Today we are feeling so thankful to be home, safe, and with family, taking it all for granted that we can make fun of our aunt’s terrible stuffing and bitch about the football game that just happens to be “very important,” right when the dishes have to be done.
But the truth is, we’re not all so fortunate. Hurricane Sandy is hardly behind us, where I live in New York City.
So many families on the East Coast are still struggling without jobs to go back to, without homes to return to–one of our own writers and her family have even been displaced from their home in New Jersey for weeks now. And I have a good friend who leaves work every afternoon to go home to the Rockaways, deal with insurance companies, try and grapple with everything irreplaceable their family lost, and continue digging out.
If you’re feeling particularly thankful today, here are just a few places you might consider making a donation, to help get some other families through the holiday season. Even a little kindness always goes a very long way.
Baby Buggy NYC: Through this eventbrite link, you can specifically buy diapers, formula, and money towards cribs just for babies in affected areas. I’m a member of Friends of Baby Buggy and couldn’t be more proud to be involved with the amazing work they do. (Above, founder Jessica Seinfeld and Baby Buggy volunteers, who have been out and around New York daily since the storm hit.)
Occupy Sandy Amazon Registry: This grassroots organization has been incredibly effective in connecting donors and volunteers with people in immediate need. You can go right to their registry and buy things from Master Locks to microfiber cleaning cloths to Pampers, and have them shipped to their Brooklyn distribution channel.
The Empire State Relief Fund: As we all know, having insurance is no guarantee that you come out flush when your home is destroyed. This fund was set up by Governor Cuomo to bridge the gap between insurance and FEMA funds, so that New Yorkers can get back in their homes or find new ones. provide long-term housing assistance and resources to help people restore their apartments and houses.
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund: Governor and Mary Pat Christie recently set up this fund which doesn’t yet have a lot of specific information about how and where the money will be used, but no doubt it will help so many families in New Jersey.
The Community Food Bank of NJ: This excellent organization is busy feeding Thanksgiving dinner to a lot of families today, many of whom probably never thought they’d be relying on a food bank. They’ll happily accept donations of food or money.
Brooklyn Restaurants: This post at Eater NY highlights a dozen of the many hard-hit mom-and-pop restaurants around Brooklyn’s shores which were decimated by the storm. As a Brooklyn mom, with a partner in the industry, this one is close to my family’s heart. Donating to them not only helps our borough’s communities, but helps the families who own and are employed by the restaurants. Similarly, check out Restore Red Hook which is also helping this hard-hit, wonderful neighborhood.
However you find it in your heart to pay it forward today, either with some good thoughts out in the universe or a donation, I just want to say thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. –Liz