People across the United States are donating money, supplies, and time to help people affected by hurricane Sandy. Relief efforts have been complicated by damage to infrastructure in communities along the Eastern Seaboard. But first responders and relief organizations are attempting to provide food, shelter, and other services to people who have been displaced by the superstorm.
American Red Cross
Local officials and residents have criticized the American Red Cross for not responding fast enough in the immediate aftermath of Sandy. The Red Cross pulled supplies out of New York City before the storm hit, to avoid damage to the supplies. The organization then had trouble getting back into the hard-hit areas because of traffic and fuel shortages.
The nation’s largest private disaster-relief agency is now operating shelters and mobile kitchens, making supply deliveries, and offering other services to the affected areas.
Donations to the Red Cross have already reached $85 million after support from the National Football League and a televised benefit concert.
Phone: 800-RED CROSS (733-2767)
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the word REDCROSS to 90999.
Mail: Fill out a donation form (PDF available online) and send to American Red Cross, PO Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340-2018.
Brooklyn Community Foundation
The Brooklyn Community Foundation will administer donations made through the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, which will support community organizations providing relief to residents of this New York borough. A partnership of the Brooklyn Borough President's Office and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the aid will target hard-hit communities such as Red Hook, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Sheepshead Bay, reported the New York Post.
“The outpouring of concern from our communities in the wake of this monstrous storm confirmed the need for us to establish a locally focused fund to provide Brooklynites with a way to ensure that their charitable giving can benefit the tireless organizations and agencies that serve our neighbors each day,” the Brooklyn Community Foundation website says.
Mail: Brooklyn Community Foundation, 45 Main St., Suite 409, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is partnering with the New Jersey Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster, the Red Cross, and Salvation Army to deliver food to displaced families – up to 100,000 pounds of food per day. The food bank sends ready-to-eat meals and clean water to shelters in the areas affected by the hurricane – 11 of 21 counties in the state. The organization prepared meals in advance of the storm and continued operations afterward, despite losing power for several days.
In addition to monetary support, it is also accepting donations of depleted food supplies, including meals in a can, canned tuna, peanut butter, granola bars, diapers, and baby food.
The food bank, which began in 1975, distributes 39 million pounds of food annually, feeding 900,000 low-income people across New Jersey.
Phone: 908-355-3663, Ext. 243
Text: Make a $10 donation by text-messaging the word FEEDNJ to 80888.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity’s role in the recovery efforts is to evaluate the impact of Sandy on the thousands of homes that have been lost because of fire, flooding, and wind. Donations will provide resources to assess the current damage and develop plans for affordable housing in those areas.
Phone: 800-HABITAT (422-4828)
Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is sending animal rescue teams to areas to help pets that were left behind or stranded during the storm. About 15 million dogs, 14 million cats, and 1.5 million horses were in Sandy's path, Reuters has reported, and it has been a challenge to find accommodations for those pets.
The Humane Society is running two shelters and caring for more than 200 animals in the New York and New Jersey areas. The organization is also delivering pet food to shelters where families were able to keep their pets.
Mail: Make check payable to The HSUS and mail it to HSUS, Dept. HACEE121006001, 2100 L St., NW, Washington, DC 20037.
Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
Donations made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will support immediate needs, including distribution centers in the city where people can get food, water, blankets, and hygiene supplies. One hundred percent of the funds will go to relief efforts and organizations. The fund will also go toward long-term restoration.
“At this point, these centers have more than they can really realistically distribute,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during a press briefing Sunday. “If we need more, we can certainly put out another call for help, but what would be the most helpful is donations to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, and then we’ll be able to use that money to help people get back on their feet.”
The Mayor’s Fund was established in 1994 to aid city programs and promote public-private initiatives to meet city development needs.
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the word NYCFUND to 50555.
Mail: Make checks payable to Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and send to 253 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10007 (in memo line: Hurricane Sandy Relief).
Often partnering with the Red Cross in disaster relief, the Salvation Army also provides food and shelter assistance for displaced residents. Its mobile canteens feed first responders as well as survivors. They also hand out cleanup kits, hygiene kits, shower units, first-aid supplies, and communications support.
Serving hundreds of thousands of people in New York and New Jersey, the Salvation Army also provides emotional and spiritual care with on-the-scene counselors who are often ordained clergy.
Phone: 800-SAL ARMY (725-2769)
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the word STORM to 80888.
Mail: Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate "2012 Hurricane Season" on all checks.
Save the Children
In response to Sandy, Save the Children is focusing on the needs of children in shelters in New York and New Jersey. Working with other disaster-relief organizations, Save the Children distributes hygiene kits, warm clothing, blankets, baby cribs, and baby food. The organization also sets up “child-friendly” areas in the shelters where kids can play and recover from emotional distress.
Save the Children provides emergency response around the world during both immediate crises and long-term disasters such as drought, epidemic, or internal conflict.
Online: Save the Children
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the word HURRICANE to 20222.
Mail: Makes checks payable to Save the Children and send to 54 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880.
The United Way of New York City is leading fundraising efforts for local United Way offices in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund will address short-term and long-term recovery needs in these areas, particularly for vulnerable populations – those who were already struggling to meet basic needs before the storm.
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the word RECOVERY to 52000.