Saturday, November 3, 2012

Where to Volunteer: Hurricane Sandy Relief

As New York City recovers from Hurricane Sandy, we encourage UAG students and families to participate in the relief effort as volunteers. 
VOLUNTEERING IN NEW YORK CITY
There are numerous ways to help here in the city, and a good place to start is by registering as a volunteer with NYCService’s Facebook page. The organization has asked people to contact NYC Service with their names, email contacts, and boroughs. You can also register to be a New York Cares volunteer and be part of their disaster response team.
The Food Bank for New York is also accepting donations and possibly volunteers. Check its websites for more information.  Also check out a great resource from Pratt (click link).
CONTACT THE RED CROSS
All of your donations to the Red Cross will provide shelter and other support to people who have been directly affected by the Hurricane.
To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word "Redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Currently blood supplies are low in areas hit by the storm, and the Red Cross is asking people to schedule appointments to donate blood in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
FOOD, MEDICINE AND SHELTER
There are scores of mobile feeding units and shelters up and down the East Coast operated by the Salvation Army, and they are serving thousands of people. You can also make a donation.
Feeding America is distributing water, food and supplies to thousands of people in the storm’s disaster zones. To donate, visit www.feedingamerica.org or call 800-910-5524.
AmeriCares is delivering medicine and other supplies to people affected by the storm. To donate, visit www.americares.org.
Personal hygiene items and food kits are being provided to thousands by World Vision. To donate, visit www.worldvision.org.
Other charities and relief groups offering food, medicine and other assistance include Catholic Charities USA, Direct Relief International, and Operation Blessing.
REACHING OUT TO CHILDREN IN NEED
Save the Children provides emergency aid to families and addresses the special needs of their children. You can visit www.savethechildren.org to donate. World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse are also providing emergency relief and seeking volunteers for children.
HELPING ANIMALS CAUGHT IN THE STORM
If you’re interested in helping animals find safe haven and good care after the hurricane, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association have teams working on the problem and they need your help. Donations are especially needed to help rescue stranded pets and aid animals currently in shelters.
CLEANING UP AFTER THE HURRICANE
Team Rubicon (310-338-1149) has dispatched teams to begin cleanup work and Samaritan's Purse is also seeking volunteers to help our City rebuild.
BEYOND U.S. BORDERS
Remember that Hurricane Sandy devastated the Caribbean and claimed many lives before it hit the United States. Operation USA and the International Medical Corps are aiding those affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba. Operation USA is also providing aid to the East Coast.
FEMA AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Finally, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a range of programs delivering aid to those affected directly by the hurricane. Check out the FEMA website for information and ways to help.
TELETHONS TO HELP RECOVERY
NBC is broadcasting a telethon to benefit those impacted by Sandy, starring Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and other performers. On Monday, ABC will observe “A Day of Giving” on several shows to generate donations. Check both stations for more details.
BEFORE YOU MAKE A DONATION
If you are planning to give to a nonprofit in the wake of any disaster, you should first verify that it is legitimate. Charity evaluators like Guidestar and Charity Navigator as well as FEMA can help you determine whether the organization to which you’re donating has a good track record, and that funds will go where you intend.

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