Berkeley Mutual Aid originated after the SF Bay Area stay-at-home order in March 2020, when a community member saw the need for volunteers to assist higher-risk folks stuck at home. Within a few days, additional organizers had jumped on board to help and created a website at BerkeleyMutualAid.org.
Berkeley Mutual Aid matches lower-risk volunteers to assist with the most pressing needs. This includes collecting PPE and food donations, sharing resources, and pairing individuals at higher risk for COVID-19 complications with lower-risk volunteers who have offered to help during this crisis. Our neighbor matching arrangement ensures that those at higher risk have someone who can help them meet their basic needs and/or offer social connection.
Our volunteers become "buddies" who provide assistance in an ongoing way during this crisis. This helps ensure people in need have a neighbor they can turn to for help throughout the crisis, and as their needs change. We encourage all participants to develop an ongoing relationship, get to know each other, and navigate the bumps and challenges of this difficult time together.
Berkeley Mutual Aid volunteers are not members of any government organization. We are simply caring members of the community who have chosen to dedicate our time and efforts to this project, because we deeply believe that with love and solidarity, we can flatten the curve and get through this crisis together.
A core group of about five to ten people work as coordinators and organizers, while hundreds of additional volunteers are working throughout Berkeley and nearby towns to serve people in need. We are all unpaid volunteers, generally balancing this work with other obligations of jobs and family.
In April, Berkeley Disaster Prep Neighborhood Network, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit, stepped in to help. Berkeley Mutual Aid is now a part of BDPNN.
Berkeley Mutual Aid originated after the SF Bay Area stay-at-home order in March 2020, when a community member saw the need for volunteers to assist higher-risk folks stuck at home. Within a few days, additional organizers had jumped on…