The damage done to the New York/New Jersey area has left several of the companies whose products I use to create this blog water logged and without power. This has made writing the blog more difficult than usual, so I’m going to take today off and pick it up this weekend, when I have more time to figure out a new process. But in the wake of such devastation, my stalled blogging progress feels like a silly first world problem.
Washingtonians, this could have been us. A few hundred miles, a shift in the wind, and we would be the ones walking across bridges to get to work climbing 10 flights of stairs to get out of flooded buildings. So let’s open our wallets and help out our fellow Atlantic residents.
If you live in the NY area, or know people who do who are lucky enough to be out of harm’s way, you can donate time with New York Cares.
New York Cares is accepting volunteer applications through their website, especially if you’ve attended a New York Care orientation sometime in the recent past. Updates about where to volunteer will be updated throughout the day but for now potential volunteers should create an account so they can be contacted if they are needed.
Other suggested donation sites posted on Gothamist are:
The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to assist in shelters throughout the region. Shifts are 12-hours and volunteers work over multiple days. Training will be afforded to those without experience. Sign up by filling out an online application here. At this time, individual donations or collections are not accepted. Per the Red Cross: “The cost to sort, package and distribute these types of donations to disaster victims is usually greater than the cost of purchasing the items locally, and it is logistically impossible to distribute a wide variety of individual items in a meaningful and equitable way.” Instead, make a financial gift via www.redcross.org, 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Team Rubicon has initiated “Operation Greased Lightning” and has dispatched response teams all over Sandy’s path to help with removing debris. They are asking for donations to purchase supplies like chainsaws and gasoline.
The Food Bank For New York City has different ways for you to get involved: You can donate by texting FBNYC to 50555—or you can see if your local pantry or kitchen can use volunteers by going to the locator.
For thos of you not familiar with Team Rubicon, they are a group of veterans who continue to serve their country by serving as first responders and rescue personnel in moments of crisis. You can learn more here.
You can also donate through iTunes, which is collecting donations for the Red Cross. So if you’re headed home tonight to download some tunes for the weekend, consider throwing a few dollars that way.
Lastly, there are many pets and furry friends who need assistance as well. I recommend donating to the ASPCA if you are interested in helping provide shelter and food for animals who have been abandoned as a result of the storm or displaced with their owners.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend. xoxo, Belle
Thank you for the perspective, Belle.
I also recommend donating to a Rebuilding Together affiliate. Rebuilding Together is a national safe and healthy housing organization that provides critical home repairs to low income homeowners across the country. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Rebuilding Together affiliates in and around New York City will be called upon to help those who cannot afford to repair their homes. Please consider volunteering or donating.
As one of your NYC-based readers, I want to thank you for this post.
Thank you for posting these links and for reminding us that we all can help out.
Thank you Belle for mentioning our animal friends. They are often forgotten in these times and left to suffer.
As a New Yorker, this means so much. Thanks, Belle.
Does anyone know of a local spot where they're collecting things for Sandy victims? Things like coats, blankets, food, etc.
Also, if you can get to Lower Manhattan, St. Mark's Church in the Bowery needs volunteers starting at 10:00 am Saturday. Here's a copy-paste from there:
For New Yorkers who want to help in lower Manhattan, here's the situation today and the biggest needs. Please come help us at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery tomorrow (Saturday) if you are able. (131 East 10th St) We're the only distribution center in the East Village that we know of. Chinatown is ground zero in Manhattan but anything below 40th on the Eastside and 25th on the Westside is facing similar problems. First problem is no electricity, complicated by almost no cell phone service. (So please pass along this invitation to others, as w…e have no wifi or phone access when we're down there.)
We're trying to get as many donations brought into the neighborhood as possible and mobilize as many people as possible to get supplies into buildings. Many people are elderly or disabled and can't do the stairs with elevators not operating. Here are the biggest needs:
1. Water! All these old buildings require electricity to get water upstairs
. This means people have no drinking water. And if they didn't fill their tubs before the storm, they also have no way to flush toilets. This is becoming a serious health issue. (It will take a week to a month to get the electric grid repaired, so this issue is a long-term one.)
2. Food! In addition to the pre-existent poverty, food that people had is spoiling and very few grocery stores are open down here. The few stores that are open have spoiling food, are cleaned out, and are not receiving enough restock (because tunnel and bridge access to the island remains obstructed). We're getting into the food-born illnesses stage and food supplies are few here!
3. We need foldable shopping carts (not as donations). This is how we can get lots of supplies into buildings from the church.
4. Batteries, candles, flashlights, matches. People need to see at night. It's VERY dark down here.
5. If someone can bring a generator and a tank of gas to the church we can serve as a charging station. This would increase our capacity significantly! (As far as we know, gas isn't yet being delivered into Manhattan, so this is like gold.)
Tomorrow we will accept donations and begin distributing at 10AM.
Alison, I'd recommend donating cash. It seems mercenary, yes, but if you donate supplies the charities are stuck with the costs of sorting, transporting, and distributing those items. Additionally, you'll be paying retail price when the charity could find the items wholesale (or cheaper). Ultimately cash is best.