On Tuesday Nov. 13th Green Drinks NYC joined forces with Occupy Sandy to raise funds, collect supplies and most importantly, increase awareness about relief efforts taking place in Staten Island, New Jersey and Rockaway. There’s tremendous synergy between Green Drinks environmentally consciousness local networking, and the activism of Occupy Sandy, especially given the context of a disaster related to climate change. The money collected was donated to the Food Bank of NY, and the supplies collected were distributed by the Occupy Sandy team. Green Drinks Seattle also joined in, raising $600 for Food Bank NY on the same night.
Three members of Occupy Sandy; Michael Badger, Rebecca Manski and Robert Pluma attended, and addressed the group. Occupy Sandy grew out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which despite being out of the limelight since vacating Zuccotti Park, has not gone anywhere. The reason they were able to mobilize so quickly after Hurricane Sandy is they’ve been developing interconnected web-based communications hubs since Occupy started October 17, 2011. Now, with several of these hubs feeding data from each hub’s blog and twitter feed, as well as feeds from the Red Cross and FEMA, they could update information, communicate needs, and deploy resources, much more quickly and effectively than most governmental relief organizations. In fact FEMA has been looking to them for help in coordinating their efforts.
In addition, Occupy Sandy had the brilliant idea of using Amazon’s wedding registry to choose and update lists of items they need in the field. Rather than figuring out how to build an e-commerce or donationware platform for their sites, they used a tool already in place that suited their needs. http://www.amazon.com/registry/wedding/32TAA123PJR42 UPS has been helping by expediting materials, even putting Occupy stickers on some of their vans according to Robert Pluma.
Occupy Sandy volunteers have become a lifeline for scores of people, many of whom still have no power, or heat, or a place to live. There’s still a need for blankets, winter coats, food, and other supplies. If you are able to make a monetary contribution, purchase supplies, or even more importantly, volunteer your time, please visithttp://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/ .
The Food Bank of NY can also use your help, http://www.foodbanknyc.org/ they’ve had trucks on the road since the storm hit, delivering critically needed food and water to New Yorkers, providing 1.5 million meals to those affected by the hurricane. More than 1,500 volunteers have served the Food Bank and communities impacted by Sandy, and over $2 million have been raised for the Hurricane Sandy response effort.
Green Drinks NYC volunteers and attendees chipped in on Tues November 13th. But the only way an organization like Occupy Sandy, or the Food Bank of NY, can continue to do such remarkable work is with the ongoing support of people who are willing and able to chip in. The road to recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is going to be a long one. Everyone’s support is greatly needed, and greatly appreciated.