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#sandyvolunteer | Occupied Stories

Tag Archive | "#sandyvolunteer"

The Power of Love

New York, NY–When I got off of work last Friday, I ran over to the cheap 99-cent store to buy supplies.  At first I felt bad that I wasn’t buying a huge load of supplies but my reasoning took over and told me that a little can go a long way.  So I bought socks, razor blades, plastic gloves, coloring books, crayons and sponges.  I got on the R train and went to the 53rd street stop to get to St. Jacobi Lutheran Church.  Arriving at the hospital, I was stunned by all the buzz of activity there and by all of the donations.  Everything was organized in and people were sorting things out all over the large room.   After dropping off my stuff, I volunteered over at the clothes sorting section.  It’s so cool to joke around and do loving work!  I got to meet some really wonderful people there and I also was fed some rocking good vegetable soup.   So many people came to drop off supplies. I was overwhelmed by the love and generosity.   I have such respect for the Occupy Wall Street movement.  We don’t give lip service, we go out and do good.   Occupy Wall street people are all over the areas stricken by Superstorm Sandy and helping out.  Websites all over the place to give people information to get and give help.   They got together faster than any help group around and I want to especially target FEMA and the American Red Cross.  I will give props for the work that FEMA and The Red Cross is doing but I want to also give my love and respect to people who got together and showed what Do It Yourself motivation can do when you’re not restricted by bureaucratic red tape.

-Barbara R. Lee-

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Photos: Devastation in Staten Island

Editor’s note: More photos are available at the author’s blog.

New York, NY–Today I went to Staten Island to photograph the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The devastation was completely unimaginable, yet the folks who were stepping up to help out were completely inspiring. Seeing these people suffer makes my heart hurt in ways I never thought possible. I wish there was a way I could help every single one of them, but I know that is not possible. Instead, I will share some of the photos I captured in order to get their story out there, and to help others at least begin to understand what they’re dealing with. Hopefully those of you who have the ability to help, will do so – whether that means putting on your boots and gloves and grabbing a shovel to help them clean up, or donating money for supplies. If you wish to help these folks in Staten Island, check out

-Jenna Pope-

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Words of Thanks & Life-Changing Moments

Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared here.

What an AMAZING day!

When I first walked into the American Legion (209 Cross Bay Blvd) there was NOTHING…by yesterday afternoon my jaw dropped — then today — OMG! What an amazing day of community rally! If I had to pick one “faith in humanity restored moment” it would have to be when the truck rolled up with 600 pizzas for Portland, Maine. The guys set up a propane heater and started re-heating the pizza. AMAZING!!

I made my first trip to the Rockaways this afternoon. Words escape me to describe the need, I cannot justify it properly in a few sentences. Tomorrow we are going to focus on helping situate the Red Cross in the Rockaways for hot food distribution and a facilitate medication distribution in both Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

A few urgent needs, in order of greater need first:

**A registered organization with medical doctors who can supervise the distribution of medications to the people of Broad Channel and the Rockaways. We have the promise of AmeriCare that they can provide all the medications that we need. **THIS IS AN URGENT NEED**

**On the ground contacts in the Rockaways who can help us understand the BEST places for Red Cross to set up hot food distribution. We will be meeting up with Red Cross leaders at 11AM tomorrow. **Distribution will be at Beach 95th & Rockaway Fwy — if other distribution points are needed, please let us know ASAP so we can pass the message directly to Red Cross**

**A registered organization that can receive amazing care packages from AmeriCare. Many distribution centers are now filled to capacity with donations, if there is anywhere with continued need — PLEASE let us know so we can pass on the information.

**Additional volunteers to help organize and manage distribution at the American Legion, 209 Cross Bay Blvd.

High priority needs right now for the distribution center (they change frequently) include:
power strips/heavy duty power cords, duct tape, plastic sheathing, rope, tarps (things to try and keep the draft out), contractor-sized trash bags, personal care items like razors, always need flashlights and batteries, baby formula, diapers ***AND** we need hot food throughout the day plus packaged food is ALWAYS welcomed. **Blankets, socks, underwear, jackets are ALWAYS welcomed but no other clothes can be accepted at this time!**

Please email me if you can help in anyway!

Thank you!


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Sandy is Climate Change

New York, NY–Here in the Windsor Terrace area of Brooklyn things are pretty normal, except the children have been out of school for a week and most people aren’t going to work. The neighborhood feels terribly vital, if only because more of us are around and outside–cleaning up the streets and sidewalks, sweeping the stoops. In Prospect Park, just a few blocks from here, there are hundreds of trees down, mostly beloved old ones, and it’s hard to say goodbye; they’ve been here so much longer than we have. Down the road toward the beach things are far more grim. Coney Island and Red Hook got hit hard, the Rockaways is in shambles, Staten Island is battered… you’ve seen the pictures.

There is an amazing gift economy at work all over the place. You can have free ramen on 8th street in the East Village, fancy caramels down in TriBeCa, spaghetti in Alphabet City. People are on the street giving it away and it’s a joy to watch. And there is incredible anger too, some of it focused, some of it more of an atmospheric spray–the inevitable frustration of life without electricity and elevators and working toilets and food anxiety turning into outright hunger. There are all kinds of lessons for us here, though I’m afraid most people don’t seem to recognize the lines at the gas station as anything but inconvenient, so maybe it’s just too soon for a deeper reckoning.

Our immediate community is sheltered and safe, many of us have friends and family with lost homes and property. No doubt about, it the storm HIT. We have it in our bodies now. We are grateful for all your support and good wishes. Lets not be sentimental, let’s be strong and clear, let’s get down to some serious revolutionary skill-sharing, pitch in where we can and keep our Love on the Prize–EARTHALUJAH!

-Savitri D, Director of the Church of Stop Shopping-

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On a Street Far From Wall Street

Editor’s note: this story originally appeared at the author’s blog.

New York, NY–We were far from Wall Street.

The sidewalks were strewn with rotted furniture, tattered clothes and assorted debri. Families and friends huddled around doorsteps, doors swung open in the hopes that fresh air would drive out the stench of the sitting flood waters.

The Mayor said New York City was back to business as he rang the opening bell.

Jose Luiz said “Fuck Bloomberg” as he lifted an axe to the long, thick tree trunk that had lied down flat on his block. Its roots tickled the metal fence on one side of the street while its branches poked at the stoops on the other side. He stood atop the tree, conquering it with his feet, while his pals tied a rope around it and then to the bumper of a worn-out old 4-door.

“Who you wit’, the city?” they asked suspiciously as we approached. If so, we would have been the first to take notice of what was happening on that block off Neptune Ave. Besides those imposing police vans with their glaring lights at night, lights that reflect off the walls of darkened, powerless buildings. Lights that say “Keep calm. Don’t riot.” The police surely wanted to help, but their orders were clear. “We were told to [go up and down this street with our lights on],” one told me. The National Guard had 4 tanks on the next block, and three Guards stood eyeing passerbys on the next street. Stand your guard. Marching orders.

We weren’t with the city, we explained. And we didn’t much care for Mayor Bloomberg either, considering that he evicted us from Zuccotti Park and threw away all our books and tents. We had something deeply in common with these young men, living on the periphery of the 1%’s city, under the heartless dominion of Bloomberg’s Army.

They looked worn out but persistent in the face of 3 days without power, hot water or gas. If they wanted to fill up their car tanks, the closest station had 300 other Brooklynites snaking in a line around it, gas cannister in hand, to fill up from a single pump. A line of cars a mile long paralleled them.

This is disaster-zone Brooklyn.

This is climate changed.

Welcome to New York City. Brighton Beach. November 1st, 2012.

-Justin Wedes-

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