When we arrived at the Occupy Sandy Camp – there was a big sign on the sidewalk that said Occupy Sandy. Unfortunately, by the time we thought to take a picture, it had been removed. I read somewhere about Occupy Wall Street Hippies, presumably disorganized, that were accomplishing wonderful things on Staten Island. I guess it was just our good fortune to happen upon their camp to volunteer.
There were also signs from three motorcycle groups: the Low Riders, Rolling Thunder and Hallow’ed Sons. These volunteers brought many resources to the camp and had good local connections. We met Jimmy Carter, a wonderful man who is apparently well known in the circles.
The occupy Wall Street group had many volunteers that spent 24 hours at the camp and often went out on demolition jobs, helping people clean out their ravaged homes. We made several good friends during our week of volunteering at the camp. Although we may never see any of them again, their faces and special characters are indelibly inscribed in my mind.
Wherever help was needed, whether organizing, serving food, helping the victims, or unloading new supplies, there was always someone available to help out. Chyno was as outspoken as they come. Not a shy bone in his body. He had a reputation for getting things done. he was the go to guy when we needed to go the the “miracle department” as I usually call it to resolve a problem. Donna was one of the head organizers, don’t let her small stature fool you (if I ever find a picture of her), she is a ball of fire and won’t back down from anybody. She kept things organized, made those endless TO DO lists and organized essential shopping trips for critical supplies. I see many other faces to which i cannot put a name.
Then there were the residents. 5 or 6 of them were at our camp almost every evening. After they had done what they needed to do in their own homes, they were with us, helping us organize and helping others.
The old adage is true: adversity seems to bring out the best in some people.