Like many of you, we’ve been overwhelmed by the photos and stories of Hurricane Sandy. Some of us have even lived through it (but we’re all safe, thank goodness!) so have been grateful that so many of you have asked how to help those in need after this devastating storm.
With so many bogus charities popping up (arghhhh), we wanted to share a list of some of the many wonderful, legitimate causes that are doing good work in the midst of Hurricane Sandy that could all kinds of support–whether it’s money, foods and supplies, or even your volunteer time if you live nearby.
The American Red Cross (above)
Donations here will help provide shelter, food, and emotional support to the thousands of Mid-Atlantic residents in the early post-storm days who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy. You can also give blood, which never goes to waste. The Red Cross is also looking for medically credentialed volunteers to support the shelters, should you be able to volunteer your time and expertise. (However, they remind you not to make donations to them of food, clothing, or cleaning supplies, which slows down their efforts. We have other organizations listed below that do accept them.)
Tunnel to Towers
This charity started post-9/11 lets you specify where you’d like your funds to go, whether it’s Staten Island, New Jersey, or New York City. If you’re focused on Staten Island, which we all know was very heavily hit, you can find an awesome round-up of ways to support the families in Staten Island on The Gothamist.
We can only imagine the number of requests this outstanding organization is receiving right now. They deliver meals to homebound elderly in New York City who can no longer cook or shop for themselves, and that number has increased greatly.
If you’re in the area and can lend your time, energy, and skills as a volunteer, this site has an extensive list of opportunities and can connect you with the organization that needs your skills the most. Like cleaning up a public park through the City of NY Parks + Recreation department, or going door-to-door in Coney Island with the United Way.
Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
For those wishing to help New Jersey families, this is a highly reputable place to start, with great Charity Navigator ratings. Make sure to designate your donation “Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief.”
If you specifically want to help mothers and children, we’re long time fans of Baby Buggy (and our editor Liz is among the “Friends of Baby Buggy”). No doubt in the coming weeks they will be extra swamped for requests for diapers and other essential supplies. You can donate goods if you’re local, ship to them from 1-800-diapers, or make a cash donation.
EDITED TO ADD: Their immediate needs are warm coats for children. Sizes 0-5 are ideal, but they’ll take up to size 14. You can ship them to Baby Buggy, 306 W 37th St 8 fl NY, NY 10018. Include your return address and they’ll send you a receipt.
Similarly, Rock Center is accepting gift cards from Babies R Us and Target for families. They can be sent to Rock Center with Brian Williams, 30 Rockefeller Plaza #412E, NY, NY 101112. The link also has other great charity resources.
This small charity helps both those affected by the storm as well as young war veterans, and they could certainly use your donation. They’ve already deployed several groups of vets as part of “Operation Greased Lightning” to help clean up and rebuild in storm ravaged New Jersey.
Save the Children
This well known international aid organization has a page devoted to Sandy relief efforts. Their aim is so important–to make sure the shelters are providing child-friendly environments. They’ve informed us that their own Connecticut office was hit hard, and their staff and volunteers are working out of cars, coffee shops…wherever they can to keep the help coming. That’s amazing.
New York Cares
This is a wonderful organization that mobilizes New Yorkers into service when it’s needed. You can make a one-time or recurring donation for the victims ofSandy, and as they put it, every dollar donated equals $6 in services because of the power of their volunteer network.
We can’t help but think of all the animals that have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy, which is why we love what Best Friends doing: providing support to local animal rescues.
Local schools and places of worship
All around the country, we hear of amazing individuals banding together to do what they can. Definitely search your own community and see if there’s a convenient place near you for you to help to something.
Late addition: Occupy Sandy
The Occupy Wall Street folks have turned themselves into an increasingly helpful, mobilized, citizen effort to help wherever it’s needed. There’s great information on their website with lots of links of places that can use donations or manpower.
If you have other favorite charities that are helping with Hurricane Sandy relief, feel free to leave them in the comments.