Occupy Sandy: Grassroots effort for relief

    1:41 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- The occupy movement started as a protest, but now it's being used to help those affected by superstorm Sandy.

    It's not even Sunday and the church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn is full.  But this is no ordinary service.  

    Inside, volunteers are sorting through donations for occupy sandy. The grassroots relief effort was jumpstarted by occupy Wall Street organizers to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  

    Occupy Wall Street gained national attention for their massive rallies for economic equality.  

    In the days after sandy ravaged the east coast and occupiers quickly mobilized using social media to help with hurricane relief.  Justin Stone-Diaz says, "Occupy speaks social media natively, Twitter is our native language, so as the tragedy was unfolding, we communicated with each other as things were going on, and each person stepped up in the way they could help."  

    Occupy Sandy is using the church as their main distribution center and phone bank. They post needed supplies online and dispatch volunteers to nearby neighborhoods, including rockaway and red hook, where many residents are still without heat and power.  George Martinez says, "Folks were devastated. They were not devastated only because they didn't have supplies, they were devastated because they felt like people abandoned them."  

    Rockaway resident Mayra Maldonado says more help is needed.  She says, "People going crazy out there trying to get everything and my house got robbed. I didn't get flooded, I got robbed. And we're just trying to service out there."  

    Brooklyn native Marilyn Andersen went to the Occupy Sandy distribution center to lend a hand.  Marilyn Andersen says, "You know, you really have to put yourself out there, and figure that if you were in that position you'd want people to come and help you as well, so I brought my daughters with me and we're here to help as much as we can."

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