So this week has been extremely transformative for me. I spent all of Monday absolutely at wits end as I watched the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. All I wanted to do was gather everyone into my apartment on the UWS, so I could ensure that they would be ok. As downtown Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, NJ, LI, and Westchester disappeared underwater, it became clear that I must help, but the opportunities were just not easy to find.
I did find a RedCross training on Tuesday to become an emergency volunteer for shelters in NYC. So I asked for time off of work and walked the 3 miles to the RedCross center, where I was told we would be sent to Long Island. After 3 hours of training we spent 4 and a half hours in a car picking up people and heading to the East Hamptons, where we were immediately told it was closing because everyone had a place to go. Three hours later of manual labor later, we were sent to a second shelter that was to be consolidated due to lack of heat and electricity. So we took down two shelters in a day, but we were lucky enough to have time to interact and help those that were still at the shelter, which made the 30 hour shift completely worth it.
When it came time to come back to the city, I was exhausted, but was ready to do more. Once again I was back to watching #sandyvolunteer on twitter (I had never used it before). Luckily around noon, Monica posted her want to collect donations on the UWS to bring to the LES, and after figuring out how to message her (I’m not so technologically savvy), a beautiful friendship was begun. She twittered and I asked all my caring friends (that were on g-chat) and my mom and grandma for donations, so we had just under $200 to shop. For $143 we made food fo 50-60 people a wonderful hot meal with pasta casserole, salad, chips, and desert. After some initial donations of blankets and materials, my roommate drove us down to the Bowery Mission which was just about to serve dinner. The look of relief on the kitchen manager’s face at hot food was easily the best part of my day.
So with the help of Kim, Monica’s roommate, and Twitter we set up two donation drop off locations that we are going to bring down to the LES over the next couple of days.
This is what we are looking to do: If you have the opportunity to donate hot food/supplies we will find you the address and contact person. If you want us to bring supplies down for you, just bring it to us. If you have any money to spare for us to use to supply those in need, please donate on this page. If you want to give us hugs or goodwill, we are always available.
For anyone that will donate or has, thank you so much.