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Top Ten: Ways You Can Help NYC Recover From Hurricane Sandy

I’ve been meaning to get this Top Ten out since Sandy hit, but between Ian having unexpected surgery (long story, crazy month) and Adam dismantling the keyboard one letter at a time (if I’m missing any d’s, g’s, f’s or v’s it’s because I didn’t whack them hard enough) it got pushed to a back burner. But I feel so strongly about getting this post out that it’s worth carving out 15 more minutes of free time to get it done. Don’t worry, nobody is tied to a chair (by me, anyway).

Though we sustained some damage to the house it is absolutely nothing compared to what many in our area have gone through and lost. We brought a slew of toiletries, canned goods and warm clothing to our local councilman’s office and hope to help out more at nearby shelters over the coming weeks. It has been absolutely stunning and uplifting to see the neighborhood pull together to help each other in ways big and small, and many of you have emailed asking how you can help too. Sometimes the hardest part with a disaster of this magnitude is knowing where to start. For me, it’s important to know that the donated goods, money, time and effort are getting where they are most needed and not lost in red tape.

So here are ten ways that you can help others recover from Sandy, mostly focused on the NYC area because of where we are. Feel free to add your own ideas or links in the comments section – the more the merrier!

1. Donate good old fashioned $$ – cash is most needed and effective in some situations. Click here for information about donating to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC.

2. Visit/ donate to a local shelter. For the complete list of shelters around the city right now, go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html. You can also join https://www.facebook.com/LetsGetNYCBackonHerFeet.

3. Donate clothing or goods. Here is an excellent site that matches your donation with specific needs.

4. Donate space – Airbnb.com is hosting listings for homeowners who are opening up their houses and apartments for Sandy victims for free. https://www.airbnb.com/wishlists/donated-sandy-housing

5. Live in an area without power or where houses have been washed away? Make a charging station on your front porch – a simple thing like an extension cord and outlet can provide many with a way to charge phones and devices needed to keep in touch with their families, friends, and jobs.

6. Donate food – drop off at numerous neighborhood locations, or if you don’t live in the area, try Met Council or City Harvest.

7. Donate blood – call NY Blood Centers for a location nearby at 1-800-933-2566.

8. Help clean up a park (that tree pic in Bay Ridge is around the corner from us).

9. Donate service – construction, medical, legal, transportation, cooking (what are you good at?)

10. Visit http://www.nycservice.org for the most up-to-date options.

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