It’s weird to sit on the windowsill of a national disaster. In my apartment and on my street, everything is fine. I never lost power or water. I was so incredibly lucky; I’m still shocked whenever I think about it. A lot of people weren’t so lucky. Thousands of people are displaced from their homes or stuck inside tall towers with no electricity. They are in the outskirts of New York City and on Staten Island, so they are not getting the media coverage that they deserve. A lot of them don’t have the means to go anywhere else. Some of them are too old or infirm to leave their homes. Some of my coworkers were able to go to Staten Island yesterday. They went to a retirement home where workers are having trouble getting food up to residents on all the floors. There isn’t enough man power. These people are lonely and they are secluded. Some don’t even know who won the presidential election. Please, if you have five dollars or five hours, find a way to contribute to this relief effort. FEMA is here and working hard but they can’t do it on their own. There is a lot of work to be done, but there are a lot of people to do it. See the links below for ways to lend a hand.
Occupy Sandy is picking up volunteers most days.
The Gray Beards are working specifically to relieve the Rockaways, which were hit especially hard.
The Alley Cat Allies are feeding feral cats that have been left behind.
Freaking Corey Booker is singlehandedly saving everyone.
Here are FEMA’s recommendations.
TED Blog has done a lot more research than I have. They are a great place to seek opportunities to help.
Mayor Bloomberg’s office has also organized a movement to help.
Staten Island was totally leveled. Here’s how to help them.
Tree Hugger is a great blog with tons of resources.
And the New York Times has an article to remind you that no matter how much people are suffering, getting fat is still the worst thing that could ever fucking happen to someone.
The long and the short of it is that it’s better to volunteer with an organization than to just go trudging off willy nilly. Check with a group you already work with, a church nearby, or any other community group you can think of to see how people are organizing to help. Thanks to The Stir, Tree Hugger, and TED Blog for being fonts of information!