People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their bearings. Homes that got flooded need to have dripping wet sheet rock and insulation pulled. Families have to cope with the lack of food, transportation, and power. Kids still need to get to school.
The threat of looting and the fear of crime has not subsided. There are reports from throughout the peninsula of families staying in flooded homes because the fear of losing the property to vandals is too great. That darkness settles each evening by 5:30 p.m. does not help a thing.
But there is hope. Each day is a little better. Friends, family, strangers, churches, charities, businesses, and government agencies are all moving to help our friends, neighbors, and fellow New Yorkers. There have been many acts of kindness from tiny to huge.
There are many ways that you can directly help the families of the Rockaways, from Breezy Point to Far Rockaway.
Volunteer Your Time and Skills
Boots on the ground. Yes, this is harder than writing a check, but boots on the ground is what is needed. Volunteers are needed to clear and clean.
- The Rockaway Help website is an excellent resource for volunteers to meet up at sites throughout the Rockaways. There's info on getting buses to the Rockaways. Check the home page for the latest updates.
- Occupy Sandy is organizing volunteer relief in the Rockaways, Brooklyn, and elsewhere.
- Are you a lawyer? There are special ways law professionals can help with the relief efforts. See probono.net.
If you plan to volunteer in the Rockaways this weekend, get an early start. Last weekend the traffic in midday caused huge delays.
Needs continue to fluctuate. Check the Rockaway Help website for latest requests. You can't go wrong bringing flashlights, batteries, brooms, mops, shovels, blankets, contractor bags, work gloves, generators, and electricity.
Donate Your Money
- The American Red Cross is helping those displaced by Sandy.
- Rockaway Youth Task Force, long-time community group raising money to rebuild.
- Broad Channel Disaster Relief - Just north of the Rockaways in the middle of Jamaica Bay. Broad Channel was devastated by flooding.
- Breezy Point Disaster Relief - The Breezy Point Co-op is accepting donations to help in the rebuilding. Breezy was devastated by water, wind, and fires, destroying more than one hundred homes.
If you have more information on ways that we can help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.