Last week, Hurricane (or Superstorm, if you want to be precise) Sandy ravaged New Jersey and New York. While parts of all three states have recovered or weren't terribly affected, there are towns, counties, areas, and neighborhoods that were simply ravaged such as the Jersey Shore, Staten Island, and various towns out on Long Island. They will obviously require much more time and resources to come even close to recovery. And to make matters worse, there's a nor'easter forecasted to hit this area on Wednesday night. It won't be as bad as Sandy, but it's definitely not going to help.
Fortunately, there are plenty of organizations looking to provide relief from Sandy that will accept contributions from readers like you. While there's not much a lowly Devils blog can do, I still want to point you in the direction of some of those groups providing relief post-Sandy. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a good place to start doing some good. There's a lot of people in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut that could use it.
- The American Red Cross - They're one of the leading charitable institutions with several local branches in the area. The link goes to their donation page should you have a specific amount in mind. You can also donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by texting REDCROSS to 90999 on your mobile phone. Additionally, you'll want to check your local branch for any specific information about volunteering and other ways to help. For example, the Jersey Coast chapter is interested in volunteers.
- The Community FoodBank of New Jersey - The Community FoodBank of NJ has their own section for Sandy Relief and donation efforts. You can donate through their website, or you can donate $10 via mobile by texting FEEDNJ to 80888. They also have a specific list of food items they're looking for, so if you're able to contribute to that list and get to their drop-off location, then you can do that too.
- The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund - This is the fund Governor Chris Christie announce would be formed for relief efforts for the state. It is now up and running, with several organizations and individuals already making contributions.
- Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City - This fund is set up for smaller projects, but they've updated their focus for hurricane relief efforts. As the site denotes, you can donate through your mobile phone by texting NYCFUND to 50555.
- NYC Service - If you're specifically interested in service in the City, then this the place you want to visit. You'll find all kinds of organizations and opportunities to help out in this time of need.
- The Blood Center of New Jersey - After Sandy, there's a blood shortage according to the NJBC. Therefore, there are multiple places you can donate a pint of blood throughout the state.
- The Blood Center of New York - Likewise, the NYBC needs blood too and the site will point you in the direction on where you can give.
Like I said, this isn't an exhaustive list of organizations you can donate your money, time, and resources to; and it's not intended to be one. I will say if you are unsure about an organization, then you can look them up on Charity Navigator to check into them. They have a list specifically set up for Sandy relief efforts, it should be updated in the coming days as some funds and groups may be too new to be recognized just yet. I'd also recommend that you check out your local community when you get a chance. Your local community centers, schools, businesses, places of worship, and/or town/city efforts may be helping out in their own specific ways.
Lastly, consider helping out those you know personally if you can. Let's say you are fortunate to have power, heat, and hot water. Reach out to those who you know that may not have it. I'm not saying you should open up your homes to random people - that's just a poor idea. But if you know of a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or an associate that's safe but otherwise has been without power for several days, then invite them in for a bit. I understand getting around is still difficult and gas is being rationed off in New Jersey, but even opening a door someone you know to get their phone charge, take a shower, eat a hot meal, do some laundry, sleep with heat, or just get their mind away from the aftermath of Sandy for a few hours will definitely help out on the personal level. Likewise, if you just found out a county or a town just issued a new warning for boiling water or a road is out or something to that effect online or on Twitter, then let someone who may not have access know. Even sharing information can help in that regard. It may not be as big as a donation or letting someone crash at your place, but passing news along has it's own value. Especially if it's as critical as boiling water.
If you have any other suggestions as to how to help or if there other major or regional organizations that are assisting in the Sandy relief, then please feel free to let me know and I can update this post accordingly. Thank you for reading, regular Devils-based content will continue in the meantime as usual.