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Hurricane Sandy: How to Help + Share Your Stories

in YD News

photo credit: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

This Halloween, Hurricane Sandy flew in on her broomstick like the wicked witch of the weather and swept through the Eastern seaboard knocking out houses, cars, trees and anything else in her path causing flooding, destruction and loss of power leaving many stuck at home in the dark, or for some, without homes. While the effects have been devastating, the show of supportive efforts from the community and people banding together to help each other out has been overwhelming. If you’re wondering how you can do your part we’ve put a list together from a few sources so locals and those outside can give.

This is a two-parter.

PART ONE: Share Your Story

First, as we can gather from our own lives and sometimes our yoga practice, and reminded so by the wise words of Jillian Pransky, “Tragedy, disaster, our deepest challenges, leave us feeling strangely present.”  Whether you were directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Sandy we’d love to hear and share your stories, and through them unite the online yoga community together in support of the recovery process. Post in the comments below, or email us yogadork@gmail.com and we’ll gather them together.

PART TWO: How to Help  – Updated 11/3

NYC and NJ – To stay up to date with the latest on where help is needed check out these facebook pages:

Occupy Sandy Relief NYC

Occupy Sandy Relief NJ


Sustainable Queens

Wondering how you can help? There’s lots you can do.

If you live in the NY area the NYC Parks Department needs your help. Click the links to sign up:

Van Cortlandt Park
Orchard Beach
Click here to volunteer in the Bronx

Prospect Park
McCarren Park
Click here to volunteer in Brooklyn

Happy Warrior Playground
Annunciation Park
Carl Schurz Park
Anne Loftus Playground (at Fort Tryon Park)
Randall’s Island (Friday and Saturday only)
Click here to volunteer in Manhattan

Queens (Friday and Saturday only)
Brookville Park
Baisley Pond Park
Click here to volunteer in Queens

Keep an eye on NYC.gov for further updates.

More via TimeOut NY:

The New York chapter of the American Red Cross requested volunteers prior to Hurrcane Sandy making landfall to help staff its shelters throughout the region. Find out if you meet their criteria and register at this American Red Cross web page, How to volunteer for Hurricane Sandy shelters. You can also learn more about donating blood through the organization.

City employees are expected to go into work today, but if you’re unable to make it in—which is likely considering that mass transit and bridges are still closed—Mayor Bloomberg has asked youto donate your time at one of the city’s evacuation shelters. You can find a full list at this nyc.gov webpage.

The Mayor’s Office also recommends registering with NYC Service, which will notify people once volunteer opportunities are available. Per the organization’s Facebook page: “There will be various ways to volunteer to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – Want to Volunteer? Please email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with your name, email address and borough. There will be ways to volunteer today and over the next week as opportunities arise.”

New York Cares has no specific projects set up yet, but is asking anyone who is interested in helping out to sign up on their website, and they will notify you if there’s a need for volunteers.

An organizing site, The Lower East Side Recovers, has been set up to track volunteer opportunities and needs in Lower Manhattan. Sign up to get updates and more information.

Members of Occupy NYC are using recover.org to track volunteer efforts in their communities—check out pages for Red Hook and Astoria. Occupy has also set up a Facebook page to coordinate its relief efforts throughout the city. (via the House of Yes)

Via Brooklyn Based, you can sign up with the New York Public Advocate’s office—give a date and time that you’re available, and they’ll follow up if your assistance is needed.

Via BrokelynBrooklyn Bridge Park is looking for volunteers to help with clean-up on Wednesday (October 31). There are morning (9am–noon) or afternoon (2–5pm) shifts. E-mail sward@brooklynbridgepark.org to R.S.V.P.

Food Not Bombs is asking for assistance—both by in-person volunteering and with donations—for its chapters in the Northeast, including NYC, Boston and Philadelphia. (via the House of Yes)

Red Hook Initiative is keeping tabs on local businesses who need help in the wake of Sandy, be it with generators, manpower or other forms of assistance. The organization is also accepting donations at its Red Hook headquarters; follow the group’s Twitter feed for up-to-date info on what they need (non-perishables, clothing, etc.)

The Food Bank for New York City is looking for volunteers—sign up on their website for more information.

Solar One sent out an e-mail blast earlier about volunteering to help clean up their space, which suffered significant damage during the storm. Here are the details: “We need volunteers to help us in the park this week to aid with all clean-up efforts. Our urgent need for volunteer help is for this Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3 from 10am-4pm. Please RSVP to dina@solar1.org so we’ll know you’re coming!” They’re also accepting cash donations.

The Prospect Park Alliance is accepting donations to help fund the clean-up of the park, post-Sandy; you can also sign up to be a volunteer once the clean-up efforts begin.


The New York Blood Center (800-933-2566, nybc.org) has posted a list of locations on its Facebook page. In New York City, the locations are Upper East Side Donor Center (310 E 67th St between First and Second Aves, lobby) and Citicorp Donor Center (601 Lexington Ave between 53rd and 54th Sts, lower level). Currently, these offices are not open and cannot accept donations (due to lost power from the storm), but you can call or check their website or Facebook page for updates. Once they’re operational, they will need donations.


Money is definitely needed with billions of dollars of damage. Below are some organizations taking donations:

The American Red Cross – #1 this will help everyone affected in and outside of NY.

The Food Bank for New York City (text FBNYC to 50555 to make a donation from your mobile device)
The Salvation Army
The Humane Society
North Shore Animal League
New York Cares (text iCARE to 85944 to donate $10 from your mobile device)
The Bowery Mission (text BOWERY to 20222 to make a donation from your mobile device)

If you’re feeling uncertain about where your money is going, check out the HuffPo’s 10 Tips to Giving Smart for ones you might already know like #1 Make sure you’re giving to an established charity. And others that may be surprising like #4 Do not send supplies.

Thanks to Sustainable Queens for some tips. Keep an eye on their facebook page for updates.

If you know of more ways people can volunteer or help out, especially outside of the NY area please post here or on the YD facebook page or twitter. Let’s do this.



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