Want to Help?

Hurricane Sandy: How to Help the Recovery Effort

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The "Superstorm" that plowed through much of the tri-state area Monday night has left millions without power, an untold amount homeless and hungry, up to 30 dead, and a recovery effort that's only just begun.

Relief organizations had days to prep for the storm, but still need the money and volunteers to keep going.

Want to help?

We've put together this handy list of ways you can lend your hand to help the East Coast rebuild, from donating by text message or spending time at your local shelter.

1. The Red Cross

The Red Cross, which says nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 of its shelters across 16 states, needs volunteers. If you're over the age of 16, are available to volunteer for 12 hours later this week, and can carry and/or lift 50 pounds, email [email protected]. Otherwise, you can simply donate $10 by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

2. The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is already running dozens of mobile feeding units and shelters along the East Coast in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. The organization says that right now monetary donations are the most critical need. For more updates, visit their blog, and to donate, simply text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

3. Feeding America

Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief program, anticipates that 25 to 35 of their food banks will be feeding people in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of Katrina, the group distributed 83 million pounds of food and supplies to the Gulf States. To donate, call 800-910-5524 or visit this page.

4. AmeriCares

AmeriCares focuses primarily on emergency medical needs, and spent the days leading up to Sandy preparing to ship its stock of tetanus vaccine, chronic care meds including insulin, first aid, water, family emergency kits, personal care and hygiene kits for the displaced, and other relief supplies, according to its website. A tax-deductible donation to its fund will go towards resources required "to respond effectively to sudden natural disasters with the medicines, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid that people in crisis need." To donate, visit this page.

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5. New York Foodbank

The Food Bank For New York City has already served 1,800 meals to hungry individuals and families at its West Harlem Community Kitchen & Foot Pantry, and it plans to do a lot more. The Center says it is "doing as much as we can now" and pledges to continue its work well after the storm passes. You can help by donating money, food, or volunteering your time to serve hot meals. Just text FBNYC to 50555 to make a donation from your mobile device.

6. New York Cares

New York Cares is accepting volunteers, but is really asking for those who have previously attended a orientation seminar. If that's you, visit their website for more information. If you haven't preregistered, text iCARE to 85944 to donate $10.

7. Recovers.org

Recovers.org offers a "Disaster Dashboard" for organization relief efforts among specific communities, and three have sprung up for affected areas in New York City—Red Hook, the LES, and Astoria. Coordinated by former Occupiers, the website allows people to offer/request assistance.


Don't forget about our four-legged friends! The staff of ASPCA's NYC Adoption Center are sleeping on cots at the shelter to make sure animals there stay safe. The organization is also setting up water rescue teams and reviewing grants for those who have financial needs as a result of caring for animals affected by the hurricane.

9. United Way

The official website for donations to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund is uwsandyrecovery.org and people can also make a $10 donations by texting RECOVERY to 52000. The hash tag is #sandyfund.Contributions to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund will be used by local United Ways in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia to address recovery needs in communities that FEMA has declared disaster areas.

If you know of another charitable organization’s plans for Sandy relief, please leave its name and a link to its website in our comments.