How You and Your Kids Can Help Out Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

Now that Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, though I’m still without power for the unforeseeable future, I want to help out the people so devastatingly impacted by the storm.  So much destruction, so many lives lost.  I realize that I am lucky to still have a house standing, without flooding and we all our fine.

I’d like my kids to understand the importance of helping people during difficult times, as well, in my ongoing effort to raise altruistic children.  Here are some of the ways I’ve determined we can help – we’ll pick out what is realistic for us and make it happen.

Local efforts:

*We can help make meals (or buy warm food since we have no power) for neighbors (particularly older or mothers with young children). My kids may very well have a cookie stand this weekend to raise money for the effort, or they may walk around from door to door to collect money to send to one of these organizations.

*We’ll check with our local shelter to see if they need clothes (children and adult), toiletries, medical supplies or other items.  There is a shelter in New Rochelle that I volunteer with often and I can take my children with me to drop off the necessary items.

Nation-wide efforts (please check on the validity of any organization before you make a donation):

*The Red Cross is providing disaster relief, shelter, clothes, supplies, food and blood.

- Phone: 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 800-257-7575; for TDD,  800-220-4095.

- Make $10 donations to the American Red Cross by texting “REDCROSS” to 9099.

*Donate to Feeding America, which is providing emergency food and water.

- Phone: 1-800-910-5524

*Save the Children will deploy emergency response teams today to coastal and northern New Jersey to assess the needs of children in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  To support their  response to immediate and ongoing needs following the storm, donate to the Hurricane Sandy Children in Emergencies Fund.

*Donate to AmeriCares, with is providing emergency medical care.

*If you are in the NYC area and able to safely get to one of the centers, you can donate blood to the New York Blood Center to help people in the NY/NJ area.

*The Salvation Army is providing meals and shelter.

- Donate $10 to the Salvation Army by texting the word, “STORM” to 80888 on your cell phone.

- Phone: 1-800-725-2769

*New York Cares has specific relief projects.  You can assist with disaster response.

- Go to http://newyorkcares.org/volunteer/disaster t sign up.

- To volunteer in New Jersey, call 1-800-Jersey-7.

*Humane Society of the U.S.

- The Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Team is assembling staff and equipment to help rescue pets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  Go to their web site to find out more.

*Habitat for Humanity

- Habitat, an international organization, helps those in need rebuild their homes after disaster strikes.

- If you want to make a donation, call 800-HABITAT (422-4828).

To all of you stil impacted, I wish you the best of luck in a quick return to normalcy.