Mutual Aid LA helps Angelenos plug in — and give back — to their communities

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The Mutual Aid LA monthly dispatch has dozens of suggestions for how to give back in LA, whether you prefer making homemade meals, doling out hygiene kits, or distributing art supplies. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ginsburg.

There are countless ways to give back to the community in Los Angeles, but figuring out the best volunteer opportunity for you can be a daunting task. 

Thankfully, the Mutual Aid LA Network has made it easier than ever to plug in. Founded at the height of the COVID pandemic, the group organizes regular food, hygiene product, and art supply distributions throughout the city. But beyond that, their website, social media page, and monthly dispatch are invaluable sources of information about how to get involved with other groups that are doing good in LA. 

“People can plug in, find out what other groups are out there, what's in their area of interest, and what’s near them in their neighborhood,” says Mutual Aid LA organizer Sarah Ginsburg. “What we're really trying to do is keep everybody connected, and in that way sustain this greater movement.”

The number of problems to be solved in Southern California — from housing insecurity to hunger — can feel bleak. But Ginsburg says working with other community members to solve them provides a constant source of hope. 

“I think that it's a common problem for people to look at a place like LA and feel overwhelmed, and maybe even throw their hands up and call it hopeless,” she says. “But when you join a mutual aid group, you connect, you're there for each other, you eventually build this family, and the work becomes joyful.” 

And no matter who you are — or what kind of resources you have — there’s always a way you can contribute. 

“It's about identifying what your skill set is, or what's in your toolbox. The only thing that's required is a willingness to learn and show up,” she says. “Mutual aid is all about understanding that everybody is of equal value, and not all wealth looks like funds.” 

To find a way to plug into your neighborhood, sign up to receive the Mutual Aid LA monthly dispatch here.