More Ways to Help Today0

Posted by Deirdre // 11-05-2012


It’s kind of overwhelming, in the best way, how many organizations, businesses and regular citizens are mobilizing to help the victims of Sandy. It’s truly inspiring. But there is so much need still, and with the temperatures plummeting and another storm coming on Wednesday (can you say climate change? I mean really, can we say it and deal with it?!) there remains so much to do. Here are some great ways to help either in person or online through donations. Again these are mostly Brooklyn/Queens/SI focused. I know many are without power and really hurting in NJ, LI and Westchester. If you have contacts for local agencies helping please post in the comments.

Donations ($ and goods)

If you want to donate stuff, there are critical needs and less critical. For the most part clothing is NOT needed at this time, except for warm coats, large and XL sweats, hats and socks (new). If you do have any of those items, they need to be bagged in plastic bags and labeled clearly on the outside. Much volunteer time has been in the sorting of goods. See this great post from Brooklyn Based on what to give and how to give it. Major needs are for cleaning supplies, blankets, contractor bags, first aid and baby items like diapers and wipes (I cannot even begin to process babies in this situation).

Some worthy places accepting donations locally (and from afar):

Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope is taking both goods locally and monetary donations online

Two Boots in Park Slope

Masbia Food Bank is servicing many shelters all over the 5 boroughs; you can give online or cash and goods locally

Corcoran office in Park Slope at 7th & Carroll is still collecting coats, boots and clothing specifically for kids in Breezy Point and The Rockaways (again, label them!)

Occupy Sandy offices throughout the 5 boroughs accepting donations except clothing (they also accept mailed packages in Sunset Park and Clinton Hill – check their facebook page for updated needs); you can also buy things directly on Amazon through their gift registry! They also now have a website specifically serving New Jersey, which lists drop-off centers and volunteer opportunities all over the state, as well as a NJ-centric registry on Amazon!

GOWANUS COMMUNITY CENTER 420 Baltic Street (between Hoyt & Bond)

GO LES The Community Center at 638 East 6th Street (between Ave B and Ave C)

The Mayor’s Fund for NYC

The Red Hook Initiative

The New York Communities For Change (NYCC) office at 2-4 Nevins Street (between Flatbush & Livingston), 2nd Fl is taking donations to The Rockaways twice a day. You can also mail donations there – see Rockaway Recovery for more info.

The NYC Service site also has several more ways to donate or get involved, which brings me to…

Volunteer Opportunities

Congregation Beth Elohim and Two Boots both need people to sort donations, make sandwiches, serve food and go into the field for deliveries as well as cleaning, helping people with FEMA applications, you name it. I’m sure there are many local businesses, synagogues, churches, etc. that are doing the same in many locations. Facebook and Twitter are a great place to find these, but if you have a question about a particular area I may know of a local contact.

Occupy Sandy needs all of the above plus things like computer time in their offices, presumably to answer emails and Facebook questions (take your laptop) and they even had a request for artists today for sign making.

The Red Hook Initiative, Gowanus Community Center, Rockaway Help and many others you can find on the Occupy Sandy FB pages have coordinated great efforts all over the area.

Also, if you can’t find a place in your area and you want to collect or give, start one! Then send it off to one of the groups above. Or raise money yourself! My friend Susie had a bakesale yesterday that raised $1,300 and I heard of another in Prospect Park that lasted over 4 days and made $6,500!

Susie’s bake sale raised $1,300!

The amazing Allison Robicelli of Robicelli’s cupcakes in Brooklyn started a collection center right in her own home, taking donations of all kinds including peanut butter and jelly and making sandwiches and dropping them in places they were needed – before the FEMA trucks rolled in. There is a lot of DIY stuff like this happening so trolling on Facebook for places looking for items or people or cars could be a huge help.

And don’t forget to VOTE. In times like this it’s so important who is in charge. Many polling sites have been affected by the storm – like mine – so if you’re in NYC check here that you’re voting in the same location as you thought. If you’re elsewhere and think your poll site may have changed or just to confirm, check here.

GO OBAMA! Had to do it.