Five advertising women have established Sandvertising, a collective of advertising professionals, working in conjunction with various established relief groups to help the thousands affected by Hurricane Sandy and to organize resources and trips out to devastated areas.
The initiative was launched on November 6th by Rasha Clark, Executive Producer at Goodpenny; Jenny Karakaya, Freelance Producer, Shirley Ramos, Director of Business Development at Pulse Music; Oritte Bendory, Director of Business Development at GARTNER; and Nancy Kagan, Executive Producer at Republic.
“The idea came about when a few of us volunteered the first weekend after the storm, and we realized the need for stronger organization for people wanting to help,” explain the Sandvertising founders. “We wanted to act as a resource for others and pass on relevant and timely information. As five women in advertising, we felt that mobilizing the ad industry was where we’d have the biggest reach and impact.”
Through personal outreach to ad agencies, production companies, vendors and others, Sandvertising has already enlisted help from various entities, including, BBDO, JWT, Razorfish, Grey, Anomaly, McGarry Bowen, MPC, Imagery Lab, D2 Brands, Uproar and the Associated Press, as well as a network of freelance directors, editors, producers, graphics artists, and designers.
Social media has also had a huge impact on Sandvertising’s efforts with the organizers scouring other sites, Twitter and Facebook updates to gather information on where their help is most needed, and then sending out a call to action even to those who don’t live in New York or surrounding areas.
Relief efforts to date include “missions” to affected neighborhoods, having a constant presence on the ground to see where the greatest needs are on a daily, if not hourly, basis and coordinating with other organized groups.
One Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rep comments, “In my 15 years in working with FEMA, I've never seen such an organized and concerted effort from the community to help.”
“We’ve applied our same principles of connecting talent and producing work in advertising to Sandvertising,” say the founders. “Our goal is to align volunteers with the work that needs to be done. We’ve raised money, provided food, collected supplies and clothes, assessed needs, and given many hours of manpower and manual labor.”
Sandvertising is currently organizing a toy drive, and hopes to sustain their outreach throughout the winter until those areas affected by Sandy are restored to some semblance of normalcy and the residents have safe living conditions.
“As long as there is a need, we will help in whatever capacity we can,” concludes Sandvertising.