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‘Occupy Sandy’ Volunteers Grow Presence In Brooklyn

Occupy Sandy

Occupy Sandy operates from the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)The Occupy Sandy volunteer movement by Occupy Wall Street members has been growing in Brooklyn.

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported for WLNY-TV 10/55, the group has been helping to coordinate volunteers and get storm victims much-needed supplies.

It all started with a few people asking the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, at 520 Clinton Ave. in the Clinton Hill section of the borough, if they could use the building as their headquarters to help Sandy victims.

He said yes, as long as they could still make room for mass on Sunday.

Now, Occupy Sandy – 24 core organizers from Occupy Wall Street – has been joined by hundreds of volunteers just trickling into the church to help.

“For Thanksgiving, I don’t want to cook,” said volunteer Evelyn Rodriguez. “I want to go serve.”

Rodriguez said she came to the right place in arriving at the church. Among the sea of bibles and hymnals still in the pews were thousands of household items.

“We clear out the pews for them on Sunday, and they have mass and we start the whole thing over again,” said volunteer Rob Zillig.

On the Web site for the movement, OccupySandy.org, there is a link to a “wedding registry” with first name “Occupy” and last name “Sandy.”

Users may click and buy just like a wedding gift, and it is delivered to Sandy victims.

Volunteers then sort and deliver to families who have requested specifics all over the Tri-State Area.

“It’s not like we just plop down, like we’re giving you rice,” said volunteer Kelly Guenther. “It’s like, ‘Well, what do you need?’ So I think that’s the difference.”

And with St. Luke and St. Matthew’s generosity, the volunteers have what they need — a warm, safe place to help make a difference.

Occupy Sandy organizer Alexis Goldstein said the movement is kind of like “Occupy St. Luke’s,” but “it’s a very friendly occupation; they’re happy to have us, and we’re happy to be here.”

Occupy Sandy said it needs more donations, although it does not need any more clothes. it also need more volunteers, although not on weekends – it would like volunteers to put in a half-day during the week.

Occupy Wall Street has also released a video of its efforts and the tragedy that has befallen many New Yorkers, via Vimeo.

Have you been involved with any volunteering for Sandy victims? Please leave your comments below…