It can feel very overwhelming to know how to help after a natural disaster affects so many people as Hurricane Sandy did... giving to the RedCross is great... but honestly not very effective. I try to avoid donating to such a big corporation because your money is not always going to specific victims but to fund the whole process, which is great and necessary, but I would rather support those on the ground, volunteers etc with specific needs. Short of me packing up our car with toddler in toe and driving up to Staten Island to help dig people out in person, bringing them food, clothing etc... there are more specific and direct ways I can help that prove to be a nice middle ground.
Because there is a real need out there for aid... it seems that most of the focus has been on getting power back to NYC and Brooklyn... but Staten Island, Long Island, etc are struggling! The Red Cross and FEMA have yet to make their way up there, and the temperatures are dropping and many people still don't have electricity, nor is there adequate shelters set up... and if there is an alternative, many people want to stay in their homes to ward off the looters that come through at night- awesome!
So here are ways that we can directly help those affected.
* Amazon Registry: Simply purchase specific goods on the list and they will be sent to a church in Brooklyn for distribution.
* Occupy Sandy Facebook page
* Read this Great Post about the forgotten areas around NYC, PLUS at the bottom of the article is an extensive list of places to donate to other than the Red Cross.
* An Extensive list of Drop off locations for Donations... and what they need.
* Live in "DUMBO"? Here's a drop off location.
* Plus helpful tips on WHAT to Give when donating
*article: the forgotten Rockaways, plus how Occupy Sandy is kicking the red cross's butt
* Or donate new kids' apparel, shoes, books, toys, baby products, and home goods here: http://www.kidsdonations.org/home.php
* Hurricane relief efforts: Ship warm coats for babies and toddlers in sizes 0-5 directly to Baby Buggy (306 W. 37th St., 8th Fl; NYC 10018).
And in case you need a greater kick in the pants to inspire you to help- read this article, it offers an in depth look in to how crazy this storm really was and still is for many people.
Alright, I've said my peace, but I'll probably continue to post more information on how to help in the future! But share these links with your friends, family and co workers... plus many businesses and companies are pooling together to donate, with some companies matching employee donations. Get cracking! And feel free to post in the comments other ways to help and donate!