The week before Washington West’s second film festival, Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey. Washington West responded by allocating its box office proceeds to assist two families whose homes were nearly destroyed in Breezy Point, New York.  With the guidance of aid workers, Washington West staff and volunteers assisted Timmy Brennan, an iron-worker and surfer who lost his home and all possessions during the storm. Brennan became the subject of David Darg and Bryn Mooser’s short documentary, The Rider And The Storm, in which we see him discover beauty in the time of chaos.

Operation Blessing

Operation Blessing was founded in 1974, is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and serves as a catastrophe and critical care early-response organization all around the globe. OB was one of the very first organizations on the ground following the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan, and in New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. Operation Blessing team members will often spend months in locations of critical need, and lived in Haiti following the earthquake for over two years.