How you can help Hurricane Sandy relief in and around NY

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The TED staff has returned to our downtown New York office in the wake of the chaos churned by Hurricane Sandy. All day, there has been just one question on our minds: How can we help? The temperature will be creeping below freezing tonight, while many pockets of the East Coast remain without power and running water; meanwhile, many people have been rendered homeless by the storm.

Hurricane Sandy reminded us of a lot: the need to prepare for disasters, the importance of having gratitude for simple things like a hot shower, and the amazing power of people to step in and help those in need. Many TED staff members joined the patchwork quilt of recovery efforts being initiated all over the city. TED’s own Thaniya Keereepart shared her experience organizing in Red Hook yesterday, while UX Lead Aaron Weyenberg headed to the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, where residents of several evacuated homes for the elderly have been living for days. Alanna Beckman of our Partnerships team helped set up the website, which allowed those who had booked hotels for the cancelled New York City Marathon to donate their rooms to those in need. Media production coordinator Gwen Schroeder compiled and shared a list of trusted sources for friends outside NYC who can’t just jump in a car and help but want to.

Yet still, we’re left asking:  What are the needs our community right now? Where are volunteers needed? Where should we give donations? Below, some links that may prove helpful in this ever-changing ecosystem.

If you’re looking for more information…

Websites that are constantly updating relief information:

Some Twitter handles giving updates:

And some hashtags to read up on: 

If you’re looking for how to help, either by volunteering or giving donations:

Local organizations collecting donations:

Organizations you can donate to by text:

    • Salvation Army: Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. To confirm the donation, respond with the word “Yes.”
    • Red Cross: Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)
    • Tunnel2Towers: Text the word RESTORE to 80888 to make a $10 donation. To confirm the donation, respond with the word “Yes.”

Places to donate supplies:

    • Please be aware that most locations are no longer accepting clothing donations. There is still, however, need for winter clothes (coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks), blankets, water, batteries (C, D, AA, AAA, 9 volt), flashlights, generators, candles, food (mostly prepared, though also non-perishable), vitamins for the elderly, insulin, baby items, pet food, toiletries, cleaning supplies (gloves, brooms, mops, bleach and paper towels). To find specific needs at specific donation centers, head to
    • Use Amazon’s Occupy Sandy registry to order specific supplies to be sent directly to Occupy Sandy at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew volunteer center in Clinton Hill. Supplies will be distributed from there.

Ways to donate your time:

    • Here, an annotated Google map of locations in need of volunteers. The ones with green pins are accepting volunteers.
    • To volunteer through Occupy Sandy, head to the St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park. They will be dispersing volunteer groups to the areas in the biggest need. Find out more information at
    • On Tuesday, Nov. 6th from 10am to 4pm, donate blood at Duane Reade and Walgreens in Times Square at 1471 Broadway.
    • Hurricane disruptions have also caused a shortage of platelets. Find information on platelet donation at

Do you have information to share? Hit the comments below.