Residents use Amazon's Wedding Registry for hurricane relief
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many are looking for ways to donate supplies to the victims throughout New York and New Jersey. Thanks to a trio from Brooklyn, there’s an virtual wish list for donations.
John Heggestuen, Alex Nordenson, and Katherine Dolan are not getting married, but they’re taking advantage of Amazon’s Wedding Registry to create a shopping list for specific items needed at a local relief outpost.
“We are Brooklyn residents and are in touch with the Occupy Sandy team who will receive the shipped items and organize daily deliveries to priority response areas,” they wrote. “We are updating the registry as we get updates on what is needed most in affected areas.”
Occupy Sandy consists of members from Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, recovers.org, and interoccupy.net who are working together in order to distribute supplies and get volunteers to the neighborhoods affected by the hurricane, particularly throughout the boroughs of New York City.
The registry emerged as the result of a brainstorming effort from when the three volunteered at a church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
“John thought we needed a way for people out of town to help out and so he asked if the church could accept shipments,” Dolan told the Daily Dot in an email. “Alex then thought of an online wedding registry structure that would help improve mass awareness of the most urgent needs and give people (local and national) an avenue to donate to a specific (and legitimate) distribution center.”
Dolan, Heggestuen, and Nordenson shared the registry with family and friends through Facebook and email and started to reach out on Twitter. By the time they woke up on Sunday, the registry went viral.
If you don’t know what supplies the victims need or if you’re too far away to donate the supplies to the affected areas yourself, just take a peek at this untypical wedding registry that anyone can use and donate with the click of a button.
Instead of silverware, they ask for flashlights and diapers. Instead of a blender, they’ve requested a miniature refrigerator. Dozens of other supplies like towels, toothpaste, garbage bags, shampoo, and other toiletries are available for purchase. Just don’t gift wrap any of the items.
And while other shipping options may be cheaper, timing is crucial.
“PLEASE pay for the most expedited shipping - these items are needed ASAP!” the group wrote.
The Occupy Sandy volunteers plan to set up an inventory management team in order to make sure that all donations sent through the wedding registry have arrived and are accounted for, and they are currently trying to get Amazon to offer free shipping on the items featured in their wedding registry.
They don’t have an exact number of how many supplies have been purchased yet, but people are responding.
“People are loving the idea as it is so simple to help no matter where you live,” Dolan said. “We have received an overwhelming positive response and are so thankful.”
Photo via WarmSleepy/Flickr