NYCService urges would-be volunteers to email email@example.com with their name, email address and borough. New York City Mayor Michael Bloombergdescribed @NYCService in a tweet as the “best way” to help. He also said financial contributions could be made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
NYC Service and the Mayor’s Fund are among several programs retooled for the storm, or created to help harness an outpouring of concern, energy and money for victims. New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio has his own volunteer program, hosted on his website. His staff is collecting information on volunteers through aGoogle form. By Tuesday, 700 volunteers had already stepped. “The need is considerable and is going to grow,” said Mr. de Blasio’s press secretary, Wiley Norvell. In the early days of the storm, the program sent emails to would-be volunteers asking for help with door-to-door wellness checks in specific buildings.
Volunteers in New Jersey are being coordinated through an emergency response hotline, 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Alternate numbers, for when the hotline isn’t staffed, include 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471 or emails can be sent to Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.
For those who want to send other kinds of help, the American Red Cross collects funds and coordinates blood donations. The organization sheltered more than 3,000 people across nine states during the worst of the storm. You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.
The United Way has created a regional fund for communities hit by Sandy. They’re asking for donations at uwsandyrecovery.org. Donors can also give $10 by texting RECOVERY to 52000.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) takes donations to rescue and shelter animals affected by the storm. Immediately after the storm nearly 240 animals were staying with their owners in pet-friendly Red Cross shelters in New York City, according to spokesperson Emily Schneider. That number was closer to 400 at its peak. The group delivered supplies to a Lower East Side senior center without power, where a lot of residents have pets and stopped at an evacuation center in Jamaica, Queens to provide free wellness checks for animals sheltered with their owners. A water rescue effort is planned for Friday afternoon for animals abandoned in Ocean City, NJ and the group is shifting focus to hard-hit Staten Island.
Neighborhood-by-neighborhood “how to help” efforts are being compiled by WNYC, the public radio station in New York City.
The Huffington Post is also collecting volunteer resources in real time.