A lifestyle and fashion blog with a little bit of chic, a drop of glamour and a lot of love!
The town where my husband grew up -the Rockaways in Queens, NY was evacuated today. The people there who have spent the past week excavating through ruins to try find any remains of their personal belongings and save what is left of their homes now have had no choice but to leave and hope that their homes and town do not sustain any more damage from the Nor’Easter.
In the meantime those of us who are lucky enough to be warm and safe can help from our homes. The biggest needs right now are blankets, coats, gloves, flashlights, batteries, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, bottled water and hot prepared meals as it gets colder out.
Some of the best places to donate are community organized websites like these mentioned below:
In the Five Towns in Long Island there is a great organization called Achiezer – www.achiezer.org. As of today their hurricane relief fund has helped more than 100 families from the community who were financially affected by the storm. Among the other ways they have helped is by having volunteers serving hot meals at 830 am, 1230pm and 430pm at 4 different locations. They also have a FEMA/insurance task force at their office to assist people with the forms. Another way they help those hit by the hurricane is to help overcome the challenge of returning or rebuilding their homes. Those without proper flood insurance will face great difficulties. Achiezer has created a special committee to guide and coordinate assistance to help residents begin with the process of restoring their homes. Coordinators will be dispatched to assess the damage and aid residents as to the best and most effective way possible to plan the rebuilding of their homes. Achiezer is also making special arrangements to try to secure special FEMA mobile homes for those who are displaced.
Another wonderful organization started by Avi Kwitel is fundrazr.com:
“Considering that countless people across the five boroughs remain and will continue to be without power for at least another week and, that this will be the coldest week of the year yet, Shaun Rose and I have decided to try to raise some money for the sole purpose of buying/supplying Mylar Foil blankets to those without heat. Mylar blankets are a cheap and easy way to Provide compact emergency protection in all-weather conditions. Further, when used properly they retain/reflect back 90% of body heat. With the generous help of Shaun Rose (and his family) in Staten Island and Rebecca Weiss in Brooklyn, we will distribute these blankets, to the areas hit the worst in these two boroughs. These are the areas the 3 of us know best, so that’s what we are concentrating on, for right now. Ideally, I would like to put in a bulk order, to be overnighted to both SI and BK first thing. I am negotiating prices right now, but it looks like each blanket (roughly 60”x 90”), will run about $1.50 each. Once the order is put in, I WILL PROVIDE/POST RECEIPTS FOR ALL OF OUR PURCHASES on this page. PLEASE DONATE; I am not setting any particular goal-whatever we raise we will use to purchase these blankets, which will go directly to those in need within the next 48 hours (and hopefully sooner). THANK YOU!!”
Today I learnt from the Patchke Princess of another great place to donate GIFTCARDRELIEF.ORG where you can donate any amount towards a gift card to places like COSTCO, CVS and BED BATH & BEYOND. They then have partnered with local non-profit and relief organizations that have acute knowledge of their area’s situation and needs in order to distribute the cards accordingly. These gift cards will be delivered as promptly as possible to have the greatest affect on those in need. This fantastic idea was thought of by kosher food blogger- Dani Klein www.yeahthatskosher.com and a Mr. Dave Weinberg of Silverspring, MD. Mr. Weinberg is a true example of what we who weren’t affected can do to help those who were. He arranged for 150 people of NY to come to his community and spend a warm Shabbos out of the misery from the storm. He is doing it again this week, including sending much needed supplies back. The world needs more Mr. Weinbergs but we are all grateful for the one we have from Silverspring.
One last non-denominational organization that was personally recommended to me and has done some fantastic work is http://www.usanafoundation.org/ and to donate specifically to the Hurricane Sandy relief fund, select “Area of Greatest Need”. The direct link for that is http://www.usanafoundation.org/programs/general-fund/. Someone I know called the company who started this foundation, USANA Health Sciences and they confirmed that they have a team working on the plans to help rebuild homes for those who are in need (especially those who were not financially able to afford insurance). Something quite impressive about this organization is that 100% of of donations go to the foundation and the integrity of this company and its commitment to making people’s lives better. (Thanks to Kathleen and Erik for that info.)
Here are some other community-organized sites like Rockaway Recovery, Red Hook Initiative, Staten Island Recovers, the Lower East Side Recovers. And of course the American Red Cross. Donate here for the American Red Cross:
In the meantime we hope all the NYers and New Jersey residents know that are thoughts are with them as well as our donations. Please Help by donating on one of the above links or let me know of any charities you know and I will post them here too. For immediate updates, search hashtags like #SandyVolunteer and #SandyHelp on Twitter.
Be Strong NY,
A few more pictures from Frankenstorm: