Stranded in my mom’s house during the worst storm to hit the East Coast in my lifetime, scouring social media, I was horrified and dismayed at tales from folks far worse off than myself. Several residents of Far Rockaway, Queens managed to get word out that there was no power, no drinking water, flooded homes and looting. They desperately needed help.
I did what I could—copy, pasted, posted and tweeted the cries for help to avenues I thought could assist—CNN, the mayor’s office, WABC and various celebrities. As the days rolled by, the stories on social media became more agonizing to read, but I wasn’t seeing them on network television. And I didn’t think there was enough info getting out about volunteering in hard-hit areas.
Finally, after I re-posted yet another cry for help to the CNN Facebook Page, a friend commented with a link to Occupy Sandy. This spirited organization, comprised largely of Occupy Wall Street veterans, put together a relief effort that was nothing short of heroic. I was amazed at the work they were doing: quick, honest and dedicated.
Occupy Sandy was actually going into the trenches of Far Rockaway, Staten Island and other areas FEMA and the Red Cross had yet to reach. They have an entire Facebook page with photos from the stricken communities, frequent updates, information about volunteering and, most importantly, direct requests from stranded Hurricane Sandy victims. In other words, exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks to their efforts, many people are receiving the help they so desperately need. Occupy Sandy volunteers are doing everything from pumping out basements to providing tampons and batteries. If there is any good that can come from Hurricane Sandy, it’s for us to realize the beauty of people helping each other, doing whatever we can, however we can. Kudos to Occupy Sandy and the hundreds of volunteers! On behalf of everyone, I thank you.