Post-Sandy Fundraisers, and My Money is with Occupy Sandy


With the Petraeus sex scandal hijacking everyone’s attention away from anything else resembling news – and I am so guilty of gawking incessantly at this juicy side show; I’ll admit I CANNOT wait for the unveiling of the shirtless FBI agent – it’s easy to lose sight of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

But as someone whose family has been gravely affected, I remain acutely aware of it, and I’m inclined to remind everyone else. This shit is serious. Like, people have been dying.

The other day I posted here on The Rumpus about the post-Hurricane Sandy relief effort, with links to places you can donate and volunteer. Here’s a little update:

1. There are some great lit fundraisers to attend:

– Sackett Street Writers has a list of events, including a stellar one this Saturday, 11/17, at the Powerhouse Arena, which was badly hit. It features Jennier Egan, Jonathan Franzen, Sarah Vowell, Paul Auster, Pete Hamill, Teju Cole and many others.

This one, December 2, hosted by Gigantic Sequins magazine, raises money for the Ali Forney Center, a Chelsea-based residence for homeless LBGTQ teens, which was destroyed in the storm.

2. IMO, skip the Red Cross, and donate to Occupy Sandy instead. Although it’s widely suggested that those who can’t volunteer or deliver much-needed supplies instead give to the Red Cross, there are so many horror stories about people and places the Red Cross isn’t getting to – but that Occupy Sandy is.

Occupy Sandy is a group made up of Occupy Wall Street members who, in a feat of astounding coordination and organization, are working tirelessly to reach those ignored by FEMA, the Red Cross, the New York City Housing Authority and other key organizations.

It’s a good thing they are. There are elderly and children holed up in projects in Coney Island, shivering with no electricity, heat or plumbing. Many of them are without food, they’ve run out of their prescriptions, and they’re shitting in buckets. There are others stranded in the Rockaways, on Staten Island, in New Jersey, and elsewhere, too. Occupy Sandy is trying to help these people.

And so, going forward – in addition to shopping for garbage bags, tampons, tuna cans, etc. to give to groups driving down to help with the effort – I am donating what spare money I can scrounge to Occupy Sandy.

Sari Botton is a writer living in upstate New York. She is the editor of Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving NY. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Village Voice and more retrograde women’s magazines than she’d care to recall or admit to. She tweets at @saribotton. More from this author →