Hurricane Sandy – How You Can Help!
Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and we are beyond grateful for the first responders who are so bravely risking their lives to rescue and support others. Though it may seem that the road to recovery is overwhelming, there are many things you can do to help.
First and foremost, there is an immediate need for financial help. This is the most efficient way to assist those in need, especially if you are not able to volunteer on the ground. Organizations such as the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) will use your gift to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected. They are NOT able to accept individual donations or collections of items at this time because of the logistical costs that arise due to sorting, packaging and redistribution. You may also text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Another immediate need is that of blood donation. Please visit the New York Blood Center (www.nybloodcenter.org) for donation centers in your area. The closest location to Pace’s Pleasantville campus is 525 Executive Blvd in Elmsford.
If you live in or are able to safely get to locations in the city, check out NYC Service (www.nyc.gov/html/nycservice/home.html, or at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/nycservice) to register your skills and be connected with volunteer organizations or projects that need your help. New York Cares (the organization we work with on Paint A School Day) is compiling a list of volunteer need in the area (http://newyorkcares.org/volunteer/disaster/). The Food Bank of NYC is also looking for volunteers and financial donations (www.foodbanknyc.org).
If you live in (or would like to help out in the rebuilding of) New Jersey, call 1-800-JERSEY-7 to register as a volunteer. Those hit hardest are looking for volunteers with special skills and experience, such as military service (www.teamrubiconusa.org/) or medical training (www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/em/emergency-mrc.shtml). On Twitter, #sandyvolunteer has been trending, and is providing real-time updates for local donation and volunteer needs.
Check out these links for further information on how you can help:
In the coming weeks, there will be an increased need for hands-on volunteers to staff shelters, hand out food and clothing at distribution centers, and work to clean up/rebuild entire towns. When we get word of local organizations looking for volunteers, we will be sure to pass that information on to you. If you know of any locations looking for help, let us know and we will pass it on via listserv and our Facebook page.
If you or your family requires assistance, be sure to contact your local government officials as well as FEMA for information about financial relief available for declared disaster zones (www.disasterassistance.gov).
Stay safe and take care,
Center for Community Action & Research