The Occupy Sandy community has changed the face of disaster relief. Our network of more than 50,000 volunteers provided over 300,000 meals, remediated over 1000 homes, and provided over a million dollars' worth of donated supplies by working with our neighbors to provide mutual aid throughout the rebuilding process.
Tomorrow, we begin our 2nd year. Some folks have returned to their normal lives, but many remain affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our people-powered movement built something incredible, but we need your help to continue to move residents back into their homes, assist them in rebuilding their lives, and amplify the voice of communities in their own recovery.
Many still struggle to simply return home. Staten Island resident Marina Babkina lived a few blocks from Midland Beach before being evacuated. She lost both her home and her business, a daycare with music instruction that served the local Russian immigrant community. Language barriers made the complex disaster recovery process extra difficult to navigate. Occupy Sandy was able to provide Russian translation and connect her to critical resources like mold remediation, legal advice, building materials, and new furniture, all at no cost.
But her story is not yet over. A year without income has left Ms. Babkina in debt, and fully restoring her home in the middle of an attached 5-family townhouse to livable conditions will mean more red tape. Many others like Ms. Babkina continue to face challenges and have come to rely on the support and mutual aid ethic of Occupy Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy left many residents unemployed, as they were unable to travel to their jobs, their jobs were eliminated by the storm or they were unable to maintain employment while engaging full time in the process of rebuilding. Before Sandy, the members of Roca Mia Construction Inc, struggled to make ends meet between low-paying subcontracting gigs.
After Sandy, work became scarce as businesses shut down across Far Rockaway. With start-up funding and skill building assistance from Occupy Sandy, the men were able to set up their own worker-owned cooperative. After receiving their license to operate last week, they are ready to start working on home repairs in their own neighborhood. This is just one way that Occupy Sandy has been able to invest in both residents and local economies.
Please continue to participate in this vital work by making a donation,