Friday, November 16, 2012

Sandy relief: This UPS Freight Teamster helping Occupy Sandy

Brother Kronemberg
Kurt Kronemberg, a Local 707 UPS Freight Teamster, didn't lose his house or his job when Superstorm Sandy hit New York.

But one of his union brothers did:
We have one of our guys his house was wiped out in Freeport, so we took up a donation. He was out of work for two weeks. In my heart, I gotta help.
So Kronemberg got involved with the Occupy Sandy relief effort, which has won considerable praise for its quick response to the catastrophe. The New York Times reported,
In the past two weeks, Occupy Sandy has set up distribution sites at a pair of Brooklyn churches where hundreds of New Yorkers muster daily to cook hot meals for the afflicted and to sort through a medieval marketplace of donated blankets, clothes and food. There is an Occupy motor pool of borrowed cars and pickup trucks that ferries volunteers to ravaged areas. An Occupy weatherman sits at his computer and issues regular forecasts. Occupy construction teams and medical committees have been formed.
Kronemberg went to one of those churches on Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn with his own minivan. The Occupy Sandy volunteers loaded it up with cleaning supplies and food for hungry storm victims in the Rockaways. Kronemberg drove out to the barrier island, where he was astonished by the devastation.
My jaw dropped to the ground. They said the houses are wiped out. Five feet of water came from the ocean all the way over to the bay side. With five foot waves. It's like a war zone. The Army is here, fire trucks, ambulances all over, FEMA.
Kronemberg was amazed by the number of volunteers and the donations. "It's good. It brings everyone together."

He'll be volunteering again this weekend. And he'll be making a donation to the Teamster Disaster Relief Fund.

"I gotta help," he said. "These people have nothing and I just want to help."