November 2, 2012

25 Ways You Can Help NYC

My heart aches for those hit so hard by Sandy and I just want to help. The east coast has faced a horrific and devastating loss with the far-reaching repercussions of this horrific storm, and so many families lost their homes and even their loved ones. I am sure you are watching a lot of Sandy aftermath coverage and are overwhelmed by what you are seeing like we are. Journalists are trained to be conduits of information and never show any emotions reporting, but this morning I saw a reporter break down in tears reporting on the incredible loss that so may are facing. This really is THAT BAD.

Let's band together and put as much energy, time, and money into helping those in need as we can. Let's help as much as we can and spread the word about specific actions we can take to be part of the solution. The internet can be a powerful thing and yesterday proved it.

Sandy Volunteer Action List

Easy Ways You Can Help Those In Need

*Volunteer & donate safely through FEMA.

*Sign Up with Occupy Sandy to find out specific ways to pitch in, volunteer, and donate goods.

*Donate to the Red Cross. Even $5 or $10 makes a difference.

*Donate blood. Find a donation center near you and schedule an appointment. There is a HUGE need for blood right now.

*Donate goods. Gather clothing, non-perishable foods, dishware, hats, gloves, etc and bring donations to a local reputable organization. Brooklynites can bring items to The Brooklyn KitchenBrooklyn Gives Back, or Red Hook Recovers. Brooklynites should also like the Brooklyn Brownstone Facebook Page; they are providing up-to-date volunteer opportunities. In Manhattan, the CAAAV in Chinatown is accepting donations. If you aren't local, search by state to find out where you can bring donations. *UP-DATE: It seems not many places are accepting clothing anymore. Keep looking and find a specific family or shelter if you have it to give. Otherwise, focus on providing what they need now: batteries, flashlights, baby formula and diapers, cleanup supplies, sanitary supplies/toiletries, garbage bags, blankets, canned/stable food and water. NO MORE CLOTHES are being accepted at most facilities. Call first to make sure your destination is still accepting donations.

Mail donations to: St. Jacobi Church c/o Occupy Sandy, 5406 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220 

*HELP ANIMALS! Animals were hit hard by Sandy as well as humans. Please consider donating to an organization like The Humane SocietyASPCA, or Northshore Animal League. I personally spoke with Col. Frank Rizzo, who is in charge of the NJSPCA. I reached out because there were a lot of false reports circulating that they weren't accepting help. Not true. They just can only accept certain help because all on-site locations are contaminated and need very specific requirements to be followed. Long story short, the way to help is to DONATE any amount to their Sandy Relief fund on this website. Scroll down and find the widget and give generously, and share the info. Yesterday (11/3) they rescued 60 animals and brought them to Seer Farms until they can be reunited with their family, fostered out, or adopted. Please also consider donating to Seer Farms to support them as they take in these animals in need.

*Give to the Food Bank of New York to help people who are homeless and hungry survive.

*Adopt an animal from a shelter! The shelters will be filling up even faster than the usual holiday rush of abandoned animal this year. A devastating fact. If you were ever thinking of adopting an animal, now is a crucial time. The more dogs and cats we can get out of shelters, the more can be saved.

*Sign up with NYC Service and they will alert you with ways you can help  as the need an opportunity arise.

*Support Occupy Sandy's Wedding Registry on Amazon is a way to purchase the items the hardest hit communities need right now to rebuild. Te items go DIRECTLY to the church that is distributing them to victims. This cuts out unwanted items and is a great and quick solution.

*Shop and eat in downtown Manhattan an support small businesses in the NY, NJ, Brooklyn, and CT. A storm like this can put small businesses under, so support them by eating out in downtown restaurants and tipping big and in cash.

*Sign up with the Brooklyn Recovery Fund to be informed of how you can help, donate, and volunteer to help rebuild Brooklyn, New York's largest borough.

*Buy Art that's proceeds go to Sandy relief. Really cool prints that are an excellent cause make great gifts for birthdays, weddings, and the holidays.

*Buy this shirt to show your love & support for NY while financially supporting our relief efforts. It is $40 and 100% or the proceeds go to supporting Sandy victims. This is an awesome way to help because you can purchase a few of them and give as gifts, getting something back for your donation.

*Watch the telethon to get informed, be aware, donate, and learn how else to help.

I will keep adding more ways you can pitch in and be a part of rebuilding every day as they come in. Continue reading below the jump for one lovely success story.

In the morning I was alerted that a friend of a friend of mine, named Ann, found a lost shepard mix female dog near Breezy Point, the part of Queens where 100 homes burned to the ground, leaving residents with nothing. Absolutely nothing. A few of us started to spread this information far and wide via as many outlets on the 'ole interweb that we could think of, while Ann relentlessly searched Facebook for the family. In the span of one day, Ann located the family via Facebook, contacted them, and traveled to bring Maggie to them. Maggie the dog was the "first born" and a beloved family member to a volunteer firefighter named Mike and his family, and because of one kind citizen, she is safe and sound with her pack. An example of what a little time, initiative, and a lot of heart can do.

Keep the ideas and links coming so we can do as much as possible to be a part of the solution.

Thank you.

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