In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, communities in the most devastated parts of New York City began the process of rebuilding almost immediately, mostly through the work of volunteers and self-motivated individuals stepping up personally with very little infrastructure or centralized support.
In the Rockaways, one of the areas hit hardest, a group of local artists and builders are collaborating on an alternative relief and resilience project called This is Not a Trash Pile. They have teamed up with Culinary Kids, a local organization working with youth to promote nutrition and self-sufficiency through local agriculture and aquaculture projects. Together, they have erected a tent built from salvaged material on NYC Parks Department property under the stewardship of Culinary Kids. With programming from The Whale Project, The Fixers Collective and Time’s Up, among many others, this tent will be a hub for the community and will host combination of youth educational programs, resilient community programs, and mutual aid and distribution programs. We’ve even heard that the tent is going to house a library!
AwesomeNYC is proud to name This is Not a Trash Pile our November grant recipient. The funds will go toward materials and heating units for the tent, and more crucially to helping the community get back on its feet.
Finally, some trustees of AwesomeNYC and other community members are coming together to form a new Awesome Foundation Chapter: Awesome Relief. This chapter is coming to life in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and will test out how the Awesome formula can be applied to disaster relief. We will pitch in for the long-term rebuilding efforts by giving a bit of extra support to projects springing up in Sandy’s wake. Stay tuned for more information as this chapter gets off the ground. And email us if you’re interested in participating!