For some, donating money to a disaster relief organization might not be as appealing as donating physical goods. In an effort to help victims of Hurricane Sandy rebuild their lives and replace items destroyed in the storm, some have taken to creating online wedding registries on their behalf.
Using sites like Amazon and Target, volunteers have established donation registries, some for specific couples and others for more general community needs.
Mashable reported, for example, that a group going by “Occupy Sandy” established a registry using Amazon. The list included items like blankets, long underwear, flashlights, water pumps, gas cans, diapers and tools. The team of Brooklyn residents who created this registry wrote on the site that they will organize and distribute items they receive to those in need. Many members of Occupy Sandy are self-professed Occupy Wall Street supporters, and however controversial the group may have been during protests last year, the effectiveness of the registry is stunning. When you scroll through it, many of the requested items have been purchased or are close to reaching the desired quantity after only being established on Nov. 4. There’s an Occupy Sandy NJ registry too.
Bloomberg reported Occupy Sandy member John Heggestuen saying the volunteers hope to provide more help where conventional disaster relief organizations might be lacking right now. Last week, the Red Cross was criticized for not providing relief to Staten Islanders in a more timely fashion.
“We realized that they [Occupy Sandy organizers] knew exactly what they needed and just weren’t getting it quickly enough so we thought a wedding registry would give them exactly what they needed,” Katherine Dolan, who created the registry, along with with Alex Nordenson and Heggestuen, said to ABC News.
Watch Mashable’s report about the use of registries in this way:
On a more personal level, ABC News also reported a story about a woman helping a friend’s family in a similar fashion. Ashley Diamond, a runner and blogger, established a registry on Target for fellow runner Jen Correa of Staten Island and her family. Diamond reported seeing a record amount of traffic on her blog after posting about the registry.
“This is an example of social media and things that didn’t exist a few years ago can do so much good in the world,” Diamond said, according to ABC News. “The thing that made me just feel so phenomenal is that the blog community, you feel like it’s a small tight-knit community, but you realize how big it is.”