Hurricane Sandy may have passed through the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States last week, but for many people, Sandy is still here. The destruction and displacement the storm caused in its wake still tops headlines, as people amp up relief efforts and donations for those still without power, clean water and other essentials.
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Since Hurricane Sandy affected such specific areas, it hasn’t been possible for everyone to go out and volunteer on the ground. Established organizations, groups and individuals have been doing what they can from their own homes or neighborhoods, using technology and online services such as Indiegogo,Amazon and Facebook to raise money and offer help to those who need it.
Here’s a roundup of inspiring and innovative ways people have supported Sandy relief causes with the Internet and technology.
Hurricane Sandy hit Hoboken, N.J. hard, flooding much of the city and knocking out power at the same time. In response, 11-year-old Lucy Walkowiak, with the help of her father, set up a pop-up Internet café and charging station to help her neighbors connect with loved ones and the outside world.
Venturesome Walkowiak simply asked neighbors who wanted to charge their devices to make a small donation to the Red Cross.
Occupy Sandy, a group of Brooklyn, N.Y. residents associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, set up an Amazon “wedding” registry. This particular registry, however, includes essential items to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, including flashlights, handtrucks, toiletries and more.
The New York City Marathon, originally set to take place on Sunday, Nov. 3, was cancelled due to the hurricane’s aftermath and the need for resources in other areas of the city. Using Facebook, nearly 6,000 New York City runners and other supporters have assembled to help Staten Island.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, hundreds of runners plan to meet at the Staten Island Ferry and run with backpacks filled with supplies to the borough’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. You can find more information on the Facebook page, “New York Runners in Support of Staten Island.”
Indiegogo and the American Red Cross recently partnered to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Anyone can access the partnership page and create a campaign. There are currently 108 different campaigns for Sandy relief, which have so far raised $206,408 for the Red Cross.
One of these campaigns includes “E’s Piggy Bank for Victims of Hurricane Sandy.” Two parents created the Indiegogo campaign to help their four-year-old son, who wanted to donate his piggy bank to those who lost their homes. “We thought others may want to help him,” the campaign reads.
Within five days, the New York City Food Truck Association and JetBlue raised a total of $51,761 with two Indiegogo campaigns: “NYC Food Truck Association – Sandy Outreach” and “NYC Food Truck Sandy Outreach.”
The two organizations were able to deliver thousands of hot meals to people in New York City and New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Inspired by a tweet from Jon Bon Jovi, which read, “WE MAY NOT HAVE ELECTRICITY, BUT WE HAVE POWER,” Tory Johnson and the team behind Spark Hustle used Indiegogo to raise money and necessities for Sandy relief.
What makes this campaign different, however, is that the team plans to document deliveries through photos and video every step of the way, allowing donors to see exactly where their money goes.
Have you come across any innovative campaigns for disaster relief?