Mutual aid is when community members come together to barter, trade, and donate goods and services. As a community, we look after one another regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, citizenship, or disability. Unlike a charity, however, mutual aid balances individual self-determination and collective well-being, eschewing the power dynamics often associated with charitable organizations. We essentially act as an informal economy for the community, filling in gaps where there is need. The Northeast Arkansas Mutual Aid Society (NEAMAS) does this by facilitating members, transactions, and logistics with the ultimate goal of ensuring all needs are met. NEAMAS membership is open to everyone who has a shared value of collaboration with others and alleviating human suffering in our community.
In times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we act as part of an overall emergency response for our community. We work with our neighbors who are facing unemployment, food emergencies, and other hardships. Sometimes, mutual aid societies partner with other community organizations to achieve this end.
NEAMAS operates as a democratic organization, with no central hierarchy. Membership selects administrators to help carry out operational tasks, but everyone has a say in how we conduct our business. If you have additional questions about mutual aid or NEAMAS, please contact us.