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How To Help, If You Haven’t Already

The most effective ways to offer Sandy relief

What a rough couple of weeks. On October 25th, the Krim Family tragedy blew the minds of every New York family with small children and a caregiver. Some of us questioned our careers, others our childcare situations. All of us wanted to clutch our children tightly and never let go. Then came the storm and wishes of more time spent with our kids were ironically granted.

Today, one week after Sandy crushed the boroughs and beyond, things are going to feel very “back to normal” for many of us. The power is on; schools are open; trains are running; work is in full swing. Which is exactly why today is perhaps the most important day to reach out and help our cold, hungry, and homeless neighbors in areas such as Staten Island, Queens, the south shore of Long Island, and down the Jersey Shore.

There are literally hundreds of Sandy relief efforts underway. We’ve chosen to highlight a few well-organized initiatives that are focused on providing rapid aid to the most dire situations—and those with small children in mind.

To donate money: The American Red Cross puts funds toward food, shelter, and emotional support; be sure to donate to your Local Red Cross Chapter to ensure your donation will go toward Sandy victims; Save the Children is providing basic necessities for young children (nutritious food, blankets, clothing, and hygiene supplies) through its Hurricane Sandy Children in Emergency Fund.

To donate your time: Your best bet for efficient use of your time is to browse the volunteer opportunities at NYC Service. Currently, they are looking for people to help sort clothes, distribute food, and offer door-to-door assistance throughout the Rockaways, Coney Island, Red Hook, and other hard-hit areas.

To donate essential goods: Arrange a drop-off donation for needy families on Staten Island through Staten Island Recovers. Ship warm coats for babies and toddlers in sizes 0-5 directly to Baby Buggy, (306 West 37th St., 8 Fl.; New York, NY 10018); for a tax receipt, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Or, donate brand-new kids’ apparel, shoes, books, toys, baby products, and home goods through the K.I.D.S. (Kids In Distressed Situations) Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.

Our hearts go out to the families who are still suffering in the aftermath of the storm.