Lending a Post-Sandy Hand

This weekend saw amazing examples of good will and selflessness as volunteers up and down the East Coast showed up to help out neighbors, friends, and strangers slammed by the storm known as Sandy. New York marathon runners, frustrated by the cancellation of their event, instead ran en masse to Staten Island and cleaned debris, delivered supplies, and assuaged the anger felt by so many when Mayor Bloomberg decided to go ahead with the run against popular opinion (wisely reversed later). It was a weekend when humanity prevailed, and crossed borders of attitude and state–a pretty rare occurrence any time, but especially the weekend before tomorrow’s contentious presidential election.

Of course, there is still so much to be done. The affected areas are still in disaster recovery mode, and have a long road ahead toward rebuilding. The blog Brokelyn has a great resource for organizations and areas that still need help now, in case you are a resident of, or visitor to, the Sandy region. Look for updates here, from donation drop-off spots to kitchens cooking for the hungry masses, especially needed are those who can walk up many flights of stairs to get much-needed food, medicines, and other supplies to those who cannot, without power (and therefore, elevators) get out to handle things on their own.

Please be careful about what you read online, especially via social networking. There are rumors flying about paid cleanup opportunities via FEMA, drop-off points for money that are not official, and more. It is a terrible thing that some can take advantage or knowingly misinform during a time like this, and of course, the vast majority of relief efforts from huge organizations down to local individuals or communities or places of worship are indeed doing the hard work of healing…just be sure before you donate or go to volunteer. For FEMA information, for instance, visit: http://www.fema.gov/sandy

This is a tough time, and giving your dollars or hours is a big deal, and worth doing carefully and with full consideration. It sucks that we have to work and research in order to be effective in our desire to make a difference, but that digging into the onslaught of information, some of it erroneous, is part of the work of truly making that difference. Don’t let it discourage you–let it embolden and inspire you, making you even more committed to bettering the world next-door or far away.

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