Five Things You Can Do Today to Help Hurricane Victims


The Water Taxi depot in Red Hook did not fare well. Photo: BB

It’s a beautiful Saturday, and around the borough clean-up efforts are ongoing. Here are a few different ways you can help victims of Hurricane Sandy today. Brokelyn and Here’s Park Slope also have good, comprehensive lists.

1. Donate money. The Brooklyn Community Foundation has raised $400,000 from donors like the Barclays Center and Forest City Ratner to establish the Brooklyn Recovery Fund and are seeking donations. Fundraising post-disaster can be dicey–it’s a scam artist’s dream. The BCF is a vetted, well established, non-profit, community-based organization you can trust. They will help you help your neighbors.

2. Give blood, the supply is dangerously low right now. The New York Blood Center has an an ongoing list of places to give blood, here are places to donate Saturday:
Brooklyn Donor Center, 120 Lawrence Street, downtown Brooklyn, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Kings Plaza Shopping Ctr, 5100 Avenue U noon to 6pm
Williamsburg Church, 231 Ainslie St, Williamsburg, 10am to 4pm

3. Go to southeast Brooklyn and the Rockaways. Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island are all in rough shape. They need food and water and clean-up supplies. Gas is still a huge issue in Brooklyn, so if you have transportation and can get to these communities this is one way you can really help them. You can also head to American Legion Post 1404 at 209 Cross Bay Boulevard where they need food, water and assistance of all kinds. There’s also a clean up effort along the Coney Island boardwalk today, they need brooms, trash bags and bodies down there. You can contact Shorefront JCC to volunteer in Brighton Beach and Coney Island (718) 743-0575. Volunteers are also needed to climb stairs with supplies to reach seniors trapped in tall buildings in and around Brighton Beach. Email or call 212-991-6572 to help. And, god help the Rockaways. Their train service won’t be back up for quite some time, since the A train bridge over Jamaica Bay was damaged in the storm. To donate food and flashlights to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, contact them at (917) 975-5623. To help transport donated items to shelters in The Rockaways and South Brooklyn, contact councilmember Steve Levin’s office at (718) 875-5200.

For ongoing volunteer and donation drop-off points, check the following sites: How to Help Us
Clean Up Sheepshead Bay
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance

4. Go to Red Hook. The B61 bus is running, making it comparatively easy to get to and the bike ride may be easier than getting further south in Brooklyn. Contact:

Red Hook Recovers, (347) 770-1528
Red Hook Initiative, (718) 858-6782

5. Volunteer overnight in a shelter. John Jay HS in Park Slope, Brooklyn Tech in Fort Greene and the Park Slope Armory all need help on overnight shifts, which start at 8pm. You can drop by earlier in the day to sign up and ask about specific donation needs, which change day to day.

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