Unironically leftist parties / coops / associations / etc should be looking at every charity currently being controlled by a religious authority of some kind and creating a direct replacement to those services which does not require the individual to submit to any particular ideology or authority to receive services.
Where I’m from clothing drives were huge because people couldn’t afford to get clothes for their kids. Do you have any idea how powerful it is for conservative organizations to fulfill that type of welfare? That sort of thing is precisely why rural people in the USA genuinely believe that conservatives are “Fighting for their rights” or whatever.
This is something we definitely need more of!
Food Not Bombs is one organization worth getting involved in. I know my local one does three hot meal shares a week, has a weekly “free market” for clothing and toiletry items, and distributes groceries, pet items, and menstrual products. Every group is independently organized, though, so your local one may vary - and you may have the opportunity to add something based on the needs of your community.
If you know about any leftist organizations doing things like this, add them to this post!
To add on, look into your local interfaith orgs! While non religious mutual aid is super important, religion/religious community IS vital to some religious people. Interfaith orgs especially are committed to compassion and understanding between different religions, and are usually way less insistent you agree with them than like an evangelical church.
Additionally, religious orgs have more experience in filling needs that non religious groups may overlook such as:
Do you know any kosher or halal recipes for your soup kitchen? Off the top of your head, can you tell me what makes a meal kosher or halal?
If a homeless Muslim woman needs a new hijab, do you have any to give her? What about a kippah for a Jewish man? Do you have any headscarves for orthodox christian women or Mennonite women? Do you list any of these items on your clothing drive donation lists?
Does your free little library have copies of religious affiliated texts that will resonate with religious people? (Many religious ppl believe leftists want to eradicate religion esp after stalin infamously banned Christian orthodox practices in the Soviet union-something MANY older russian orthodox Christians remember)
Does your homeless shelter have any prayer mats or shabbat candles? Do you know where to get them? Do you know how to select the correct ones?
Not all of these are essential to surviving but it does demonstrate compassion for people and recognizes their nonphysical needs. It also cuts into the power of conservative religious groups by demonstrating that others care. And just like idk how else to say it but….religious people deserve to be treated respectfully and have their spiritual needs considered. You don’t have to agree with them and if they’re bigots you certainly don’t have to cater to that but religious people overall do deserve at least some small considerations.
As a final note, I’ve focused on abrahamic religions for this bc that’s what I know but different places have different prominent religions! Also if you’re delivering mutal aid to Native American communities, ask about their religious needs and what you can do to accommodate them.
This is an excellent point! I tend to emphasize local groups anyway, but definitely look for local interfaith orgs since the religious makeup and needs of your community will be unique.