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Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 in pledges which will be directly split amongst the community-based organizations doing disaster relief in these areas. All donations are tax-deductible and will be accepted through our fiscal sponsor, the Manhattan gallery, Synchronicity Space; the money will be partitioned among several community-based organizations which have been vital to the region’s recovery efforts. These organizations have taken an active role in communicating donation needs and mobilizing volunteers to help rebuild these zones. Moreover, they have heroically risen to the challenge of creating an infrastructure for disaster relief.

Estimates on the costs of damage from Hurricane Sandy range from $10-$20 billion in insured losses alone, with an additional $20-$30 billion in economic losses. If these figures bear out, $50 billion in total damages would make Sandy the second costliest natural disaster in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the wake of Sandy, over 8 million people were left without power, and a small fraction of those people still have no power as of two weeks after the storm. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were flooded or otherwise damaged, some entirely destroyed. FEMA reports that 300,000 people have signed up already for access to disaster relief funds. This number is almost certain to continue growing. Even as power, transit, and other critical infrastructures are restored, there will still be months of gruelling recovery and rebuilding work to be done in the most seriously impacted regions.

Sandy Friday grew out of our desire to find a long-term solution to a problem that needs urgent attention. We needed to find a way to keep the issue present in peoples’ minds after the media attention would inevitably fade; we wanted to connect the humanity of people across the United States with those who were most affected; We hoped to stir the consciousness of business-owners everywhere to join in solidarity with folks in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Red Hook, and Staten Island.

The organization of the Sandy Friday team is a testament to the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish-- we are a small, eclectic group of people who come from many walks of life. We are not activists by trade, but normal people with day jobs who saw a need and responded. We are all drawn to this because we know that in the long-term what is most needed in these disaster zones is a sustained, concerted effort to clean up and get back to life as normal.

While this started with an idea and a small team of committed individuals, we now turn to you and ask you to join our team. Sign our pledge, like us on Facebook, but also turn to your neighbor and start a conversation about how to give back in an effective way that goes directly to the people that need it.