We got hit hard by the snow storm, but at least I have a warm, non-Sandy battered apartment to hide from the bad weather in. This reminded me that other folks are not so lucky. In case you’re looking for some way to help out people:
Occupy Sandy is a group initially organized from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but there are lots of New Yorkers getting in on the act from outside that movement. (Read more about them here.) They’re working to collect donations that meet immediate needs – baby diapers, wool socks, etc. – and distribute them to New Yorkers affected by the storm. And they’ve set up a gift registry on Amazon.com, where you can purchase items they need and send it to them to be distributed. This is cool because you can be completely sure your money is buying necessary things rather than going to administrative costs. It also gives you a tangible thing that you have done, which can be very nice psychologically.
Franklin Graham’s disaster-relief organization Samaritan’s Purse is also doing good work. They’re focused more on New Jersey, on cleaning out the houses damaged by the storm and I’m sure there will eventually be some construction help, too. I worked with SP after the Katrina storm and they do good work – they have reasonably low overhead costs and because they work through local churches who know their community they often do a good job of matching up help with resources. (The aid goes to anyone in the community, not just church-goers, and I can’t remember any victim ever being proselytized or otherwise coerced when I worked with them during the Katrina aftermath.) I’ve made no bones about the fact I don’t agree with Franklin Graham’s politics, but when it comes to doing a good job in natural disaster cleanup, this is an organization I trust to do it right. And if you donate to their US disaster fund, that’s exactly what your money will be used for.
Money’s a bit tight right now for me, but I already have an SP check written out that I intend to mail once I get my next pay check in the bank. I’ll probably also buy something from the Occupy registration, too, depending on their need at that point. If you’re looking for a way to help, both these groups are doing good work on the ground right now.