How to help after Sandy

Homeowner Michael Russo is comforted by friend Joseph Bono on Thursday in Ocean Breeze, Staten Island.

Many New Yorkers who found themselves unable to get into work with subways shut down made good use of the extra time —volunteering.

Brooklynite Kimberly Yu, 26, works in community health education in Chinatown, and is just one of the many Park Slope residents who answered the needs of hundreds of medical and special needs evacuees from flooded shelters who arrived at the Park Slope Armory.

The people, many who were evacuated from nursing homes and flooded shelters, were moved into the gym-turned-shelter after Hurricane Sandy swept through the city.

Yu originally planned to volunteer at the nearby John Jay High School, which she knew was being used as a shelter, but they did not need volunteers.

Then a friend emailed her about the Armory so she headed over there around 6 p.m. and stayed until 11 p.m. the night after the storm.

The next morning, she went back at 6 a.m. for another shift.

“It’s better than sitting at home reading the news,” she said.

And it’s not just New Yorkers donating time and money — Steven Mazie, a teacher at Bard High School Early College, posted a notice on Facebook that his wife was volunteering at the Armory, and the volunteers there were in need of food to keep them going through their overnight shift. He asked if their neighbors could bring over food or coffee, or even send some pizza to be delivered.

Their friend Natasha Miller did just that, phoning in a pizza delivery to a local pizza shop — all the way from California.

New Yorkers who are feeling the need to help out have several options. NYC Service has made their post-Sandy slogan “Everybody has something to offer” and has been encouraging New Yorkers to use their time, passion, skills and willingness to help their neighbors in need.

Those who are up for anything can email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with their name, email address, and borough.

Other ways to help:

- This weekend, a major parks clean up effort is taking place in parks in all five boroughs. You can register by borough here.

- To donate $10 to the Red Cross, text REDCROSS to 90999, or go online to help them provide shelter, food, and support to those affected by the storm.

- The New York Blood Center is also urging people to donate blood, which you arrange by calling 1-800-933-2566 or signing up online.

- The Humane Society is taking donations exclusive for Sandy-related relief work with pets and animals at their website.

- Mayor Bloomberg has announced that donations of goods and services are less needed, and is urging cash donations to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

- The Food Bank for New York City is accepting donations and volunteers via their website.


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