Sandy Friday, a new hurricane relief campaign, is asking businesses across the nation to donate 10% of their Black Friday profits to help the hardest-hit New York City neighborhoods recover from the storm. The organization focuses on providing money to the small, community-oriented organizations that were the first on the ground after the hurricane hit.
Sandy Friday founder Alia Kate says she was inspired to start the campaign after a visit to the storm-torn Rockaway Peninsula. “It’s already come along so much since last Saturday, but there’s still so much work to do. I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I went out there,” she told ANIMAL. “I’ve been thinking more long term, trying to figure out a way to keep the effort sustained after the media attention faded, after people went back to their lives, after realizing that this is going to be an ongoing effort to get there lives back to normal. At that point, it’s going to be money, to buy supplies that are needed at that point in time.”
Kate stresses that she’s not only looking for retailers–restaurants, yoga studios, any businesses at all are invited to participate. And though the campaign focuses on local relief efforts, companies all over the country are invited to participate. The goal is to raise $50,000 in pledges, to contribute to the estimated $50 billion that’s needed to get New York City fully back on its feet. Interested businesses can take the pledge at Sandy Friday’s website.
Occupy Sandy, the Red Hook Initiative, Rockaway Relief, and Project Hospitality are among the organizations that will receive funding from Sandy Friday–a decision driven by the excellent response efforts put forth by local organizations after the storm, and the fact that the big national charities are already receiving funding from major corporations. “In the first week, right after the hurricane, a lot of [the presence of national charities and FEMA] was sorely missed,” Kate said, “which gave rise to all of these community-based organizations, stepping up, organizing really successful drives in their communities.”
“In the first week, when there was rioting and looters, it took FEMA a week to get out there and start knocking on people’s doors,” she added. “People are still of the grid and don’t have any heat. There’s room for everybody, but the people who are making the most amount of difference on a very personal community level are these organizations that are most connected with what’s going on, and the groundwork.”