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RGV Mutual Aid collects about $41,000 to assist people affected by Hurricane Hanna

2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, August 05 2020 Aug 5, 2020 August 05, 2020 6:33 AM August 05, 2020 in News - Local

In the aftermath of Hurricane Hanna, a group of local organizers wanted to help the Rio Grande Valley — quickly.

Many traditional nonprofit organizations require people who request assistance to provide proof of income, document the damage they suffered and wait while the request is processed.

To provide assistance quickly, a group of local organizers formed RGV Mutual Aid.

"The thing about mutual aid is: Mutual aid is the sharing of resources, supplies and services without mediation of a government entity. Our mutual aid fund operates on good faith," said Bianca Castro, a RGV Mutual Aid organizer. "And so we're not requiring people to send us pictures of what they're buying, we're not requiring people to send us an income amount. We're not requiring any of that."

Unlike traditional nonprofit organizations, RGV Mutual Aid isn't incorporated or registered with the IRS. It isn't supervised by a board and doesn't publish annual audits or reports.

When someone asks for help, organizers schedule a phone call with the person to discuss that person's needs. After the call, organizers determine how to meet those needs.

RGV Mutual Aid received about $41,000 in donations, Castro said, and has already handed out about $14,000 to 37 families.

In response to questions about how money is collected and distributed, RGV Mutual Aid posted a thread on Twitter.

RGV Mutual Aid accepts donations online. Organizers encourage anyone uncomfortable with mutual aid to donate through an established nonprofit organization, such as the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.

Watch the video for the full story.

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