As Long Island enters week two of recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area, local officials are encouraging volunteers to lend their services to organizations that can coordinate efforts properly, and get resources to those in need in the most timely manner.
“The response to Sandy has been remarkable,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “So many businesses, organizations and individuals have come forward to assist with helping the less fortunate victims of this terrible storm. “I want to ensure that these resources are being used to the best advantage and individuals who may want to help others, know where their help would be best utilized.”
Mangano said organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Island Harvest and Long Island Cares, may need volunteers to assist with manning shelters, food and clothing distribution, and emergency assistance as the effects of the storm linger. However, he advised that it is best to coordinate those efforts.
The Long Island Volunteer Center, a New York State-designated Regional Volunteer Center, is coordinating local efforts as well. Those interested in volunteering should visit the Center’s website at www.longislandvolunteercenter.org and fill out a registration form. The Center will then assess where the need is most dire and make the appropriate assignment.
Emergency workers are also attempting to coordinate efforts to distribute the donations of food and clothing that are being dropped off at various distribution centers. To volunteer for the American Red Cross, call 516-747-3500; the Salvation Army, call 516-485-4900; Island Harvest, call 516-294-8528; and for LI Cares, call 631-582-3663, ext. 119.
The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York are also looking for volunteers to help out on Long Island. Opportunities are listed at www.catholiccharitiesnyvolunteer.org.
FEMA says the most efficient method of donating to those in need is with cash.
Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover,” FEMA says on its website. “Remember, unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.”
The City of Long Beach is focusing their efforts on financial donations which can be made at LongBeachNY.gov or sent to: City of Long Beach Relief, 1 West Chester St., Long Beach, NY 11561.
United Way of New York City is leading fundraising efforts to ensure that all funds are used efficiently and effectively to serve those in need.
“In this unprecedented situation, we know that those New Yorkers who struggle on a regular basis will have the hardest time getting back on their feet from the effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City in a statement. “Here in New York, we will be working through our community partners who are on the ground to make sure that low-income individuals and families impacted by the hurricane are getting the services they need when and where they need it most.”
Donations to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund can be made online at uwsandyrecovery.org. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000.
A $10 donations to the Red Cross can be made by texting REDCROSS to 9099.