Hometown Hero: Lexington Mutual Aid
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A woman in Lexington is working to help connect those who need assistance with those who have the means to give, online.
Aarica Barrett is a moderator on a Facebook group called Lexington Mutual Aid and goes the extra mile to help those in her community. It’s what makes her our ABC 36 Hometown Hero.
“Help out your neighbor,” said Barrett, a philosophy she lives by. “It’s a grassroots movement. It’s just people helping people.”
The concept is simple. Barrett says if you have something you no longer need or want, donate it.
“I promise you that I’m going to find somebody that is going to want it and is going to need it,” said Barrett.
Barrett says she found her calling at a time when she was searching for meaning in her life.
“I’m a recovering addict, alcoholism. And you know, I thought man I’ve really been a drain on society. Just, personally, you know,” explained Barrett.
Now, as a moderator, Barrett spends her days scrolling thru post after post of people who want to help and simply don’t know how to. The group also includes many who could use a helping hand.
“We have about 4,600 members, unfortunately most of those people are people that need,” said Barrett.
It’s in the group where people can connect with each other, while Barrett facilitates.
“Toothpaste, soap, cleaning products. Somebody’s given towels, pots and pans. We’ve got backpacks,” said Barrett looking through donation items she’s collected. “It doesn’t have to be brand new.”
While hygiene and cleaning products are the most requested, a lot of upcycling happens too. Barrett pointed out a jewelry box, “This woman was like I don’t want to throw it away. So I was like don’t! She’s like I bet some little girl will love this.”
For anyone in that situation, Barrett said, “Give it to me!”
She calls it a win win, “It’s gonna make you feel better at the end of the day. And it’s gonna make that person that you helped feel loved and feel cared for.”
It’s also a feel good full circle for Barrett, “It gives me purpose.”
In addition to facilitating the connection between people and looking for items, she also physically drives many of those things people need to their homes and also picks up items for people who can’t.
If you’re interested in donating or have a need, Barrett encourages you to join the group Lexington Mutual Aid, HERE.
If you know a Hometown Hero, submit a nomination HERE or email ABC 36’s Erica Bivens: firstname.lastname@example.org.