Post Hurricane Post Part 1: How to Help

It’s been a hell of a week in New York. And I’ve had it really easy compared to many. With the transit system shut down completely for several days and now with crippled and gridlocked commuting, I’m glad to be working from home this entire week (and possibly longer since our office building has no electricity, water, phone, or internet). Here’s the Hurricane Sandy coverage we’ve done this week.

High atop the hill here in Brooklyn, we were out of the flood zones, and despite several large trees coming down on our street (crushing a car and breaking the stained glass windows of the church), we never lost power.

Of course millions on the East Coast weren’t so lucky. From the lives and homes lost, to the thousands of people in shelters and still without power, it’s been so difficult for so many people. (below is just one of the hundreds of scary images we’ve all been pouring over the last few days–the lower east side flooded and without power).

The recovery efforts have been underway since as soon as the storm passed (and even during). And since I’ve been working extra hours, I haven’t yet been able to volunteer, but I’ve been trying to keep track of all the volunteer opportunities to share them with those who are able. Luckily Yoga Dork has put together a pretty comprehensive list:

(Note: I have edited/updated and made a few additions to this list)

If you live in the NY area the NYC Parks Department needs your help. Check for on the days/hours and parks in need of volunteers.

Via TimeOut NY:

The New York chapter of the American Red Cross requested volunteers prior to Hurricane Sandy making landfall to help staff its shelters throughout the region. Find out if you meet their criteria and register at this American Red Cross web page, How to volunteer for Hurricane Sandy shelters. You can also learn more about donating blood through the organization.

Mayor Bloomberg has asked you to donate your time at one of the city’s evacuation shelters. You can find a full list at this webpage.

The Mayor’s Office also recommends registering with NYC Service, which will notify people once volunteer opportunities are available. Per the organization’s Facebook page: “There will be various ways to volunteer to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – Want to Volunteer? Please email with your name, email address and borough. There will be ways to volunteer today and over the next week as opportunities arise.”

New York Cares has several projects set up, and is asking anyone who is interested in helping out to sign up on their website, they are a great organization, that I’ve worked with for many years (I am also a New York Cares team leader)

An organizing site, The Lower East Side Recovers, has been set up to track volunteer opportunities and needs in Lower Manhattan. Sign up to get updates and more information.

Members of Occupy NYC are using to track volunteer efforts in their communities—check out pages for Red Hook and Astoria. Occupy has also set up a Facebook page to coordinate its relief efforts throughout the city. (via the House of Yes) also you can follow #Sandvolunteer for updates of project via Twitter.

Via Brooklyn Based, you can sign up with the New York Public Advocate’s office—give a date and time that you’re available, and they’ll follow up if your assistance is needed.

Food Not Bombs is asking for assistance—both by in-person volunteering and with donations—for its chapters in the Northeast, including NYC, Boston and Philadelphia. (via the House of Yes)

Red Hook Initiative is keeping tabs on local businesses who need help in the wake of Sandy, be it with generators, manpower or other forms of assistance. The organization is also accepting donations at its Red Hook headquarters; follow the group’s Twitter feed for up-to-date info on what they need (non-perishables, clothing, etc.)

The Food Bank for New York City is looking for volunteers—sign up on their website for more information.

Solar One sent out an e-mail blast earlier about volunteering to help clean up their space, which suffered significant damage during the storm. Here are the details: “We need volunteers to help us in the park this week to aid with all clean-up efforts. Our urgent need for volunteer help is for this Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3 from 10am-4pm. Please RSVP to so we’ll know you’re coming!” They’re also accepting cash donations.

The Prospect Park Alliance is accepting donations to help fund the clean-up of the park, post-Sandy; you can also sign up to be a volunteer once the clean-up efforts begin.

There are a lot of missing pets, check out, or follow #SandyPets if you have lost or found a pet. Also the ASPCA is helping animals affected by the hurricane, they are always a great place to donate (our kitties donate to them every year)


The New York Blood Center (800-933-2566, has posted a list of locations on its Facebook page. In New York City, the locations are Upper East Side Donor Center (310 E 67th St between First and Second Aves, lobby) and Citicorp Donor Center (601 Lexington Ave between 53rd and 54th Sts, lower level). Currently, these offices are not open and cannot accept donations (due to lost power from the storm), but you can call or check their website or Facebook page for updates. Once they’re operational, they will need donations.


Money is definitely needed with billions of dollars of damage. Below are some organizations taking donations:

The American Red Cross –call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to get prepared and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.

The Food Bank for New York City (text FBNYC to 50555 to make a donation from your mobile device)
The Salvation Army
The Humane Society
North Shore Animal League
New York Cares (text iCARE to 85944 to donate $10 from your mobile device)
The Bowery Mission (text BOWERY to 20222 to make a donation from your mobile device)

Since I haven’t been able to this week, I am going to try donate blood or volunteer this weekend where needed and I’ll be texting my donation to the red cross–please do what you can–and we can all do something.

Next Post: On  Cancellations


2 responses

  1. The Food Bank for New York City is a stellar organization! I hope people will consider volunteering their time to help with the post hurricane recovery.

  2. […] lucky to have not lost power or belongings, it’s still been a very stressful week. And as I donate money and blood and sign up for volunteer opportunities, and work from home, I have maintained my yoga practice. Practicing yoga can seem really […]

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