Rockaway Renegades

My friend Holly started a direct-action group called Rockaway Renegades to help the people out in the Rockaways after hurricane Sandy. In a matter of a few days, the scale of support far outgrew everyone's expectations—an original goal of $5k was set for supplies and food for some weekend cleanup missions. This goal was met within 24 hours and within a few days people had donated almost $20,000. (This is the group you helped raise money for with your owl print purchases last week.) Last Saturday I was able to go out with about 100 other volunteers to help clear out people's flooded homes. I was blown away by 2 main things over the weekend: 1) the extent of the hurricane devastation (see more photos shot by Thomas Poole who documented the day here) and 2) all the amazing people came together—armed with smiles—to help. Somehow all of my girlfriends happen to be producers—they were born to run renegade missions! They literally have not slept in 2 weeks. 

I ended up getting website duty, and couldn't think of anyone more awesome to do the logo than Satellite Office family member Jon Contino, so huge props to Mister Contino for donating his time and creativity. He killed it. His design couldn't have been more perfect. Also a huge thanks to Squarespace for powering our site. 

Mei-Ling, ZSO, Jess, Norah, Rog, Holly.

Mei-Ling, ZSO, Jess, Norah, Rog, Holly.

Carpet weighs as much as stone when soaking wet.

Carpet weighs as much as stone when soaking wet.

Reflective vests and miss Norah to the rescue.

Reflective vests and miss Norah to the rescue.

Big Rog, taking care of business.

Big Rog, taking care of business.

A pretty standard vista out there.

A pretty standard vista out there.

Miss Holly Butler, RR founder, directing cleanup sites.

Miss Holly Butler, RR founder, directing cleanup sites.

The above are by Thomas Poole. The curation is completely biased, as they're all of my buddies and I don't feel comfortable posting too many photos not of my own on my blog, but there are nearly 100 photos here I encourage you to check out for a clearer picture of the situation out there.

The below photos are just a few phone snaps and Instagrams I took. They don't even come close to illustrating the devastation out there, so if you can come out to help and see for yourself, there is definitely plenty for you to do. Check for updates on the Rockaway Renegades website if you are in the area and can make it out. 

Transient
Transient
Transient

The silver lining of the whole terrible situation is of course that by volunteering, you also get to hang out with your friends (and meet new ones). I cannot describe how proud I feel of my buddies. My friends Holly, Mei-Ling, Jess, Kitty and Norah have basically been sleepless for the past few weeks organizing everything. I already knew how cool my girls were, but it's pretty extra spectacular to watch them in action. Below, Norah, me, and Jess, my oldest NYC girlfriends.

Transient
Transient

Above, the very first house we cleared out, right on the water. This house belonged to the brother of Ray (thumbs-up guy on far left) who was the awesome dude of all time. The entire house we destroyed, and everything on the first floor had to get ripped out and moved to the street. Houses a block back from the water were almost as bad, everything in the basements 100% destroyed and most of the first floor ruined as well.

Bucket assembly line to basements.

Bucket assembly line to basements.

Awaiting $100 worth of deli sandwiches.

Awaiting $100 worth of deli sandwiches.

Mei on the megaphone.

Mei on the megaphone.

Mask fashion and iPhones.

Mask fashion and iPhones.