Hurricane Sandy has devastated countless lives and communities in the Northeast. The damage is said to have launched the largest relief effort in the U.S. since Katrina.
Over the last few weeks, people have donated money and volunteered their time, but there have been a number of other creative ways people are doing their part.
Check out the list below and share any inspiring stories you have come across in the comments.
A friend of mine’s parents went out to Long Beach last weekend to help with the clean-up and rebuilding efforts in the area. They rented a u-haul, stocked it full of supplies – work gloves, heavy duty garbage bags, socks, underwear, nonperishable food items, diapers for babies and adults, formula, band aids, antibiotic ointment, bleach, flashlights, batteries, Advil, etc. – and drove it down themselves.
People were extremely grateful for the supplies, but were also thankful for a friendly smile and hug!
“Something I found very heartwarming was as we were driving down the main streets was that there were grills going and hot coffee free for anyone. People were holding signs saying ‘free food, coffee, or STOP FOR JUST A HUG!’ The cars in front of me all stopped, rolled down their windows and got a much needed hug.”
2. Restore the Shore
Derek Koch is a 19-year-old art manager at Rowan University. On Halloween night, he created a graphic he hoped to put on some t-shirts to sell to fellow classmates to raise money for the relief effort.
The graphic shows a silhouette of New Jersey and a silhouette of the destroyed rollercoaster on Seaside Heights with the words “Restore the Shore.” He posted the graphic on Facebook and it instantly went viral, reaching more than 400,000 people.
Koch knew he could use the popular design to sell t-shirts and raise money, so he contacted ERGO clothing, a company where he interned over the summer, to see if they were willing to help. The company has taken orders for more than 10,000 “Restore the Shore” t-shirts, raising more than $300,000 so far.
“Restore the Shore” is now “Restore the Shore Project.” Check out their video campaign:
3. Library on the Go
What can you do when there is no power?
Read a good book!
Following Hurricane Sandy, the Queens Library sent a mobile book bus with a team of librarians that not only lent out books, but also provided information to visitors about FEMA applications, where aid centers are set up, and locations for the Red Cross and Doctor Without Borders.
The mobile book bus even set up outdoor storytime for kids in the area.
“It’s strange to tell stories in the open air, with children sitting on mattresses in the dirt, while their parents scramble for food and blankets around you—and incredibly inspiring. It was a moment of normalcy, of comfort, of safety.”
4. Social Donating
An iPhone app released early this month called Budge allows users to donate to causes like Hurricane Sandy in a fun new way – playing games.
Users can challenge friends to a number of games like chess or charades and the loser is required to make a small donation to a charity. The app currently supports 11 charities, including the American Sustainable Business Council which has setup a relief fund for businesses affected by Sandy.
The app is free and available in the U.S. and Australia.
5. Adopt a Virtual Pet
Another fun way to donate to the Hurricane Sandy relief is by adopting a virtual pet.
World of Warcraft is donating 100% of the proceeds from its next in-game pet, Cinder Kitten, out later this year to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Cinder Kitten will be available for virtual adoption for $10 in the World of Warcraft pet store.
Photo by DVIDSHUB used with a Creative Commons license.
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