Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sandy Relief: How You Can Help











Helena, Hannah, Siri, Bobby, and I went to the Rockaways to bring supplies and volunteer for cleanup. The photos don't even do it justice - the area is completely devastated. Washed up boats and cars line the roads, families are wandering around the streets with their remaining belongings in carts. Houses and businesses are flooded, burned down, demolished, in shambles. The air is thick with dust and sand, the boardwalk is gone, and the beach has covered the parking lots and roads. Whatever you imagined it to be, it's probably worse. As you can see in the pictures, the amount of clothing donations has been overwhelming, but there is still a huge need for actual groundwork. Volunteering your time is the best way to contribute. It's amazing what we were able to accomplish in one day as a group, and the more people who can get out to the hardest hit areas and get to work, the greater the results will be.

I know a lot of you have been contributing to the Red Cross, and that's great, but please consider donating to smaller initiatives. While we were out there, I saw only two Red Cross trucks, and one of them was part of a procession (to be honest, it might have been the same one). There were more food trucks present, serving free hot meals to people, and grassroots volunteer groups who were getting their hands dirty and getting things done. The independent operations are a lot more present with a lot (and I mean a lot) less funding. They need your help and your dollar will go farther.

Here's how you can help:
  • Volunteer on site or at a local shelter, or donate supplies. This site is a great hub for volunteer and donation information - and you can find up to the minute updates on their twitter @occupysandy. If you don't have a car, they  arrange transportation from specific locations. If you want to donate supplies, check the lists for needed items - they're updated regularly.
  • Donate to help feed hot meals through NYC food trucks. They've been driving to badly affected areas and feeding hot meals to thousands of hungry people who were affected by the hurricane. With this crazy cold weather, canned goods aren't going to cut it. Give the gift of a hot meal.
  • Donate to Masbia soup kitchen. They're feeding the seniors at the Park Slope Armory, as well as other locations. They also feed people in need, year round.
  • Donate to Robin Hood's Sandy Relief Fund. They support over 200 of the best NYC programs to fight poverty year round and are transparent about their costs; they have a four star rating on charity navigator. Your donations will go toward relief for hurricane victims, and they'll see to it that it will go where it's needed most. You can also view a list of the programs they support here.
  • Organize a fundraiser, bake sale, or at least share links of twitter and facebook! My cousin Shana and an amaazing group of volunteers (parents and children alike!) were able to raise over $6,000 for Masbia with a couple of bake sales near Prospect Park. I find that truly inspiring. 

Have any other suggestions? Please leave them in the comments below. We need to help one another stay in the know!




19 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting these links to trustworthy charities! In CA, we've been hearing a lot of negative stories about the Red Cross not assisting much where they are needed most, so it's great to hear of other options on where to donate.

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  2. I'm from New Jersey and have been looking for ways to volunteer my time! Thank you so much for this post!!

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  3. The Tunnel to Towers Foundations started a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund that is taking donations that can be directed back to the neighborhood of your choice (Staten Island, New York City, Long Island, or New Jersey) or put into the general pool of donations for all of those areas. http://www.tunneltotowers.org/
    You can also text keyword RESTORE to 80888 to donate $10! Such an easy way to help, and even easier to spread the word :-)

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  4. Thank you for this, I have been looking at where I can donate to really help as I am all the way in the UK!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing these options...I've always been a little suspicious of the Red Cross.

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  6. I feel so bad for this terrible situation :( Theres not much I can do since im from Holland. But if I can donate money for help i will ..
    xx
    Discover my Stylish Confessions!
    Discover my Stylish Confessions!

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  7. You're a good person Keiko - these are some awesome suggestions.

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  8. Thanks so much for your service and for providing this list. Nothing against the Red Cross, but I'd rather know exactly where my money will be going -- which will be hot meals for those who need them.

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  9. Thanks for the info! I can't come and help out right now, so I sent some items via Amazon.com. Also posted about it via FB in hopes to get other people to donate!

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  10. Great ideas! It is terrible what has happened up there, esp with another storm coming!


    http://owleyevintage.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/OwlEyeVintage

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  11. If you don't have cash to contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, you can still clean out your closet and sell gently worn items to Twice.

    They will give you cash AND match a donation to the Red Cross for ALL customer sell orders through Nov. 10. Check out the details here:

    http://blog.liketwice.com/post/34765048420/twice-doubles-down-on-donations

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing some of the places to donate to. Heartbreaking situation.

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  13. Thanks so much for this. I've been wanting to donate but I really wanted to know that it was really going to help.

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  14. Thanks for pointing out some right places which is in much need of help..!

    barbed wire

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  15. This is such a great post Keiko! It's so great to post where to donate where it will actually be useful for those affected by Sandy. I was in NYC at the end of August/beginning of September and it's crazy to see what has happened, I was glued to the coverage. It's so awesome to see a post like this, showing pictures and giving information
    xJennaD

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  16. this is devastating! it's one thing to hear about it and another to see it..i want to help!! just posted on my blog,
    http://www.urbandecay.com/ is giving all profits from today's sales to the relief fund!!

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  17. hey keiko, thanks for posting these links, as a fellow south floridian i know how hard and difficult it can be to get back to normal following a storm and the amount of good smaller organizations can do.

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  18. Thanks Keiko for posting these links. I donated and I hope a lot of others will follow your lead in being such a great help to those who are suffering from Sandy's effects.

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