Looking for a way to support boots-on-the-ground efforts in Tacoma during the COVID-19 crisis? The Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective — a two-year-old group made up of volunteer parents, writers, teachers, doctors, carpenters, artists, and more — has been working tirelessly around the clock to protect and help vulnerable community members who need additional support at this time.
“There are so many gaps. We are trying to fill those spaces,” wrote TMAC in an email, referring both to the current moment and to the issues it has addressed since it first began, from providing hot meals and resources to people experiencing homelessness to building and distributing harm reduction kits.
Given the amount of rapid changes and disruptions in the last few weeks, TMAC has been focused on grocery and prescription delivery for high-risk groups; school supply and grocery drive-thrus at McCarver Elementary, where 91 percent of students qualify for free- or reduced-lunch; childcare; a resource guide and readiness checklist for families; and recordings of books being read aloud by paid Black and Indigenous people of color along with a discussion and activity guide to support kiddos at home.
It’s a lot of essential work, and it’s completely dependent on the aid of locals willing to give time or money.
“Our collective is 100 percent volunteer,” TMAC wrote. “Our outreach is entirely dependent on the level of community support we have. The reason we have been able to respond so quickly is because we prepared for this ahead of time. This situation is exactly what mutual aid collectives like ours are made for. Our greatest need right now is solidarity.”