I'll have a few more Sandy-related posts and hope to keep this as an ongoing post here, given how a lot of my broader neighbors in New York (plus many others in New Jersey) will have a much harder road ahead.
I spent Sunday in Staten Island with a delegation from NYC's City Council, taking a school bus out to New Dorp Beach in Staten Island.
At first, the area looked fine. You might wonder from photographs what the big deal is. And then you get closer. And walk around. And enter homes. And you see that so many people have lost absolutely everything. I spent awhile carting everything people owned out to the sidewalk for sanitation to pick up. Here I was, a complete stranger, obviously lending a hand, but swooping in and putting so much of someone's life out on the street. So many memories washed away, soon to be landfill.
The people I met out there were wonderfully gracious, and it was uplifting seeing thousands of volunteers and such strong grass roots coordination, with a strong presence of New York City's sanitation crew, plus many police officers, and a few trucks from the Red Cross. I've never been so motivated to support my neighbors. If you want to contribute too, money is what's needed most, as supply needs vary at each location (Staten Island, Long Beach, the Rockaways, NJ shore, Coney Island, etc) and money can let those managing various relief efforts be more nimble.
One organization I recommend is the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, which is heavily focused on hurricane relief and is extremely well rated by Charity Navigator. You can donate via the link there or use SMS and text NYCFUND to 50555 for an instant $10 donation.
Below are photos from Staten Island. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions, and I welcome being a resource any way possible. It's getting cold, and rebuilding will take money months, so keep up your support of those who need it most.