Life has been uprooted as a result of COVID-19. Neither the government or "the market" is meeting the needs of average people, so we are part of a large movement of Mutual Aid and have started the Germantown Mutual Aid Fund. We're in a transition phase and we will get through it together.
This fund is by and for residents of the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia (zip codes 19144 and 19138), and with contributions big and small from community members, WE CAN HELP TO MEET BASIC AND EMERGENCY NEEDS (such as housing, transportation, medical).
Funds are distributed twice a month until further notice. The more money that is donated, the further this fund will be able to reach.
If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, follow this link to the application for a funding request (applications accepted beginning May 9th).
Core values of the Germantown Mutual Aid Fund are:
- Every donation is a gift, any amount donated is generous and meaningful.
- This project uses a “solidarity” model. We are all interconnected. Everyone has ways they can “give back” and we are united together in our need for a better world.
- We are building a stronger local culture of care.
- We are putting action to Love Thy Neighbor and to help stabilize the members of our community.
- Trust in each other. Trust that our needs are real and that we are all doing the best we can.
Contribute to the mutual aid fund
- Donations can be in any amount.
- 100% of the donations go to community members in need.
- This site accepts PayPal and credit/debit cards. A small fee will be charged for payment processing.
- "TIPPING" CHUFFED IS NOT REQUIRED. It will show up when you enter in your donation amount and you can manually adjust the "tip."
- IF PAYPAL GIVES YOU THE OPTION, PLEASE DO NOT DONATE UNDER "GOODS AND SERVICES." THIS PLACES YOUR DONATION ON HOLD.
- Donating via Chuffed saves time for the organizers so is the preferred method.
- If you don’t have PayPal or a credit/debit card, you can make a donation using CashApp or you can mail a check (also good for skipping the fees!).
- CashApp name: cash.app/$GermantownMutualAid (CashApp doesn't provide contact info so we can't send a tax-receipt)
- Make checks payable to: Germantown Mutual Aid Fund
- Mail checks to:
Germantown Mutual Aid Fund
P.O. Box 48011
Philadelphia, PA 19144
- When you submit your donation, you have the option of making your name anonymous to the public.
- Donations are tax deductible. G.R.E.A.T. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A donation letter will be provided.
- We will update this page to show funds distributed to community members (but not with the recipient’s name included unless they choose to be shown). In addition, you can contact us if you would like extra reporting.
- A committee of five members will make decisions twice a month about funding requests, depending on funds available and incoming requests, basing decisions primarily on need/urgency, and amount of funds to disperse. We may also invite some funding recipients to join in the decision-making, furthering the mutual aid component to this project.
For more information about how this committee will make decisions, click here.
Here's where the money is going:
While the only requirement for applying to the GMAF is to be a Germantown resident, we will prioritize the needs of people who are most vulnerable, have least access to community resources, and the smallest financial safety net, for example:
- Lower-income residents
- Households with a single source of income
- People who are caring for children or elderly
- Grandparents raising grandchildren
- People with disabilities, or who are differently-abled
- People who have lost income because of COVID-19
- People who may not be eligible for unemployment compensation
- Lower income older adults with no pension/retirement income
- Long-time Germantown residents
- Black / African American / People of Color
TYPES OF EXPENDITURES that may be covered by the GMAF include but are not limited to:
- Rent and mortgage payments
- Utility bills
- Emergency home repairs
- Phone bill
- Emergency medical bills, medicine
Our first round of funding requests are due May 16th and funds will be distributed within a few weeks later. We will post general information about how much money goes out and for what sorts of uses right here.
More about this project:
Germantown Mutual Aid Fund is organized and operated through Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
G.R.E.A.T. is a grassroots group of people sharing common interest in working toward cooperative ownership, resource/skill-sharing, and active citizenship where people of the community shape the development that occurs. We have a number of projects including a time bank and learning circles, and are currently directing much of our attention to the needs surrounding the impact of COVID-19.
Those involved with the management of this mutual aid fund have been part of this group and have worked together on other projects and activities. This is a requirement of being involved with the mutual aid fund, as trust and security are very important.
This project is completely Volunteer-Run. Know that we will do the best we can with what we have.
We may update our process and guidelines as we go along, while we learn about the best way to do this work.
Visit our website for more info on the Germantown Mutual Aid Fund including other resources that can help.
What is mutual aid?
If you want to offer or request mutual aid in the form of errands, services, or favors, look into our Time Bank. For example: picking up a prescription, picking up groceries, walking a dog.
(The Time Bank = mutual aid in the form of service
The Mutual Aid Fund = mutual aid in the form of financial assistance)
Please share information about this mutual aid fund with people you know. You never know who's struggling right now, this info could make a big difference.