Austin, TX ONLINE mutual aid group planning
posted March 20, 2020 8:02 AM   RSS

Hey, guys. Struck me this morning that it's a good idea for MeFites in town to know where everyone is, what potential needs folks have, and how to help if things get much worse. I'm setting this one as a proposed meetup in Austin in the hopes of getting emails out to folks in town, but right now I have no intention of meeting in-person--just organizing folks in town so that we can set up a network we can use to help one another and familiarize ourselves with anyone who's local on the site. Anyway, here's a space. Thoughts?
posted by sciatrix to Proposed (41 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I like this idea. Thanks for pursuing it.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm in San Antonio, but it seems like a good idea to me.
posted by usedsongs at 4:46 AM on March 21, 2020

I’m in Cedar Park and happy to help in any way I can.
posted by bradf at 6:30 AM on March 21, 2020

I’m in North Central Austin. Happy to help.
posted by monologish at 7:25 AM on March 21, 2020

I’m in East Central Austin (near Mueller). Also happy to help.
posted by aneel at 7:49 AM on March 21, 2020

Keep me posted.
posted by adamrice at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2020

I'm in South Austin, unemployed, and broke, but more than happy to help anyone I can however I can. Also, if anyone wants to set up a group video meet-up, I'm totally in!
posted by MuChao at 9:18 AM on March 21, 2020

I'm East, just north of Mueller. I have limited financial resources, but lots of free time and a pickup truck.
posted by thedward at 10:11 AM on March 21, 2020

Belatedly--I actually also live out east, out by Loyola and 183. My roommate works at the local HEB near Manor. Another friend who works at another HEB suggests that anyone who needs supplies but wants to avoid lines check Wal-Mart and Target.
posted by sciatrix at 11:09 AM on March 21, 2020

Love this idea! Brilliant.

In NW Hills, but being a member of the high-risk population means I can't break isolation unless it's absolutely necessary, so I can't be much help.

Will stay tuned to developments here.
posted by batmonkey at 1:08 PM on March 21, 2020

I'm in Hyde Park and while I have limited free time (working from home with both my kids here because daycare is closed), I am happy to help out where I can.
posted by vakker at 2:28 PM on March 21, 2020

Glad to be in contact with local MeFites! I'm in Hyde Park but I also tick all the high risk boxes and can't be of much help.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:36 PM on March 21, 2020

North University checking in, hope everyone is doing all right at the moment.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 12:52 AM on March 22, 2020

I am North Austin by the new Thunderdome that's being built. I am also a high-risk person but am cool with networking for support and whatever I am able to do.
posted by bitterkitten at 5:54 AM on March 22, 2020

Thanks for starting this! I’m central. I can’t think of anything I can do specifically but if you’re close and need something brought to you, reach out. If you want links to local yoga and meditation classes that are streaming for free/very cheap, memail me. I can also post links to local bands streaming shows as they come up. A little live music to keep it Austin!
posted by mrcrow at 8:57 AM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

NE Austin here, Northeast Dr. and Manor Road area.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 9:47 AM on March 22, 2020

Does anyone have good resources on organizing Mutual Aid?

I found this video: Shit's Totally FUCKED! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer

However, I prefer to consume information via text rather than video.
posted by thedward at 11:21 AM on March 22, 2020

Is there a way to establish a shared Google map that we can pin our locations to?
posted by Wetterschneider at 11:38 AM on March 22, 2020

Does anyone know if HEB Business Centers sell postage stamps, and if so, if they're open these days? Alternatively, other than the post office (are THEY open?), where I could get my hands on some? I just realized that I can't participate in the MeFi card swap without them!
posted by MuChao at 1:38 PM on March 22, 2020

I think the actual cashiers sell them! Certainly I've bought stamps there before just by asking.

re: maps, yes, there is a way to do that. Is that something everyone feels safe doing? It's the Internet, obv, the Internet is forever, some folks have stalkers, etc etc. I just want to bring up a potential risk discussion for folks before I go ahead and make something like that. How do folks feel about this notion? What would we be using such a map for?
posted by sciatrix at 2:10 PM on March 22, 2020

I'm in Pflugerville. Hit me up as needed. <3 to all of us.
posted by ZakDaddy at 12:09 AM on March 23, 2020

East Austin, near 183 and Loyola. For some reason I'm considered "essential" and my office is in north Austin. Ping me if I can help.

Traffic was great this morning!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:32 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, two days ago I was in Hana World Market (the Asian grocery store on Parmer). It was sparsely populated but the shelves were full of non-perishables. Among other things, you can buy bulk (35lb-50lb) bags of rice, flour, and salt.

We got mochi, some banana pops that the toddler loves, and other snacks. All we really wanted was a regular-sized bag of flour (my fourteen-year old has been making bread every day), but it doesn't look like that's something they normally carry at all.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:40 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Austin-specific resources gdoc.
posted by sciatrix at 12:44 PM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cedar Parker checking in. I am theoretically healthy, but have zero confidence in my luck. I am willing to assist people in exchange for favorites and upvotes.
posted by Balna Watya at 12:03 AM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm up in Hutto. Happy to keep an eye out for specific supplies for folks, and would love to do an in-person meetup once this is all just an unpleasant memory.
posted by Ann Telope at 7:13 AM on March 26, 2020

The YMCA is offering childcare for essential workers at $50/day. If you have friends or family or know anyone who can use this service, please let them know! Childcare services will be held at the location near 51st and 183 and the Southwest location.
posted by sciatrix at 4:27 PM on March 26, 2020

sciatrix, have you heard that HEB is hiring right now to meet the demand?

My job seems safe for now but I have friends who will probably be laid off soon.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:16 PM on March 27, 2020

I had! Will pass that along. I have friends who have just been laid off too, although those who can are mostly hunkering down and trying to shelter in place while they work out what comes next. If you're doing minimum-wage type retail work, they're not bad employers to work for.
posted by sciatrix at 9:28 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm at Congress and Riverside, on the river across from downtown. I've got a pickup truck if one is needed for whatever light hauling of whatever.

If you've got a bicycle that needs minor fix and/or flat tire fix I've got tools and (basic) skills to get you back on your wheels and rolling happily. Daily bicycle ride and work-out is a salve on my itchy, twitchy soul, if your bike is down maybe we can get it going and get you to smiling.

If anyone sets up a video meet-up (I'm most familiar with Zoom) count me in. I've met with groups of friends in video chats set up with Zoom software and they are great, and you need not turn the video on if you'd rather not be seen, it can be set to however your comfortable, it's great software and real intuitivez.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:29 AM on March 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, I could probably set up the Zoom chat for the meet-up, should anyone think that it's a good idea. I'm not super tech-type guy but I'm betting it'd be pretty easy to set up.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:38 AM on March 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

The last two weekends friends and I have been doing dramatic readings of movie scripts over Zoom. It's been a blast.

Last night we did Best in Show. The week before we did The Big Lebowski. Clueless is next week and I'm hoping we do Clue the week after that.

Maybe that would be cool to do as a meetup.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:13 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm in Houston (if anyone might know about a similar group in that area), but I have a lot of friends in Austin that I could pass info about this between.
posted by NurseMcHurt at 9:08 AM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm super-far south, near Manchaca & Slaughter. If anybody needs a great sourdough starter hmu.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 1:30 AM on April 2, 2020

If you find yourself food-insecure in Austin, send me a MeMail.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 1:37 AM on April 2, 2020

Picked up curbside from HEB today. I pulled up at 3:30pm and there was maybe a five-minute wait until they brought out my order. We placed the order on March 20th. I told people in my office "No, I'm leaving right now to pick up groceries. Bye."

We no longer feel like we are essential. We now feel like we are expendable.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:55 PM on April 2, 2020

spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints damn, remind me not to apply at your workplace. I have to keep checking the app to see if I can get delivery or pick up, and sometimes I have to choose several "closeish" HEBs to find one that has slots open. Hope they got you at least *most* of your order.

Speaking of... can anyone find HEB Organics Plain Whole Milk Yogurt??? Obviously, it's not an emergency or anything, but I miss it soo much, and I've got all this great granola to put in it. Know of any plain, whole milk yogurt that's close enough to the HEB Organics to get me through? I don't like Dannon or Stoneyfield(?). I'm afraid to buy that much Yoplait in case I don't like it either.

Enough of that rant, what I really need is hand sanitizer! I would have a lot easier time leaving the house (for necessary, social-distancing approved activities) if I had some! Maybe I might, maybe, I dunno, kinda, be ok with taking a second-interview in person next week.

Also, does anyone need any rice? I somehow ended up with WAY TOO MUCH! Or at least, way too much for me to figure out what to do with. I'll trade for good (preferably freezable) rice-based recipes and/or beans and/or other ingredients. I've got tons of rice, but not much to go with it. The HEB I was last able to get curbside at didn't have ANY of my proteins, and instead of subbing, just left them off completely.
posted by MuChao at 6:59 PM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't know about the yogurt, but if someone can find you one tub of a plain yogurt you like, MuChao, you know you can make more with it right? Yogurt is pretty easy to make, and that might be a more sustainable way of making sure you have plenty in the long haul than relying on supply chains that might get disrupted. My spouse is the one who's made it previously in my house, but I can ask for a recipe if that's something you're interested in. All you need is a little bit of yogurt as a starter culture and a whole bunch of milk.
posted by sciatrix at 5:40 AM on April 3, 2020

It was a modest order, but they didn't have a few things we ordered (half and half, toilet paper, hand sanitizer).

I have a couple spray bottles of 70% isopropyl alcohol (sterile packed, double bagged, irradiated) I'd be happy to part with if anyone needs them. I live on the east side and work up north.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:03 AM on April 3, 2020

I also am stealing the occasional roll of toilet paper from work. If anyone needs one I can hook you up.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:59 PM on April 8, 2020

I'm in North Central Austin between Lamar and Burnett. I've been making cloth masks for folks that need them; in multiple patterns and fabrics, child and adult sizes, with ear loops or full straps, and all include a pocket for adding filter media if desired. If you really need one, it's yours; those who want to help me make more, they're $4 or some fabric, thread, elastic ponytail holders, or 1/4 inch bias tape but isn't required
posted by schade at 4:02 PM on April 22, 2020

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