This is my favorite month of the year and while I would love to be writing a "Happy November" blog post right now, I don't feel excited. Hurricane Sandy has wrought havoc on our beloved NYC (and many other cities and towns in America's Northeast). It is heartbreaking to hear how lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and the transportation system has taken a beating. Many are powerless and in the dark, while others are now homeless and hungry.
Relief is coming, but life won't be back to normal for many people overnight -it will take millions of dollars and ample time to fix this mess. This is truly a hardship for NY and if it's within our capacity, we need to do our part as New Yorkers (or I heart New Yorkers) to help those who have been affected.
Open your Doors. Let friends and family who have lost power/heat/hot water take a warm shower, charge their laptops and phones, sleep over.
Donate to Clothing and Supply Drives. Two organizations that I am familiar with, Damsels in Design & ClosetDash Shop have partnered up to to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. They specifically ask that people donate: Flashlights & Batteries; Bottled Water; Non-Perishable Food; Winter Coats, Scarves, Gloves, & Hats. You can drop-off any items to:
Carpool. If you drive, offer to carpool to work, grocery stores and on errands(it might spare someone- especially elders and people with disabilities a lot of frustration and stress right now)
You Can Pitch in after Hurricane Sandy. Here are a Few Ideas:
- Donate Money. If you can afford to, make a monetary donation to the Red Cross or other reputable charity (reputable is key... look out for scams). Monetary donations can be made to the Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation.
- The Red Cross needs volunteers to help at shelters, click here for information and to sign up.
- E-mail the city of New York at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, borough and e-mail address and that you want to volunteer. Expect to hear back with nearby ways to volunteer this week.
- Volunteer at a NYC Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx
- ClosetDash Shop. 30 East 20th St, Lobby Level. New York, NY. b/w Park Ave & Broadway on Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-7:00pm or Sunday 11:00am -2:00pm
If you know of any other ways people can help, please leave your comments below.
p.s. If you are personally in need of disaster assistance after Hurricane Sandy, go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or call (800)621-3362 where you can apply for FEMA funds.