Mutual Aid Parkdale: Beryl-Ann's Story
My name is Beryl-Ann, and I’m a member of Mutual Aid Parkdale. I am a single parent and I live with my three youngest children, who are twelve, eleven and seven. A few weeks ago, my neighbours started a mutual aid network, and I took on a leadership role reaching out to friends and neighbours to do emotional check-ins. I co-established the Help Our Parkdale (H.O.P.) Pod with a neighbour to support community members on Dunn Ave and Cowan Ave. We share information over Whatsapp to offer resources and to ask for things that we need.
Mutual Aid Parkdale is very important to me because it allows me to realize that all of us are in this situation together, and that we can work together as a team to help and support each other when anyone of us needs it.
Since my children are currently at home due to school closures, they have been eating more food than usual. Two weeks ago, I realized that I didn’t have the money to buy groceries. So I asked our H.O.P. Pod if they could buy the groceries for me and they said yes. I can say that it was one of the happiest moments of my life, knowing that my children and I would have food to eat for a couple of weeks.
I would definitely recommend that if anyone has some extra money to give to help and support individuals and families to buy food, please don’t hesitate to give, because you will be feeding many hungry bellies.
Thank you for your generous contribution.
Mutual Aid Parkdale: Context
Parkdale is incredibly diverse and has a long history of grassroots organizing . We also have a long history of struggle. South Parkdale has one of the highest rates of lone seniors in the City of Toronto; a third of community members are low-income; a third are newcomers; and 90% are renters. The current pandemic has been creating urgent needs while also exacerbating long-standing crises, such as housing insecurity, mental health, poverty, precarious work, and lack of access to affordable food, internet, and other resources. Things are getting increasingly challenging for more and more people, and the reality that we are all in this together is becoming clear. By making a donation you are helping us build relationships and systems to take care of each other.
A core principle of Mutual Aid is solidarity. We are both the recipients and the organizers of mutual aid. Your donations to our Solidarity Fund will directly support the purchasing of food, medicine, and other key household items for community members who need support, including but not limited to seniors, single parents, frontline workers, people living with disabilities, and neighbours who have health challenges. You can learn more and get connected here.
Mutual Aid Parkdale is supported by the Parkdale People’s Economy, a network of 30 community-based organizations and hundreds of community members who are collaborating to build shared wealth, decent work and equitable development in Parkdale. Parkdale People’s Economy is trusteed by Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC), a drop-in for people living with mental health and addictions. Mutual Aid Parkdale is thankful to PARC for being a trustee of the Solidarity Fund and building out equitable community partnerships in response to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mutual Aid Parkdale organizes on the traditional and ongoing territories of the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This land is subject to the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Treaty, a peace treaty between the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee to agree to share the resources of the land, as long as “the dish never runs dry.” The treaty reminds us to share our resources through the principles of respect and reciprocity, and to work in solidarity with Indigenous communities of this land.
For details on how to pay by e-transfer or cheque, please contact Ivy at [email redacted]
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