Not asking for proof of income or hardship is a core tenant of mutual aid, according to Chang and Sakiewicz. Chang says they find that many people who receive aid from Mutual Aid Houston end up passing it forward — either by applying to volunteer with the group or donating to future campaigns. To Chang, this reflects the ethos of solidarity within the community: “Take what you need, give what you can.” On top of that, organizers from Mutual Aid Houston and North Texas Rural Resilience alike are already members of the community — and for Sakiewicz, that is a big part of why their work is well positioned to respond to a crisis like a winter storm. “We spend all our time and resources directly with the people,” said Sakiewicz. “It’s the people next door, the people in our neighborhoods, so we’re fully positioned to be ready when a crisis happens. Who better to mobilize the community than people who are already in the community?” {read}