They are thousands-strong and growing: entering devastated neighborhoods yet to see outside help from established aid organizations.
They are staffing donation drop off sites, running mobile food kitchens and delivering hot meals. They are distributing food and supplies to the stranded, locating trapped seniors, and aiding clean-up efforts.
In short, they are helping some of New York’s most vulnerable right now, and the work being done is simply breathtaking. And that work is growing by the hour.
Loosely organized under Occupy Sandy, Occupy activists have, in conjunction with 350.org and Recovers.org, created in very short order a massive, malleable volunteer network that is reaching untold numbers of New Yorkers still in the dark and cold.
They have established donation drop off sites in Rockaway, Coney Island, Staten Island, Chinatown, the Upper East Side, the Lower East Side, Harlem and all across Brooklyn.
And the volunteer opportunities, which you can find here and here, are just as intense as they are varied.
Lisa Sikorski, one of many activists coordinating supply distribution efforts, described their efforts:
“We’ve been getting tons of donations. This is all donations in here,” Sikorski said, pointing at tables. “We also gave away a ton yesterday. Stuff has gone out to the Rockaways, Sunset Park, Coney Island. There are people coming in with rolling carts, school communities have come up with truckloads of stuff and unloaded it. This is all community-driven donation right now, all of it.”