Click, Text, Give — Welcome Relief for Sandy Victims
~by Snowden Bishop ~ Despite the warnings of the impending storm of the century, no one could have anticipated the magnitude of damage from Sandy. The images and B-roll are heartbreaking. Having spent at least half of my adult life in New York, I find myself feeling rather helpless in the safe confines of Scottsdale, Arizona while my friends along the coast of New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut are suffering through yet another disaster. If any one aspect of this suffering could be good news, it is that these horrific events bind the human spirit of generosity — brings people together to set aside differences and pitch in to help wherever possible. Millions of people from the Caribbean to Maine lost everything if not their own lives. National charities have mobilized to assist suffering storm victims while FEMA and local governments, utilities and emergency personnel wade through the logistical nightmare of cleaning up Sandy’s mess.
Food, shelter, clothing, water and blood — basically anything in the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — are urgently needed just to make life tolerable to those who instantaneously found themselves with no more than the clothes they were wearing. Since logistics are such a problem, it is best to listen to those who have done this too many times before… Don’t just clean out your closet and mail boxes to the postmaster in New York — check what’s needed and how it can be delivered. Cash is the best medicine for most charities — they are on the ground to assess need and can spend where the need is greatest.
Here are just a few ways in which you can contribute:
Donate Blood: Since the storm, blood supplies to aid the injured are running low. The Red Cross urges that you donate blood. To donate blood, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule a donation appointment in your area. The New York Blood Center is also collecting blood donations in the New York/New Jersey area.
Help Animals: Displaced animals are often the forgotten victims of disasters. The Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association have deployed volunteers to help these lost animals find their owners, abandoned animals find new homes and injured animals to find veterinary care.
Donate Money: Here are a few recommendations of highly reputable organizations now accepting donations targeted toward Sandy humanitarian relief efforts:
- American Red Cross. Since the storm, blood supplies to aid the injured are running low. The Red Cross urges that you donate blood. They are also mobilized to distribute food, emergency supplies and shelter for those who have lost their homes. They are also accepting donations of non-perishable food and clothing. To learn more about how to support Red Cross Sandy relief efforts by visiting the Red Cross website or you can text to give $10 by texting REDCROSS SANDY to 90999.
- Salvation Army is mobilized to provide shelter and necessities to victims of Sandy. You can make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army’s storm relief work by texting “Sandy” to 80888
- Save the Children is accepting donations to its website to provide relief to children and their families who have been affected by the disaster.
- World Vision is addding Japanese earthquake and tsunami aid for children to its already lengthy list of projects supported by its Disaster Response Fund.
- Operation USA and the International Medical Corps are providing relief to people affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba.
Each of these organizations have already been deployed for assistance and ready to receive donations either on their websites or via text messages billed to your mobile phone account. For more information about how text donations help, visit MobileCause.com for terms and conditions.
A Word to the Wise: As has been discovered in the past, there are some who would take advantage of the outpouring of generosity – far too many scams occur on the heels of major disasters. To be sure that your donations are going to reputable organizations directing funds and disaster relief assistance to the places of greatest need, it is important to carefully vet each charitable organization carefully. Visit reputable charity evaluators such as Guidestar and Charity Navigator to be sure your gift is going to a reputable organization.
God speed to everyone affected by Sandy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.