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/ November 5, 2012
Where To Volunteer For Sandy Relief This Week

Killing over 40 people and destroying hundreds of homes, Sandy left tremendous wreckage in her wake. Thousands of New Yorkers are still without electricity, water, or heat; many lost their homes. The easiest way to help is donating $10 to the Red Cross by texting “RED CROSS” to 90999 (You’ll even get a free snack at Chopt Salads when you do). If you are willing and able, here is how you can help (without being a dick about it) in your neighborhood:

East Village / LES
At the peak of the storm, Avenue C looked like a river. Since then, a website was set up at to organize information about which shelters need which supplies. GOLES, a neighborhood non-profit distributing supplies, is in need of: Diapers, feminine products, baby foods, batteries, flashlights, candles, and fresh and canned foods. You can drop off donations at 638 East 6th Street between Avenues C and B, or call 212-677-1863.

CAAAV, a center which aids the Asian-American community, is in need of supplies and translators who speak Mandarin. Many elderly residents of the LES and Chinatown were affected by the storm, and the center needs help assisting them. If you want to donate supplies or can help translating Mandarin, contact (212) 473-6485 or go to 46 Hester Street.

Williamsburg / Bushwick
Occupy Sandy, a group which has been coordinating relief efforts, has locations throughout North Brooklyn where you can drop off goods or catch a ride to a location to volunteer. House of Yes at 342 Maujer Street in East Williamsburg is accepting donations; contact Kae Burke at (585)217-7209.  And Secret Works in Bushwick is collecting donations at 59 Jefferson Street #301.

If you want to volunteer more than donate goods, you can catch a ride from 190 Withers or 342 Maujer st  at 10am and 1pm. Call (347) 470-4192 first to make sure the shuttle is still running.

Staten Island
Staten Island’s South Shore was one of the areas most devastated by the storm; the borough accounted for around half of Sandy’s deaths. The Staten Island Ferry, which leaves from the bottom of Manhattan, is free of charge and will take you to where you can help. Once on the island, take the Staten Island rail to New Dorp, which is where the storm hit worst. If you have a bike, bring it over to help transport supplies.

Here is a comprehensive document on what you should bring, and where you should go this week. In addition to distributing supplies, SI needs cleanup crews to clear the wreckage of downed trees and homes. Crews are meeting at churches in the affected neighborhood, and you can find all the addresses here. (From reports we’ve heard, though, it sounds like you can just head to the neighborhood and someone will direct you to where to help out).

Lying right on the waterfront, the Rockaways, Gerritsen Beach and other neighborhoods throughout Queens saw significant flooding and home damage. The website Rockaway Help has been started to highlight locations where you can volunteer if you are able to get out to the Rockaways (If you want to travel out there, try going through the Occupy Sandy, who is dispatching volunteers).

All Neighborhoods
While not every area was slammed as hard as Staten Island or Queens, all of New York was affected by the storm. At the official NYC website you can find a list of ways to help out. NYC parks across all boroughs are looking for volunteers. The Board of Elections needs poll workers in all boroughs to help coordinate after the storm (60 polling locations were changed following the storm). And you can always donate to the Red Cross by texting “RED CROSS” 90999.

For a fairly comprehensive list of locations accepting donations, check out Occupy Sandy.  If you have other information about ways people can volunteer, please let us know in the comments.

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