Post-Hurricane Round Up
To say the least, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks here in NYC (and NJ, east coast , etc). With hurricane Sandy devastation, including massive flood damage, power outages, and fires… Followed by big event cancellations like the NYC Marathon, and the Halloween parade/ festivities. Next came the election (Obama!!), followed by a new approaching threat, a Northeastern storm. We could really use a break, soon.
In the wake of the hurricane, my faith in humanity, and love of New York have been revived ten times over. It has been nothing short of incredible to see our city come together in a time of such desperate need. However, the outpouring of support has not just been within the tri-state area, it has come from all over the country. New York is one of the largest and most influential cities in the world. The strength, togetherness, and diversity on display has inspired many… even encouraging a little political party cooperation.
Some of the most inspiring help I have seen, has been the unexpected. Often times, in the wake of a large-scale disaster, volunteering can involve too much red tape. Understandably so, successful aid must be organized. I have seen large groups of locals come together to create their own ways to help; Including a Williamsburg supply drive and sandwich making/ deliveries to the Rockaways & Redhook. There are a lot of these local groups throughout Brooklyn making stuff happen! Also, marathon runners (in NYC pre-canceled marathon) have found ways to volunteer their time here for the better.
From night one of the storm, I decided to do all that I could to help… Not just because I am a good person, but also because I am an extremely lucky one. I was fortunate enough to maintain power, internet, and heat throughout the storm and the days after (when many were out). My luck and humanity have driven me to continue doing all that I can to help those in need. I am only one person, and I can make a difference!
I am not sharing this in an effort to boast, rather in hopes to inspire you to do the same. Here are ten things that I have done, so far. Note: Not one of them has been ‘difficult’ or has put me out in any way. There is no excuse for doing nothing. So much can get done, if every person does just one thing.
1) An email to friends, family, and clients to say, “Hey, my design skills may seem irrelevant right now, but I can help in the following ways, gratis…”
2) Purchased this super cool t-shirt for $40. (100% to support relief efforts)
UPDATE: HERE IS ANOTHER SUPPORT T SHIRT YOU CAN PURCHASE (BELOW)!
3) Donated supplies, and food to local drives. Some of which I sent with a cab driver last week, when there was no gas. It took me 5 hours to get an available cab with gas. I gave him money, the bags, and an address- and asked him to please drop the items whenever he could. He had another fare in the car, and about 20 minutes later the cab driver called me (unsolicited) from inside the bar (drop off location), where he found a specific person and gave her the bags. I was very impressed.
4) Bought supplies and made sandwiches at a local bar (with a large organized group) to send out to the Rockaways and Redhook. (Photo credit: Cesar Kuriyama)
5) VERY simply, continuously posted information and links (like, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.) on social media to get the word out to others about how they can help (from wherever they are).
6) Went to donate blood last week, and the line was out the door/ no longer accepting donations for the day (which was excellent!). So, I went the Blood Center website and scheduled a donation for this Saturday.
7) Bought this space heater for my office, which I don’t need right away.. So, I offered it up for anyone to borrow until they get heat back.
8) Donated clothing. Most locations are only accepting warm clothes, while others are accepting anything- for those that lost everything in fires/ floods.
9) Made a poster to help get this kitty adopted. Then posted on social media and got offers immediately. (Shout out to social media, for being awesome in events like this!)
10) Made plans to continue to help in the coming weeks. This doesn’t sound like much, but planning means intent to follow through– avoiding an abrupt fade out of help, by myself and others. I’m waiting to hear back from the ASPCA and Humane Society on volunteer schedule emails (hopefully I can get that on the schedule for next week too!). Also on a very small-scale, I shared comedy links, like this, to help keep things lighthearted in this time of seriousness.. and made a playlist on Spotify to share. Music can inspire and calm in a number of ways.
MORE HELP INFORMATION:
TimeOut– How to help in NYC after hurricane Sandy
Thriive– How you can help
CityHarvest– always doing excellent work
CoolHunting See and Help