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Wednesday, October 31

Helping Sandy's victims in the USA

You can donate to the American Red Cross at their national website.  Ten U.S. dollars is the minimum amount that can be donated, and donations can be made in "honor of" or "memory of" the person of your choice.

To date, according to the website, the Red Cross response to Sandy has already:
 If you live inside the USA, in addition to donating money you can also donate your time to helping Sandy's victims via your local Red Cross chapter:
Dave Bobel, 68, of Fort Myers [Florida] said he’s going north with the Red Cross because it’s time to give back.

“I’ve had a good life,” he said, “and I’m retired now and I now have the time; I can help people.”

He’s not nervous because the Red Cross doesn’t put volunteers in harm’s way, Bobel said. Still, deployment conditions are rugged. Bobel said he may have to sleep in his Red Cross truck and probably won’t have hot water or electricity.

“You work long days,” he said, “sometimes 16 hours.”
I know I'm going to anger some readers by not mentioning a favorite charity of theirs. But at this time I'm recommending that anyone who wants to help, either with a cash donation or by volunteering to go to the worst affected areas, should focus on the American Red Cross or Salvation Army.  They are reputable organizations that already have a  presence on the ground in the most affected areas. And their sheer size means they're quickly mustering highly efficient logistical operations.  (See this report from a New Jersey website for some of the organizations' work for Sandy victims in New Jersey.)

From an ABC News report on helping Sandy victims:
One way to help is by donating to the Red Cross. All donations will provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the storm. To donate, visit www.redcross.org,  call 800-Red-Cross or text the word "Redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives were canceled because of Sandy, so blood supplies are low in the areas affected the most. The Red Cross asks that those who can donate to schedule an appointment to give blood. The New York Blood Center is urging people to donate blood for those in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

 The Salvation Army has dozens of mobile feeding units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to serve thousands in the most heavily hit areas. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
The report mentions additional well-established organizations that are mounting relief efforts for Sandy victims and provides contact information.

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