But there’s another thing happening on the East Coast after Sandy…something that often happens to human beings when disaster strikes. Compassion. Humanity. Love.
- Crazy Email and Back Stories
Over 8.5 million people lost power; as of this writing power has been restored to all but about 1.5 million people. But that’s a LOT of homes, apartments and businesses still in the dark and cold. Up to 40,000 people may be left homeless. In situations like this, tempers fray, and looting can be expected. But unexpected acts of community and generosity are everywhere.
Occupy Sandy , which began Wednesday as an amorphous effort by members of Occupy Wall Street, the environmental group 350.org,and a host of community groups to offer relief to devastated areas of the city, had taken a very definite form over the last 72 hours. Bases like Jacobi church were created to bring people together and concentrate efforts, while satellite locations were established in areas crippled by the hurricane, in Far Rockaway and in Staten Island. Both types of hubs had been wildly successful at collecting and distributing aid and mobilizing volunteers, and now the links between them were being strengthened. Read the entire article at Alternet
Where people were hungry, other people shared their food — for free. Restaurants, community groups, and individuals pitched in to share what they had with others. Makeshift food serving areas spontaneously sprang up on city streets.
A Huffpost headline proclaims Occupy Sandy as a Relief Organization for the 21st Century, utilizing social media along with their unique horizontal group-sourced approach.
Occupy Sandy, an off-shoot of Occupy Wall Street, has undoubtedly been a leader in spreading the word about local volunteer and donation efforts online, and thereby spurring real, tangible responses. Though certainly not a well-oiled machine by any means — seamless organization is hardly expected, anyway, in a movement that sprang up so quickly — the group’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have posted up-to-date information about exactly what is needed and where. And while the Red Cross doesn’t take donations of individual household items and certain bare necessities, these very same needs have become Occupy Sandy’s primary focus. - HuffingtonPost [very good article]
And Occupy has continued helping throughout the height of the storm and its aftermath. Even while the storm raged, while most people were seeking shelter, Occupy volunteers were there helping the community get to safety, helping coordinate families, and then later assisting people with power, clean water, medical assistance, food. All this without a formal top-heavy “organization”. Just people helping people, networking and growing in an organic fashion.
Occupy Sandy’s #Medics hashtag on Twitter found doctors for their hubs in Brooklyn and Queens. Hot meals are being prepared every day and night, with volunteers setting up makeshift food kitchens in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Sunset Park.