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Creative PayPals for Sandy

By Jauretsi

"This is what $1300 buys you at Costco" writes photographer and T Magazine contributor iO Tillett Wright (seen above). “We did a Home Depot run just before and [now] we’ve got a load of supplies. Thank you for your PayPal donations!”. Within the last 48 hours, a ton of creative New Yorker’s have taken relief efforts into their own hands, and asked friends to donate to individual PayPal accounts for “same day collecting, buying, and delivering” to devastated areas — bureaucracy free. iO and her friends have named themselves Renegade Sandy Relief, hash-tag #RSR for those who care to follow their productivity. iO’s PayPal email is selfevidentsales@gmail.com. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter at @iolovesyou to see her daily runs. 

Sidra Durst, of The Museum of Food and Drink, is working under the PayPal address ktbenner@gmail.com and sends out reports after a days work. Their in-depth blog can be read at Sandy Sucks Tumblr. She also mentioned two other PayPal accounts accepting funds for guerilla efforts. One address is amconant@gmail.com (Angela at Gowanus studios) who is “coordinating efforts for drivers and supplies”. The other PayPal address is 596acres@gmail.com (596 acres) who Sidra affirms is “in good contact with the community of Rock” (as in, Rockaway Beach).

Why take a risk on these people? From Sidra’s experience on the field all day… [MORE] she explains that “self-organized groups are providing the fastest response in many of the hard-hit communities around New York — I will vouch for this in the Rockaways, Broad Channel, Red Hook.” She adds, “traditional disaster aid groups appear too slow to mobilize in these neighborhoods, and until they get their infrastructure set up, donations and time are better spent at the grassroots level.” The process might seem a little too casual, but evidence of your donation is shared immediately via personal Twitter or Instagram accounts. 

Another group of indie relief workers are the Rockaway Beach Surf Club on 87th and Rockaway. Colin Tunstall, founder of surf brand Saturdays, states that the RBSC “has great organization for handing the right supplies to people that need them, and directing help to places that can use it.” He recommends checking their website for daily updates at www.RockawayHelp.com.

Feel free to reach any of these indie teams directly to drop a dime in their PayPal accounts. If you donate today, the supplies will reach the people today. Fast turnaround. If you feel safer donating to a larger organization, visit Occupy Sandy Relief on Facebook whom iO cheers as “doing great things”. Their twitter handle is @OccupySandy

PayPal themselves are mobilizing and created an informative page that allows you to donate directly to major organizations from Red Cross to The Humane Society. It’s important to note that these more established organizations are doing great things in the outer boroughs in conjunction with the self-organized guerilla teams. Visit PayPal Donations to view how they raised $334,257 so far, with shout-outs to personal PayPal users. We’re all in this together!

(Photo: 1. Boardwalk at 88th Street, Rockaway Beach, taken by @SaturdaysNYC Instagram. 2. iO Tillett Wright sits on her shopping carts purchased with Paypal donations @iolovesyou Instagram)