In this time of social distancing one thing is for sure. Communities are still coming together to support each other. Facebook has always been a way marginalized communities created spaces for support and now is no different. Covid 19 specific and nonspecific groups have sprung up all over the country both to organise mutual aid and to combat loneliness.
Here are some of the ones I’ve come across in the last few days and ways to easily find groups local to you.
An elementary school teacher started this Facebook group. Knowing how hard it is for mother to transition from full time employee to full time stay at home parent (who might also be working from home) since she does it every summer, she wanted to start a resource. This group is dedicated to sharing ideas not news to keep kids entertained.
A New York City specific queer resource, this group is notable for its use of Facebook as the main focal point and using Discord to stay organised. You can find everything from classes to requests to offers and resources in this group. Be sure to read the rules, admins are working hard to keep this group running like clockwork so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. If you are not in New York City, search queer mutual aid + name of your city to find similar groups.
This is a unique anti loneliness Facebook group that the founder, David Kaye, is calling “Facebook Public Access Television.” Essentially many talented people are teaching classes, reading books, singing songs and throwing puppetshow all in the effort to keep folks entertained. This group has a uniquely large range of options that will suit everyone’s needs and taste. You can hop on and watch some or you can choose to teach one. It’s not just a great way to stay entertained, you can also face your public speaking fears, test out a new potential digital class for your business or learn a new skill like making french press coffee.
This group was started to support the many entertainers and vendors at Renaissance faires across the country. With many faires and festivals canceled, morale is down and folks need support. In this group you can watch the performances you might miss at the faire and support the artists and vendors will be virtually sharing their offerings. This group is both one for mutual aid and for entertainment.
This group is one of the many many local groups that have sprung up to support people in these difficult times. With over 5,000 members, you know you’ll find someone to help you with whatever is absolutely necessary. Maybe you are immunocompromised and worried about going to the grocery store. Or maybe it snows and you need assistance shoveling the snow. This group and the thousands like it are there to help you.
If you aren’t in Denver, search the name of your city + Covid 19 on facebook to find something local to you. You can find the group for the Salt Lake Valley hit by both the virus and an Earthquake here. New York City also has a Queer Food Share group that I started where you can offer and request food.
Queer Exchange + The Name of Your City
This is not a new resource, but it is one known for stepping up in time of dire need. Queer Exchange groups range from 100–15,000 + members and can be found all over the world. Queer Exchange is specially there to serve the LGBT community and helpful for everything from finding a dog walker to getting access to needed medication and other resources.
About the Author:
Chaya Milchtein is the driving force behind Mechanic Shop Femme. As an automotive educator, speaker and writer, she’s made it her life’s mission to educate women and LGBT people about their cars. Her website also highlights her work on her other passion: empowering women to live their best lives in the bodies they have, through fashion and modeling. Chaya’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Go Magazine, and others. She lives with her fiancée and tortoise in Wisconsin. Follow her on twitter @mechanicfemme.