Colorado College Mutual Aid Fund

Big Spring Semester Updates!

February 11, 2021

As the spring semester starts up at CC, we are excited to roll out our new format for redistribution. While we were able to redistribute over $76,000 to over 150 students last semester, there were some more urgent requests that we were unable to meet because of the gaps of time between our two rounds of redistribution. Because of this, we are moving to a blockly redistribution calendar this semester! 

This means that our application will be moving to Summit and will be open throughout the semester, with the names and requests of applications being pulled each third Monday of the block. Funds will be deposited into students’ bank accounts or mailed to them by the Friday of Block Break to allow them to buy books and other school supplies along with other basic necessities as the new block starts. The first application will close in just under a week from now on February 15, with funds redistributed to students on February 26. 

We also are planning a number of collaborations and exciting fundraising events for the semester to engage the CC community in conversations about redistribution of wealth. The upcoming events include a Valentine’s Day Candygram collaboration with T.W.I.T., collaborations with CC artists, competitions between sports teams, and so much more!

We want to thank you for your support so far, and are excited to see where this next semester takes us. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. If you would like to help plan, donate to, or create anything for any of our various fundraisers – or have an idea of your own – please do not hesitate to reach out!

As always, if you’d like to donate, you can provide a one-time donation here, set up a recurring donation here, or Venmo @CCAnnualGiving with a “mutual aid” caption.

Wishing you all the best,

CC Mutual Aid

Join us for a night of music and dance!

February 01, 2021

Hello,

We are writing to invite you to a FREE virtual night of music and dancing for First Fridays, February 5, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. MST. We are partnering with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and the Chinook Center to bring this event to you all, which will be DJed by director of the FAC Idris Goodwin. This is an entirely FREE event with a suggested donation to either CC Mutual Aid or the Chinook Center, and you can register here

CC Mutual Aid began just a few months ago in July 2020 with the goal of creating an opportunity for our campus community to join together and support one another, regardless of our physical proximity. We are an entirely student-run fund created by students, for students to support our community with requests for basic necessities such as rent, groceries, utilities, certain medical expenses, travel to and from campus, and so on. Mutual aid does not exist in a vacuum, but draws on a history of communities supporting each other in times of crisis and working to help each other meet basic needs that are not adequately met by current systems by creating new ones. Mutual aid is based in solidarity, not charity, with the goal of directly allowing CC students full and equitable access to their education without having to overcome unnecessary barriers. 

The Chinook Center is a progressive, mission-driven community space that empowers and connects people and grassroots organizations working for social, economic, and environmental justice in the Pikes Peak Region. The Chinook Center expands the capacity of existing organizations as well as helps facilitate connections, supports emerging activists, and inspires new projects and collaborations. As a community founded in action, they also facilitate mutual aid programs and work for justice in the community by bringing resources to those in need and organizing around key issues impacting our city.

We hope to see you there! Again, you can register for the First Friday Dance Party here.

Thank you for your continued support,

Colorado College Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid's 2020 Summary

January 11, 2021

Hello,

As we head into the new year, we wanted to reach out to update you all on the completion of our second round of redistribution, as well as to outline what we have accomplished since our inception just six months ago in July of 2020.

While 2020 was challenging, it pushed us to create new ways of supporting our community. This second round of redistribution, we were able to fund 119 students who requested aid with a total sum of $39,911, giving each student a base sum of $164 and scaling up or down from that based on the amount requested and self-reported need using our formula. Since July, we have raised $102,676 and redistributed $76,781 of this sum to 151 students. All of the funds that have not been redistributed yet were received after our second round of redistribution. This has been possible because of donations of many sizes from over 600 students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, board members, and other community members. 

Beyond monetary redistribution, we have partnered with organizers from Resource Generation to run Transformative Fundraising Workshops, helped students to move off campus and store their belongings following the second campus shutdown, partnered with student artists to raise money, promoted other students' fundraisers, written for and spoken with writers from various campus newspapers, and gained invaluable organizing experience and relationships. More broadly, we have engaged in conversation about redistribution of wealth and the privilege within our community with the current body of CC students, members of the administration, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni.

We are excited to see what the new year brings and will keep you all updated on our plan for the second semester at the beginning of 2021. As always, if you’d like to donate again, you can provide a one-time donation here, set up a recurring donation here, or Venmo @CCAnnualGiving with a “mutual aid” caption. You learn more on our Instagram or Facebook pages. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email us at coloradocollegemutualaid@gmail.com!

Wishing you happy holidays and a sweet new year,

Colorado College Mutual Aid

Second Round of Redistribution

December 01, 2020

Hello,

As Giving Tuesday comes to a close, we are reaching out to let you know that we have closed applications for the second round of redistribution, and will be accepting donations for two more days (until Thursday, December 3rd) that will go to this group of applicants from the CC community. We would like to thank you for your support of the CC community thus far, and ask if you have extra funds to spare at this time that you consider sending some our way in support of the CC community.

As of December 1st, we have raised $31,197 from over 250 donors to be redistributed to 121 students who have requested aid at this time. Those students have requested $160,703 to cover the cost of groceries, rent, utilities, medical bills, and so on. Many of the students who have requested funds are first-generation, low-income, students of color, LGBTQ+, Bridge Scholars, and students with pre-existing health conditions and disabilities. This leaves us with $129,581 of the remaining need. This is not a vague concern, but rather students and classmates who will struggle to pay for basic necessities without adequate aid. 

With campus closed to many students, the holiday season fast approaching, and the continuing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income students are facing more instability than ever. Although we acknowledge that we cannot meet the needs of every student who requests funds, we know that our community can do better for those who are most vulnerable. We hope that you will stand with us as we work to make access to a Colorado College education more equitable. 

If you’d like to donate again, you can provide a one-time donation here, set up a recurring donation here, or Venmo @CCAnnualGiving with a “mutual aid” caption. You learn more on our Instagram or Facebook pages. If you have any questions, please email us at coloradocollegemutualaid@gmail.com!

Thank you for your continued support of our community,

Colorado College Mutual Aid

CC Mutual Aid Semester Plan

October 19, 2020

Hello,

It’s Colorado College Mutual Aid again! First, we want to thank you again for your donation to the CC Mutual Aid Fund. It's because of donors like you that we were able to redistribute almost $36,000 to over 100 CC students earlier this semester... and we'd like to do it again. We have a plan for the rest of the semester that we’re excited about that we wanted to update you on.

We plan on having a second round of redistribution completed around December 11th to support our community over winter break, as we have yet to meet around $150,000 of requested aid. We will reopen applications around Fall Break/the first week of December to accommodate any new applicants. Applicants who have previously applied will not need to fully apply again, but will just send us an updated estimation of funding need through a shortened version of the original survey. We will be sending more information about this to students around Fall Break.

Over the next two months, we will be working on fundraising from current students through social media and our new recurring donation option as well as from various groups of alumni by sending targeted emails, texts, and physical letters. We will ideally have communication sent every week to students and various demographics of alumni to curate a consistent stream of donations to adequately support our community.

We have recently set up a process for recurring donations so we can rely on a steady stream of donations to best plan for redistribution. If you sign up, we'll send you an exclusive CC Mutual Aid sticker! For some context, if every CC student donated $20 per month (just $5 per week) through the end of the semester, we would be able to redistribute $91,640; through the end of the academic year this would add up to $320,740.

We will be partnering with the Senior Class Gift and the Young Alumni Donation Committees to engage seniors and young alumni in redistribution of wealth. We will also be partnering with Resource Generation, a national organization for young people with class privilege, to lead workshops on Transformative Fundraising. We hope to engage wealthy members of the CC community in deeper conversation about class privilege and redistribution of wealth, all while raising money for Mutual Aid. Go to the TFW highlight on our Instagram to learn more!

We want to thank you for your support and hope that you are as excited as we are as we head into this second round of redistribution. If you’d like to donate again, you can provide a one-time donation here, set up a recurring donation here, or Venmo @CCAnnualGiving with a “mutual aid” caption. You learn more on our Instagram or Facebook pages. If you’d like to get involved, please email us at coloradocollegemutualaid@gmail.com!

Thank you for your support,

Colorado College Mutual Aid

Monetary Aid Through Campus Closure and Zoom Town Hall

September 15, 2020

We are reaching out to you as fellow members of the Colorado College community. This message comes from the student organizers of the recently created Colorado College Mutual Aid Fund, an entirely student-run fund created by students, for students. Your gift to this fund will go directly to students in need to cover necessary expenses such as rent and grocery bills.

Colorado College Mutual Aid draws on a long history of communities supporting each other in times of crisis and working to help community members meet basic needs that are not adequately met by current systems by creating new ones. Our immediate goal is to raise funds to alleviate financial stress that has arisen due to the past, present, and future hardships of 2020. Our long-term goal is to create a mutual aid network that is not limited to monetary aid in order to adapt to the ever-changing nature of need within the CC community. Mutual aid is based in solidarity, not charity. It is a non-conditional investment in the community by other members of that community.  

Through a grassroots social media campaign, we raised and redistributed over $37,000 in the past month, mainly through donations under $100 from current students, as well as from alumni, parents, and other family members related to the Colorado College community. The support has been immense, and we are so grateful for every donation we have received so far, no matter the amount.

To fully fund the rest of our 104 student applicants, we need approximately $150,000 more. The average amount students requested from our fund was $1,800, and these funds are mainly to be used for groceries, rent, utilities, travel to and from campus, technology for online classes, and medical bills. As the recent partial closure of campus has put many students in difficult situations once again, we are reaching out today to ask that you support our student community with whatever amount of monetary aid you are comfortable giving at this time.  

Transparency is important to our group and we want to make sure that you all feel comfortable donating. As such, we will be hosting a Zoom webinar at 3 p.m. MST on Thursday, Sept. 17th. You may register  here. You will have the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have in real time on this Zoom; we will also be joined by William Schiffelbein, the Director of Annual Giving.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or more, please do not hesitate to contact us at coloradocollegemutualaid@gmail.com.  

 

Our Mission Statement

August 28, 2020

Colorado College Mutual Aid draws on a long history of communities supporting each other in times of crisis and working to help community members meet basic needs that are not adequately met by current systems by creating new ones. Our immediate goal is to raise funds to alleviate financial stress that has arisen due to the hardships of 2020. Our long term goal is to create a mutual aid network not limited to monetary aid to adapt to the ever-changing nature of need within our community. Mutual aid is based in solidarity, not charity. It is a non-conditional investment in the community by other members of that community. 

As of today, we have redistributed over $36,000 to 104 CC students, with remaining need totaling over $150,000. 24% of CC students come from the top 1% and 78% of students from the top 20%, with the highest median parent income of all US colleges. As such, our community has the potential to benefit greatly from redistribution of some of that wealth to ensure that every student can prioritize academic success and learning without having to worry about food security or safe housing. We are calling on community members with class privilege to go beyond superficial donations and meaningfully use their access to wealth and resources to stand in solidarity with fellow members of the CC community.

If you have any questions or want to get involved in organizing, please email coloradocollegemutualaid@gmail.com. We strive to be inclusive of all input and as transparent as possible throughout the collection and redistribution of this fund. We encourage you to engage in this work in whatever capacity you are able to and to hold us accountable.

Sources/Further Reading: 

https://bigdoorbrigade.com/what-is-mutual-aid/ 

http://www.deanspade.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Mutual-Aid-Article-Social-Text-Final.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/college-mobility/colorado-college 

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