1. Donate blood. Red Cross is looking for blood and platelet donations for hurricane victims, so find out how and where to contribute here.
2. Clean out your closet, finally. It’s become too expensive for organizations like Red Cross to collect and then distribute goods (so no more donations for them), but my friend in Breezy Point (a site of mass destruction) has taken it upon himself to provide the address of the school he teaches at, where donations can be received and distributed directly to the communities that need them (in this case, the Rockaways). The donation site will be up and running come Monday. The address:
Saint Mark School
C/O Michael Hendry
2602 East 19th Street
3. Ditto re: your pantry. You’re never going to eat that much tuna, are you? And be honest — you wouldn’t know what to do with those canned tomatoes if they came with Ikea instructions. (OK, no one would know what to do with canned tomatoes if they came with Ikea instructions, because they make no freaking sense. Who comes up with these things?) But if it’s been in a cabinet for over a year and you’re kind of like “Hm…” every time you look at it, send it to the above address where it can be put to good use.
4. Follow @OccupySandy for news on emerging water and food drop-offs, emergency shelters, and other ways to aid those in need.
5. Don’t just sit inside all weekend just because public transportation is down or your car has no gas. We’re on the brink of some very cold weather, so enjoy what’s left of the fall. Use your legs, if they work. Be active. If your area was affected by the hurricane, your local park probably needs some help with clean up (In the Brooklyn area, McCarren and Prospect Park are looking for volunteers).
6. Do what this family in Hoboken, NJ did. In other words, help in whatever small way you can.
7. If you love animals, the Humane Society is looking for donations that will go toward helping strays that were rescued during the storm.
8. Check in on your friends and family who live in areas that were affected by the storm. At the very least, they’ll appreciate you thinking of them. It’s also possible they’re aware of ways you can help their community that don’t involve going through a charity middle-man. Even if you don’t have much to give, word of mouth is a powerful tool.
9. The Salvation Army is both looking for monetary donations (Texting “storm” to 80888 donates $10 to storm relief) and volunteers who have training in disaster relief.
10. Don’t complain about how bored you are. There is no lack of things you could be doing to improve someone’s situation.
Brokelyn has a great reference guide for those looking to volunteer this weekend in the New York City area, but if your town was affected and you know of local relief efforts being made, please leave them below in the comments.
Here’s a spreadsheet that details where you can find gas.
And here’s Buzzfeed’s How You Can Help After Hurricane Sandy.
Stay strong, guys.