NAACP & Lane County Mutual Aid Financial Assistance Fund
Lane County Mutual Aid (LCMA) is a collective of neighbors, activists, and organizations engaging in collective community care from a perspective of abundance and hope during this global pandemic and beyond. We come to this work as volunteers, a part of a nation-wide movement dedicated to a better world through mutual aid, starting on our own block.
LCMA acknowledges that this pandemic and the resulting barriers for people to secure even their basic needs is a symptom not of COVID-19, but of a capitalist system that has sustained itself for too long by relying on the oppression of marginalized people.
Since LCMA first received requests for support on March 19, 2020, the most urgent need has been for financial support, exposing the reality that this pandemic is compounding precarity for vulnerable people throughout the community. Through individual donations, we have been able to support some of the need, but not all.
In partnership with the Eugene/Springfield chapter of the NAACP, we are fundraising money to directly support households in Lane County. The NAACP has pledged $10,000 to support the financial needs of communities of color in Lane County. We are hoping that the community will match this contribution this month, so that we hit $20,000 in our first two weeks of fundraising.
Please contribute! We need your help to respond to the needs of our neighbors.
Update, 9/1/2020: In addition to the 10K donation from the NAACP, we raised $8,319.40 of our $10,000 goal for the month of August! We are distributing $8350 to 10 Lane County Residents for the August 2020 cycle. For transparency, we are sharing information about funds raised and donated. You can view our tracker here.
What will my money go toward?
- At this time, your contribution will go directly toward Lane County community members that have requested financial support for meeting their basic needs (such as rent, bills, medical expenses, expenditures to obtain/maintain employment, etc.).
We are committed to supporting communities of color that have had less access to resources, particularly Black, Indigeneous, and/or Latinx communities.
Half of the funds raised through this DonorBox fund will be dedicated to applicants from communities of color, and the remaining half will be open to any community members.
How will the money be kept and distributed?
LCMA is a conduit for neighbors to help neighbors and we strive to be clear and transparent about how we use the money you entrust us. Some things to know:
Due to their 501c4 status, your contribution will be officially directed to the Eugene/Springfield chapter of the NAACP. We are working in partnership with them to hold and distribute the funds. The NAACP is also directly contributing additional funds for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) applicants only.
We will track funds raised and spending on a publicly available spreadsheet that will protect the anonymity of those funded.
When distributing funds, we will prioritize households with youth and/or elderly dependents. Beyond that, funds will generally be released on a first-come, first-served basis to Lane County community members who indicate that they cannot meet their basic needs.
We ask for limited information and do not require people to prove their needs. Filling out forms with a lot of personal information can be a barrier for vulnerable people.
We plan to accept applications and disburse funds monthly for at least August through December, 2020. Recurring monthly contributions are especially helpful because they will support our ability to provide financial support consistently each month.
Is my contribution tax-deductible?
No. Thank you for freely giving to your neighbors!
Is this the best way to support LCMA?
People can contribute different things at different times, and this diversity is important! We encourage giving directly to community members in need and often highlight individual fundraisers on social media (Instagram and Facebook). Giving directly to individuals:
limits the power of LCMA organizers, which we welcome and encourage
can be more flexible in responding to urgent requests that then don’t need to wait to go through our process
is a great way for neighbors to connect and learn about one another
We also encourage community members to donate to the Eugene bail fund.
What does LCMA do?
Since March 13, 2020, LCMA’s work has grown to include...
providing neighborhoods with the tools and support to organize themselves into autonomous Neighborhood Pods
cooperating with Burrito Brigade’s food rescue and grocery distribution effort
connecting requests for financial support among community members, in part with the support of Eugene Mennonite Church
supporting a hunger strike of Lane County Jail prisoners who are fighting for adequate COVID protections and their right to a speedy trial
starting a supply hub in partnership with the NAACP, which we envision to be a source for basic household items like toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, and dry goods. You can call or text (541) 690-8107 or email [email protected] to coordinate your donation!
How can I contact LCMA about something else?
You can contact us through our website at lanemutualaid.org, email us at [email protected], or call our Request Line (please leave a message!) at (541) 321-8749. You can also follow us on Facebook here and Instagram here.
Applications for financial aid this month will open on August 17th and close on August 24th. Applications will re-open on September 1st for the September cycle.
Update, 9/1/2020: We were originally planning to re-open the forms on September 1st, but are taking a few extra days to make sure we have capacity at this time. Please check our website or social media accounts for more information about when applications will re-open.
LCMA is an all-volunteer collective operating in Kalapuya and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indian territories. Some of this text was adapted from the MAMAS Money Network Principles for Giving.