In her weekly column, the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan praises the paper's "tough on-the-ground reporting" on neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy. Today that coverage finally catches up to outlets like The Village Voice and The Guardian (among others) in recognizing the Occupy movement's remarkable relief efforts to help neighborhoods that continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy's devastation. And it's not just the Times who are tipping their caps to Occupy Sandy: last night, representatives from The National Guard, the Bloomberg administration, and the NYPD spoke at an organizational meeting for the movement's continued efforts to help powerless Red Hook residents.
Anyone who saw the city's hungry take meals at Zuccotti Park's kitchen last year shouldn't be all that surprised at Occupy's ability to mobilize volunteers, triage supplies and engage in outreach with storm-battered residents. As the Times piece points out, what is most striking about Occupy's role is how large and crucial it really is, given how thin the City is stretched and the "ineffectiveness" that plagues bureaucratic institutions like FEMA and Red Cross. Given the basename URL for the story, presumably this was to be the headline: "Where FEMA Fell Short Occupy Sandy Was There."
The AP also chimed in with their own piece, which features an interview of Glenn Nisall, a 53-year-old homebound man living in the Rockaways without power and no family to help him. Occupy Sandy volunteers brought him hot food and water. "I said: 'Occupy? You mean Occupy Wall Street?' I said: 'Awesome, man. I'm one of the 99 percent, you know?'"
You can volunteer with Occupy Sandy's efforts by filling out a form here. If you want to donate goods and supplies to the movement, check Occupy Sandy's news feed to determine what they actually need.