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Amazon wedding registries are backdoor for Sandy donations

Nov. 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM ET

Amazon.com /
No, these "two" aren't getting married; but members of Occupy Wall Street are behind this effort to get "gifts" for those in need because of Superstorm Sandy.

The need for help is so great for those hurt by Superstorm Sandy that some groups are turning to online wish lists on e-tailers like Amazon, and one Occupy Wall Street group has raised more than $140,000 in donations for New Yorkers alone as a Sandy "wedding registry."

Members of Occupy Sandy, a volunteer splinter group of the Occupy movement, were frustrated by being unable to volunteer locally, so they took things into their own hands.

They realized that what they needed was to request items and let anybody pay for them — kind of like a wedding registry. So they created just that: A wedding registry on Amazon requesting items like blankets, hand warmers and batteries. They're not the only ones with online registries: other groups, and at least one city councilman and a state assemblyman have set up similar registries and wish lists for other areas in need of aid. (Congratulations to "Mr. and Mrs. Occupy Sandy," as you'll see it listed, one for New York, another for New Jersey).

Occupy Sandy's drive in particular has been a great success; thousands of items have been ordered, and not just inexpensive things like headlamps and socks. Among the items requested for and received: laptops, tablets, and big items like propane heaters and water pumps. The New York team told me in an email they estimate they've received $140,000 worth of items, and more are arriving every day.

Courtesy of Occupy Sandy /
Goods are being shipped to churches lending space to the Occupy Sandy effort, where they are being distributed via their network of volunteers.

All the New York items are being shipped to Occupy Sandy's base at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, where they are immediately distributed via their network of volunteers. Right now they are working hard to manage the huge amount of items arriving.

The power may be coming back on, but many have been hit by snow and other inclement weather, common hazards of an East Coast November, but potentially very serious when thousands lack vital supplies like dry clothes and non-perishable food.

You can help by donating to a wish list like Occupy Sandy's, or by supporting one of the many other organizations providing aid in the area.

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