Four Corners Mutual Aid Network focused on community

Ignacio COVID Mutual Aid volunteers, Judith Johnson and Precious Collins, load 2020 Census bags full off potatoes and onions donated from the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.
Mary Silas watches as Velma Armijo places food items into the back of her vehicle. Ignacio COVID Mutual Aid offers a free supply drive every Saturday at the ELHI Community Center beginning at 10 a.m., you can also find updates on the Ignacio COVID Mutual Aid Facebook page.
Cars lined up around ELHI Community Center on Saturday, May 2, waiting to get free food and supplies from Ignacio COVID Mutual Aid.
Trennie Collins | Four Corners Mutual Aid Network
Trennie Collins | Four Corners Mutual Aid Network
Trennie Collins | Four Corners Mutual Aid Network

The Four Corners Mutual Aid Network (4CMAN) is a community-led grassroots initiative creating people-to-people connections in the Four Corners region in response to COVID-19.

Mutual aid is when individuals in a community step up to meet each others’ basic survival needs and build social relationships of support. 4CMAN understands that many of those living in our rural region cannot always access established systems of social, financial, and other support and are struggling during this uncertain time. With reciprocal relationships, trust, and community care we hope to create connections that will pull us through this crisis and support us into the future.

4CMAN coordinates financial assistance to individuals and families as well as food and supply deliveries to local community members and tribal communities including: Towaoc, Colo., Ignacio, Colo., Shiprock, N.M., Gallup, N.M., Pueblo Pintado, N.M., Nazlini, Ariz. and Black Mesa, Ariz. The financial assistance network is built on an online platform that facilitates direct connections between people with need and people with the ability to give.

There is a fund specifically for those who identify as undocumented and a central PayPal fund for unmet needs which is distributed by a diverse group of community members from across Southwestern Colorado including Indigenous, immigrant, and LGBTQ2S+ members.

“As immigrants, we can’t apply for any federal aid, we won’t get any of the stimulus checks, and there’s not a lot of support for undocumented families. I know we’re not from here but it’s the only place I’ve ever known, and due to this virus it feels like we’re not really getting support,”  explained an anonymous Mutual Aid recipient. “The support you guys are giving us is warming our hearts.”

Since April 1, this committed network of volunteers and the donors who have invested in the model have met $10,495 in need through a central fund, and facilitated well over $16,377 of needs met for over 45 families. 4CMAN has received over $14,000 from the community, a compelling sign that Southwest Colorado believes in person-to-person support systems.

“For me it really is just giving back to the community that I love. My Ute people have been on these lands and giving thanks to everything and everyone that came before me and everything that’s yet to come is super important to me. Our ancestors went through struggles we can’t even imagine so that I (we) can be here today. I want to give thanks to them and make them proud of who I am and who I’m becoming,” expressed Trennie Collins, Ignacio Mutual Aid and Four Corners Mutual Aid Network.

“Having people come through to get food and supplies that you’ve known for years since you were little is really humbling to me. We may not know what they go through and for us to come in and be able to help is everything,” Collins explained. “I don’t do this for the recognition, but to bless others because I really am grateful for everything I have and am.”

During this time, the 4CMAN is encouraging you to consider giving what you can through our “Redistribute Your Stimulus Check” Campaign. Donors can fulfill needs directly through the spreadsheet, should an individual’s story resonate with you. Or, donate to one of the central funds and the disbursement committee will ensure your dollars make the most impact. The 4CMAN can be found on our website (where you can also find our public platform to request or fulfill needs) or on Facebook. You can contact us at  covid19mutualaidcortez@gmail.com or 970-343-4687.

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