FAQ

What is the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project?

The Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project is a collective that maintains an online map tool to help people find and distribute essential supplies while our communities face intense hardship and disruption. We evolved organically to meet the needs that emerged in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd.

Our team tracks the supplies available, supplies needed, and volunteer opportunities at more than 200 aid sites in the Twin Cities area. Our work helps ensure that donations of food / goods / money / volunteer time are allocated according to needs.

We work to lighten the load of on-the-ground site coordinators, who are overwhelmed by both the immediate need of so many and the generosity of our community.

You can read more about the values that guide our efforts here.

What is the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map, and where can I find it?

Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map

The information in the map helps our community in a variety of ways:

  • People can find open distribution sites that have the essential supplies they need.
  • Coordinators at distribution sites can amplify and clarify their calls for specific goods and help make sure they aren’t overloaded by supplies they don’t need.
  • Sites coordinate with one another to redistribute donations where they are most immediately needed.
  • People who want to donate can quickly determine what is most needed now and where they can drop off donations.

Every day, we hear about people using the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map in new and unexpected ways. Our team is working to meet community requests and needs by developing new features in response to the feedback we get from users on the front lines.

How does the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map work?

The Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map is an interactive tool that lists the hours, needs, and available goods at a given location. Users may refer to the color-coded legend at the top left of the map to determine if and when a location is giving or receiving donations. Clicking on a particular map location leads to a pop-up description, including current schedule and needs.

How do you pick the locations that go on the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map?

We add distribution sites to the map at the request of the community. We always seek to have volunteers coordinate with someone on the ground at these sites, and confirm the data about their open hours and essential needs. However, we do not vet sites for their politics, histories, or standpoints. Including a donation site on the map is not an endorsement of those who maintain the location.

Is TCMAP on social media?

We are! We have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. There are a lot of Mutual Aid pages out there, and while we may monitor activity on a lot of them (for updates on sites, events, etc.) we are not affiliated with any except the three listed above.

What is TCMAP doing to address COVID-19?

On-site organizers are encouraged to contact TCMAP upon learning of a COVID-19 case on-site to allow the map to reflect site closure and possible COVID-19 exposure for visitors and volunteers.  When TCMAP is advised of a COVID-19 case at a donation site via a third party, the site will be listed as closed. TCMAP will reach out to organizers to confirm this information or restore the site to the map in the event of an error.  If TCMAP is unable to secure a response from an on-site organizer, the site will remain closed on the map for up to two weeks. Once TCMAP has been notified of a site’s reopening, the site will be re-listed on the Mutual Aid Map. 

Can I volunteer with you?

You can learn more about becoming involved with TCMAP here.

We know that the BIPOC community has been overburdened with the demands of this time, and also want to welcome anyone who identifies as BIPOC and wishes to become a member of our team to email us at volunteers@tcmap.org.

I’m a journalist, who can I talk to?

Thank you for your interest in the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project. 

This project is a volunteer effort intended to make logistics easier for people providing on-the-ground mutual aid to the Twin Cities community. This includes material aid, education, and events. We are a single resource that both supports the work of mutual aid sites and is supported by mutual aid sites. We are not a front-line project and we exist behind the scenes to offer support — not take the spotlight. Our role as an aggregator can sometimes give us more visibility than the sites we work with. We see it as our responsibility to advocate for those sites and share the visibility we receive. However, we cannot, and do not, speak for the whole community of mutual aid sites in the Twin Cities. Don’t ask us to. 

Resource inequality in the Twin Cities was an issue long before this uprising and the COVID-19 pandemic. Mutual aid is not new. BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, migrant, and refugee communities have always used mutual aid to create networks of care under institutional violence. The people and communities who are doing, and have been doing, this work long before the uprisings or the pandemic have deep knowledge and important perspectives. Talk to them. Take the time to learn about the history of mutual aid.

If you’ve done all that and you’d like our specific perspective, we’re happy to chat!

I am working with a site that’s not listed. How can I get it listed?

Email: support@tcmap.org

Please include all relevant details so we can update the map.  Specifically, include:

  • Your site’s name, if it is an organization
  • The full address of your site 
  • Whether your site is receiving donations, distributing donations or both 
  • What supplies your site is distributing and/or requesting (for example: nonperishable food, diapers in size __, menstrual products, etc.)
  • Hours when your site will be receiving and/or distributing donations (please specify dates as well to avoid confusion)
  • Your contact information should we have clarifying questions

If there is a dedicated site coordinator, please include that person’s information.

Your info is wrong! How do we fix it?

Email support@tcmap.org

Please include all relevant details so we can get the map updated.

I want to donate supplies!

Please look at the Twin Cities Aid Distribution Map to find a site that is open and accepting supplies you want to purchase or donate. Drop off your donations as soon as possible because needs change quickly. 

We recommend checking the map shortly before making a purchase and dropping off the donations immediately after.

Please do not leave supplies out when sites are closed

I want to donate money!

We are not currently fundraising or accepting donations. There are many groups that need your money more than us, and you can search for them on the Mutual Aid Map! Just click the dropdown menu next to “sort by,” and filter by “needs money”.

Thank you so much for your generosity.

I want to partner!

At this time, we are not partnering with any organizations. However, all of our data and code are publicly available through the Mutual Aid Map and our GitHub, and you are always welcome to access or contribute to these. You are also invited to use any of our frameworks as the basis for your own projects.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in getting involved with TCMAP as an individual, you can always volunteer with us! We wish you the best and hope you continue to support the Twin Cities community with your work.

How can I learn more about the GitHub end of this work?

Here is a link to our GitHub Readme.


Disclaimer:

TCMAP aggregates, compiles, and logs information on our maps solely through the work of volunteers. We cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this information, including usernames or accounts provided for direct donations. Your use of this website is completely voluntary, and you assume any and all risks and liabilities, financial or otherwise, with providing goods, services, or funds to any distribution site listed on our map. TCMAP does not assume any responsibility for your use of this website and has no obligation to provide users with financial or other assistance.

%d bloggers like this: