuals do. Mutual aid funds are important because they directly give people what they need from the resources others in their communities have. Mutual aid is not charity, but instead focuses on symbiotic relationships where people’s needs are taken care of and provided for. These four fundraisers and funds I’ve chosen to share are geared toward people impacted by incarceration because our caged loved ones and their own loved ones are often forgotten about during the holidays (and always, but especially during COVID). The Mom’s United Holiday Registry is in its 7th year of giving to incarcerated or transitioning moms and their families. The drive gives holiday gifts to these moms and their children, who don’t always have toys and other treats kids want during this season. Organizer Tristan Sparrow partnered with Abolition Apostles in their 3rd annual Winter Gifts fundraiser to send clothes, blankets, food, coffee, and other gifts to incarcerated people. People in jail and prison always need these resources, and this time of year is the perfect season to give! New York City organizers Cameron Rasmussen and Melissa Tanis organized this Mutual Aid for People Impacted by Incarceration, which gives people who sign up up to $200 for them to use for whatever they need! Because the government is choosing to not give people what they need (aka money) during the pandemic, this fundraiser is doing exactly that. I hope you’ll donate to and/or share these funds if you’re able to. We’re all we have and we need to take care of each other. Let’s support our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated loved ones! this holiday season!