The Occupy movement has really come forward to help out during this crisis. They have a network of relief centers set up in affected areas around NYC, and if you’re local you can volunteer. Check their website for instructions.
If you aren’t in the area but still want to help, Occupy set up a registry on Amazon with all the supplies they need. Simply order whatever you want to donate and have it sent to one of the addresses they list. They ask that you pay for expedited shipping if you can — so those of you with a Prime account who can upgrade for free could really help out.
If you’re nearby and have the room, consider fostering or adopting an abandoned pet. Animal Haven is looking for people to take in animals from flooded and destroyed shelters.
New York’s coastal neighborhoods were hit the hardest, and this includes the Rockaways, where many people are without power or are completely homeless. New York City Council Member James Sanders, Jr. is collecting money and supplies to be distributed in the area. You can donate financially here if you want, or you can take or send needed items.
If you are in the area and have a car, you can drive supplies to 15-26 Central Avenue #2 in Far Rockaway. You can also have donations sent, either by collecting and shipping them yourself or ordering items from Soap.com or FreshDirect. Those can be sent to:
The New York Communities For Change
2-4 Nevins Street, 2nd Fl
Brooklyn NY 11217
New York City Council Member James Sanders, Jr.
Attn: Donovan Richards
234-26 Merrick Blvd.
Rosedale, NY 11422
Keep an eye on the Rockaway Recovery blog for more information.
For many reasons, you don’t want to be like Mitt Romney, but the most important one at the moment is to remember that the Red Cross prefers donations of money or blood instead of supplies. They make is pretty simple — you can text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to instantly donate $10. CBS Local has compiled a full list of the different Red Cross chapters in New York and New Jersey.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation
The HSRF is based in New Jersey, but has drop-off locations around the area, including Staten Island, which was also hit hard. They are selling a special edition bracelet with proceeds going to relief, plus you can donate directly (via PayPal) or volunteer by emailing Volunteer [at] SandyRelief [dot] org.
Other Ways to Help
Our Chinatown blog has a post on places to volunteer in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
If you are in the affected areas, do your best to get out and support local businesses. The days without power or transportation and the damages sustained can take a serious toll on a small store, so continuing to give them your money is a big boost. If shops near you are still closed because of the impact, keep an eye out for ways to support them. For example, there’s a bakery in my neighborhood that is doing pop-up shops because their store was flooded.
If anyone else has any information on places that need donations, please leave them in the comments.