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Occupy Wall Street Leads Way in Sandy Relief

Occupy Wall Street Leads Way in Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy may have accomplished a long-term goal of Occupy’s when it shut down Wall Street, but that doesn’t make the two entities allies. In fact, Occupy Wall Street has launched an offshoot movement, Occupy Sandy, which may be the organization most successfully providing relief to those who face devastation in New York City.

With people in need now, members of Occupy are not content to wait (and wait and wait) for FEMA and the related bureaucracy to provide all necessary aid. Occupy volunteers are coming together to provide food, water, shelter and sources of electricity to those who the storm affected the most.

Occupiers assemble vital supplies at St. Jacobi Church

In a sense, Occupy Wall Street is an ideal group to tackle these problems. Given all of its experience in community organizing, providing food to the masses and weathering subpar conditions, the challenges Hurricane Sandy has presented are hardly out of Occupy’s wheelhouse.

Most of the organizational aspects are coordinated through the website or which matches eager volunteers with specific helpful tasks. Catherine McBride, a volunteer with Occupy Sandy, told the Huffington Post, “I think the key is connecting people to a tangible thing, because everyone wants to help out. Just telling people to go and do this, and then they’ll do it.”

Occupy Sandy is particularly interested in looking after the needs of the city’s elderly and disabled. Many have been trapped in their homes due to non-functioning elevators and a lack of electricity, so volunteers are regularly checking in on these people to ensure they have necessary resources to survive until things are back in order.

Occupy organizes assistance in Far Rockaway Queens

People in the community are thankful for the organized assistance, complaining that FEMA, the police and the Red Cross are not adequately addressing the people’s needs, if at all. Bob Hardt of the NY1 Blog writes, “There continues to be mounting frustration from other residents here. The Red Cross is quickly becoming the villain because it has been invisible. It’s a bad sign for the world that Occupy Wall Street and a Sikh group from Queens are doing a better job at distributing hot food than the largest international relief group in the world.”

Although Occupy Sandy’s mission is not explicitly political, it does model the kind of world that Occupiers yearn to see, one in which people care about the basic needs of fellow people. As relief efforts began on Tuesday, Occupy tweeted a thought-provoking message:

Those who want updates on how they can assist the Occupy Sandy efforts can text @occupysandy to 23559.


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10:16AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

It’s a bad sign for the world that Occupy Wall Street and a Sikh group from Queens are doing a better job at distributing hot food than the largest international relief group in the world.”

I don't know why it is a bad sign, to me it is a great sign when people help each other without the trappings of a dysfunctional bureaucracy. Maybe if we believed we could count on each other regardless of our abckgrounds, we could move toward a more sane model for civilization. I think this is a great thing.

4:47AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

The groups who truly help the most people in any emergency are the Christians. CBN's Operation Blessing, Samaritan's Purse, the Salvation Army are just a few. They take the money they receive and use it the most efficiently and put it in the places of most need. FEMA is a HUGE joke! They were in Katrina and they haven't gotten any better!

4:58PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Thanks Kevin.

2:12PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

good for them

4:43AM PST on Nov 10, 2012

Don't care for either Occupy or TEA... both divisive and "out there", can't relate to either

10:37PM PST on Nov 9, 2012

Occupy is easily one of the most important, relevant movements ever formed...

12:18AM PST on Nov 8, 2012

People helping people is what really makes the world go round

12:34AM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Good for Occupy! Amazing that they manage to do what needs to be done when older, more famous groups are having trouble getting their acts together.

11:24AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

See how scared and stupid the mayor looks? There is a diminishing returns to having all that money, security, hangers on, and then trying to be a public servant. His wealth and position is diametrically opposed. Crisis brings this out. Unfortunately the good people of New York have to suffer for adventurist ambitions. He needs to take all his billions and leave us alone.

11:07AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

Great news! Thanks. The people who can best help the community are the people in the community. Helping each other out in the time of needs and crisis is the best thing one can do.

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