During the COVID-19 pandemic, mutual aid organizations around the world delivered food to neighbors in need, ran errands for housebound people, and created masks and other protective equipment. Many of these loosely organized groups relied on social media and tools like Google Docs to organize volunteers.

Content from the exhibition Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics, curated by MASS Design Group and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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Greenpoint Fridge, New York City, 2020–21
Greenpoint Fridge is a facility for donating and picking up food. Thousands of similar services have formed around the world.

An outdoor multicolor booth housing a green refrigerator and white shelf

Photograph: Madison Gardner, North Brooklyn Mutual Aid

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#FilltheWallswithHope Poster, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2020
More than 1,500 posters about hope, care, and solidarity were pasted to shuttered storefronts and city walls in Philadelphia. Many of these poster walls were installed at food distribution sites.

Mutual aid poster depicting a person bringing groceries to the front stoop of a house, with a person waving from the open door

Poster: Nicole Rodrigues (Portuguese-American, b. 1992)

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Mutual Aid 101 Toolkit, 2020
In March 2020, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and organizer Mariame Kaba began encouraging communities in New York City to help each other in the pandemic. Mutual aid promotes sharing instead of hoarding, making decisions by consensus, and valuing all human lives.

Poster which explains what Mutual Aid is and how the process works.

Infographic: Becca Barad

Featured Image: Infographic: Becca Barad

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