Although Hurricane Sandy isn’t top news anymore and many people’s lives and homes are pretty much back to normal, the efforts of cleanup and rebuilding continue in the hardest hit areas of New Jersey and New York City, and will continue for some time to come. For these people, even though there are charitable, social and governmental organizations giving assistance, the wheels turn slowly as survivors dig for information to fill out paperwork that may have been lost in the hurricane, and financial assistance may still be weeks or months away. Some people may not be able to return to their homes for months, others need to find a new home.
Pets are still being found and rescued and have medical needs, and temporary foster care is needed for those in transition. Your help is still needed for people and for animals, as Cookie demonstrates above in a box of hats, scarves and gloves I donated last year, useful as a kitty bed or for humans to wear.
Cash donations are still the best way to help individuals and organizations, especially if you are nowhere near the east coast, and some people have made this fun and stylish with items you can purchase in order to donate.
“Single female Manhattanite” Tamar Arslanian of I Have Cat (well, cats) is offering mugs and magnets with her blog’s logo for sale on Zazzle to benefit the Staten Island Feral Cat Initiative: IHC Mugs and Magnets Benefitting the Kitties of Staten Island.
If you’ve never heard about the Teal Cat Project, you need to investigate! The organization finds all the feline figurines within reach from second hand stores, ebay, yard sales, wherever, spray paints them teal, and sells them to benefit cats. They aren’t constantly available, rather they announce when a new “litter” of teal cats is ready for “adoption”. Even if they are sold out of the litter to benefit New York’s Neighborhood Cats, you can still benefit cats all over when their next litter is ready for adoption.
You can donate directly to organizations in the area who have ChipIns specifically for Hurricane Sandy assistance. Kitty Kind, a not-for-profit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group in New York City was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. They managed to get all the cats out safely but two volunteers lost their homes, and many cats are in need in New York City.
The Staten Island Feral Initiative offers the SoS (Survivors of Sandy) animal rescuers and animal guardians assistance, and finds temporary foster for “Sandy cats” until their rescuer or guardian recovers from the storm.
For more ideas of organizations to donate to and even volunteer for, read 13 More Ways to Help Feline Victims of Hurricane Sandy for websites and addresses to check.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is on the ground and created a touching video of a number of rescues of pets in homes that had been evacuated. American Humane has instructions on what to do in this emergency, Humane Society of the United States has photos of rescued pets on Facebook which you can access without a Facebook account, and ASPCA is reporting where they are distributing goods. On Facebook you can take a look at Hurricane Sandy Lost Pets.
And humans? Fellow blogger and crafter Laura Kuhlman, who lives just blocks from one of the hardest-hit areas in New Jersey, founded an organization called Socks for Sandy, and today wrote an update on what she’s receiving. Remembering our cleanup here in Carnegie after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, while many people have lost all or much of their possessions and drives for food and clothing are greatly appreciated, they are also constantly ruining clothing as they clean up. The mud and debris left behind by major flooding often contains horrible stuff like sewage and chemicals, and trying to wash socks and gloves totally sodden in the stuff is pointless and they need to be replaced constantly. Also many people don’t have convenient washing facilities, and clean underwear is a real bonus. And finally it’s getting darned cold outside and they are working in unheated flood damaged homes and need hats and other warm winter clothing. Visit the Socks for Sandy Facebook page administered by Laura to find out what’s needed and where to send it.
Even small donations help. The American Red Cross, either the national organization or local chapters, puts cash to use for goods and services for people right away.
Also read an earlier update for other ideas of what to do for people affected by hurricane and catastrophic flooding.
And just make sure you remove the kitty before shipping the goods!
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