U.S. President Barack Obama hugs North Point Marina owner Donna Vanzant as he tours damage done by Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey, October 31, 2012. At left is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Putting aside partisan differences, Obama and Christie toured storm-stricken parts of New Jersey together on Wednesday, taking in scenes of flooded roads and burning homes in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. (Photo : Reuters)
As the East Coast begins to access the damage left behind by Superstorm Sandy, many are wondering what they can do to help. Some volunteering organizations have already begun organizing volunteers in New York and New Jersey. Here are some things you can do to help.
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You can donate to most states through the American Red Cross by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-733-2767, or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The American Red Cross is also accepting blood donations. You can visit their website or call 1-800-RED CROSS to schedule a blood donation.
For those hoping to volunteer in the aftermath of Sandy in New York City, NYC Service is organizing volunteers. To sign up, visit www.nyc.gov or email email@example.com with your name, email address and borough. For more information regarding volunteering in NYC, visit NYC Service's official Facebook page.
In addition to taking in donations, the American Red Cross is calling for shelter volunteers in New York City. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and should be available for 12-hour shifts from Wednesday, October 31 to Friday, November 2. According to the Red Cross, volunteers should "Be ready to deploy to a shelter location outside of New York City and stay for up to 72 hours." To volunteer, visit the Greater New York Region's website.
The American Red Cross is also holding a "1-Day Bulk Feeding Operation" on November 1 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Long Island. The Red Cross needs 150 volunteers who will "support the bulk distribution of food to thousands of individuals" on Long Island. According to the organization, they are only accepting volunteers that are available the whole shift. To sign up visit the American Red Cross' Greater New York Region website.
For those hoping to volunteer around New Jersey, where Sandy made landfall, Governor Chris Christie recommends calling 1-800-JERSEY-7. The hotline is managed by the New Jersey Business Action Center and the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, NJ 101.5 reported.
To stay up to date in the latest volunteer efforts in New Jersey, in particular the Jersey Shore, visit the non-official "Rebuild the Jersey Shore" Facebook page. The page, which by Thursday night had over 30 thousand likes, is hoping to register as a licensed NJ based charity.
Organizations in New York and New Jersey have asked that those wishing to help hold off on donating clothes and food at the moment. Any donated clothes and food will require volunteers to redirect their time into packing and delivering goods.
If you have any tips for volunteer opportunities in these states or in any state affected by Hurricane Sandy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.