In our neighborhood, people experience regular emergencies because of their precarious economic situation. When COVID19 hit, the financial insecurity for many families reached a tipping point. After living years with low compensation and inadequate health insurance, our friends are disproportionately affected by the virus. Many of our neighbors are considered essential workers, and their choice was often between risking exposure to the life threatening virus or loss of income. Losing even one paycheck in some families is enough to put their housing at risk, as well as their source of food and transportation. It was in response to this need that QCFTCares Relief Assistance Fund was created.
QCFTCares asked individuals who have a surplus in their stimulus relief checks to donate to the fund in order to redistribute money to individuals in Enderly Park who have a deficit. Our staff created an equitable method of redistributing those funds through survey data. Every dollar raised is being reallocated directly to the families in our community.
Fundraising is not the only win that has come from this campaign. Through QCFTCares, we have been able to establish stronger connections with neighbors. We collected contact information for folks that we only knew on a first name basis. We saw neighbors who declined financial assistance for themselves, but pointed us to families nearby that they knew who were struggling. Out of this experiment, we have seen new systems of mutual aid emerge, initiated by our neighbors. As we began to ask neighbors directly about their needs, they began sharing more openly with us and each other.
One example is that, while delivering care packages, we started to notice that some of our deliveries disappeared off of our friend's porches. In response, people began volunteering to hold onto their neighbor's packages until they get home. This is a fractal - an example of how small acts of kindness and solidarity can lead to greater impact. As neighbors take care of neighbors, mutual aid and collective action becomes available for the future.
We were able to raise $42,835, plus an additional $15,000 in grocery gift cards from the United Way and distribute them to our neighbors in Enderly Park. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our QCFTCares campaign!
When QC Family Tree began 15 years ago, two families examined the story of the earliest church, recorded in the book of Acts in the New Testament. There, believers gathered together, pooled their money, and distributed it to others so that there was no one needy among them. We’ve tried to live into that vision ourselves and continue believe in and practice abundance mentality. In this moment of real crisis, there are plenty of resources. We need to work together to distribute them well.