Do you love to travel? Do you want to help others who desperately need help? Please consider this life-changing experience and become a disaster volunteer with the American Red Cross to help those who are in dire need of it. As I’m sure you all know, Hurricane Sandy started in Jamaica on October 22nd, and worked her way up the east coast, devastating 13 U.S. States total. At least 56 people in the U.S. were killed, as well as 67 across the Caribbean. The estimated cost to repair the damage, which was incredibly extensive, is unknown but thought to be tens of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, more than 4 million people remain without power.
As fate would have it, the first time I went home to Upstate NY since the end of August was this past weekend. I ended up becoming stranded here because of all the traffic advisories and canceled classes, there wasn’t any way for me to get back downstate. I am incredibly grateful, since there were towns near mine that had damage and are still without power, but I was unaffected by Superstorm Sandy.
I feel a strong pull to help donate, volunteer and spread the word about Hurricane Sandy relief efforts because I have friends who have lost virtually everything they own because of Sandy, or are still living without power and trying to lead a normal life under incredibly stressful circumstances. For me, the closest to home stories were hearing about Breezy Point in Queens and the Jersey Shore. I have friends from both areas, and knowing that those towns are literally obliterated because of fire and water damage makes me sick to my stomach.
If you are from anywhere, and feel the need to help, please do it. You don’t realize how much everyone on the east coast needs it, and the extent of the damage won’t fully sink in until you actually see it with your own eyes. People are showering in local athletic clubs, sleeping on cots in Red Cross shelters, and cramming into public libraries for the use of a single outlet to charge their cell phones to contact their families. The subways and almost all public transportation had been shut down because of flooding, leaving people unable to get to work or anywhere they might need. These are simple luxuries that anyone who has not been affected by the storm takes for granted.
The Red Cross is doing a great job, but desperately needs more help. Whether you are able to travel or not, there are many ways to help give back to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, even from the comfort of your own heated and fully functional home. If you want a humbling experience, sign up with your local Red Cross today to become a disaster volunteer. You will not only be able to travel, but you’ll be able to travel for an incredible cause. If you are not able to travel, think of these additional ways to help.
I hope anyone and everyone who reads this, likes it, comments on it, or scrolls through does something, anything, to help the east coast in our time of need. Still don’t feel the need? Check out these startling statistics about the storm and get back to me on that.