Sandy's wrath is being felt all over the city, from massive flooding to devastating fires on Breezy Point. With news about power outages looking bleak, local shelters will be filling up with evacuees seeking refuge from damaged homes. Organizations across the city and state are seeking volunteers to aid in shelters and are beseeching people to donate money to relief funds. If you are able to leave your home safely and want to help, here are options for volunteering your time as well as some options for donations:
New York Cares is accepting volunteer applications through their website, especially if you've attended a New York Care orientation sometime in the recent past. Updates about where to volunteer will be updated throughout the day but for now potential volunteers should create an account so they can be contacted if they are needed.
John Jay High School in Park Slope, which was set up as an evacuation shelter, is looking for volunteers to work six to eight hour shifts helping out. They are also seeking belts and clothing for men and children.
The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to assist in shelters throughout the region. Shifts are 12-hours and volunteers work over multiple days. Training will be afforded to those without experience. Sign up by filling out an online application here. At this time, individual donations or collections are not accepted. Per the Red Cross: "The cost to sort, package and distribute these types of donations to disaster victims is usually greater than the cost of purchasing the items locally, and it is logistically impossible to distribute a wide variety of individual items in a meaningful and equitable way." Instead, make a financial gift via www.redcross.org, 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
This Google crisis map shows area Red Cross shelters and NYC evacuation centers. Borough President Marty Markowitz Tweeted this information earlier urging people to help.
The Mayor's office is asking volunteers to register at NYC Service.
Team Rubicon has initiated "Operation Greased Lightning" and has dispatched response teams all over Sandy's path to help with removing debris. They are asking for donations to purchase supplies like chainsaws and gasoline.
The Food Bank For New York City has different ways for you to get involved: You can donate by texting FBNYC to 50555—or you can see if your local pantry or kitchen can use volunteers by going to the locator.
Don't forget about our furry friends! The Humane Society of the United States and American Humane Society are seeking donations to help rescue stranded pets and help animals in shelters.
And finally, from the Mayor:
The best thing New Yorkers can do to help right now is stay off the roads to allow recovery crews to do their job bit.ly/WRCnd3
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) October 30, 2012
Update, October 31: Mayor Bloomberg just announced that those who wish to contribute to the city's relief efforts may do so by donating to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.