It’s been a busy weekend of emails, calls, and pulling things together. My little mission to help out Sandy Survivors is actually coming together. I’m pretty impressed with myself, not gonna lie. I think that after living in Florida for two and a half decades, dealing with hurricanes is just in my blood, it’s a normal part of life to me. And well, if you don’t know by now that I tend to be the take-action-do-gooder type, well then you hardly know me at all.
Generous hearts make the world go ’round. And coming into contact with truly generous people who are so excited and happy to give is a truly humbling experience.
When I started the tiny idea to see what I could do to help the Sandy Relief efforts, I had no idea what to expect. The call for supplies, donations, and any kind of help went out all over the Interwebs. I’ve posted on Craig’s List Buffalo, reddit, Facebook, all kinds of organization’s Fb pages, Twitter, and more. And well it hasn’t been a downpour of support, there’s been more than a trickle and it’s really exciting.
A few people have chipped in some financial support, I have a pal for the car ride down who will be staying in the NYC-area long term to do clean up work wherever she’s needed, and I have a couple helpful people found out about my plans online and have been putting together donations that we can bring with us.
TWO AMAZING STORES have generously donated items to the effort as well:
Smith’s True Valu in Irving, NY and the Sears Hometown Store here in Fredonia (just down the street from where I live) have been super awesome. Once we get this whole thing underway, we’ll give them official shout outs and post photos of the items they provided. We’re hoping in the next day or so to find some more stores will to donate supplies, or at least cut us a break on the cost of items.
The clean up efforts are paramount right now, and thus some things in huge demand are:
- dust masks
- gloves – rubber, work, leather, all kinds
- mops, mops, mops
- paper towels, regular towels, shop towels
- tools of any kind, the smaller and more mobile – the better (and remember, power in nonexistent or limited), crowbars, screwdrivers, hammers
- work boots in all sizes
- contractor-style garbage bags
- tarps, plastic sheeting
- duct tape, rope, zip ties
- garbage bags
- gas cans
- food, formula, water, snacks, OTC meds
- winter clothing, blankets, bedding
- and finally – stuff for kids to occupy the boredom and help life their spirits: toys, games, etc.
If you have any desire to get these items to me, I’m more than happy to take them to NYC for you. There are plenty of grassroots efforts of people who I personally know can use and need these items right away – with zero overhead going to “operating costs,” just straight from the shelves of stores into the hands of those who need them. If you trust me, paypal some cash money my way: firstname.lastname@example.org is my paypal handle!
If you’d like to send your own care packs, there are several places that you can ship stuff to:
Attn: Sandy Relief Warehouse
300 Western Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10303
Staten Island Recreational Association
599 Fr. Capodanno Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10305
Attn: Megan Delmar
As many of you know, Duggs (my husband) grew up on Long Island. His family and friends have been seriously impacted by this storm. My brother-in-law, and mother-in-law are both still displaced, and unable to return home, In fact, since we have so many loved ones from Long Beach it’s crazy to try and name everyone and explain the carious states of disarray their lives are in right now. If you’d like to give money to the Long Beach recovery effort – here’s a great group:
City of Long Beach Relief
One West Chester Street
Long Beach, NY 11561
There are TONS of groups using Facebook and Social Media to get the word out. Some great resources to learn more are:
- Occupy Sandy NY
- Occupy Sandy NJ
- NYC Service
- Team Rubicon: Iraq and Afghan vets who now volunteer for disaster recovery
- Cancel the NYC Marathon - started out as a live petition and has turned into a great source of info
- American Red Cross
- Hurricane Sandy Relief
So. Whatever you end up doing – be it making a huge donation to the Red Cross or just sending well-wishes and prayers to those affected, every contribution is wonderful and they all work together and come together to help put things all back together. Major disasters like this are so terrible, so many lives are just ripped apart, and millions of people are experiencing high levels of stress, sadness, anger, devastation, and more.
Yet… time and time again we see in the darkest of days the most startling displays of true beauty. Strangers coming together to help each other out, true generosity and kindness, we see helping hands and warm hugs given out freely. There’s no time machine or magic eraser that can un-do the tragedy… sadly, what’s done is done. But when given the option of HOW to react, seeing everyday people pick the good, noble, wonderful choice – is an amazing thing to bear witness to.
For everyone who is suffering: you have my warmest thoughts and prayers, as well as my sincere encouragement.
For everyone who is helping: you have my gratitude and thanks, you are awesome and inspiring.
For everyone who doesn’t know what to do: listen to your heart and you can’t go wrong.
Thanks for reading, y’all! The donations, support, and well wishes my little caravan have been given are truly inspiring. And my only hope is that we do some good and help out as many people as we possibly can. Want to help? Paypal me some moolah, and I promise it will go to great use: email@example.com