Are you looking for ways to help Hurricane Sandy victims? Or are you simply someone who wants to give whatever they can to disaster relief? Maybe you are looking to help your children learn about the value of giving and helping others in their time of need. There are many things that you can do to help those in need and teach your children about the power of giving.
It seems that the biggest need right now is monetary donations to Sandy victims. It is the most flexible donation that can be made, as it can be used for food, water, transportation, and shelter. There are many organizations that are accepting donations. ABC News, among other news outlets, has links to multiple organizations, including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. There is also need for displaced animals through the Humane Society and AmeriCares is assisting with medical needs.
You may not have a lot to give, or anything to give except words of encouragement. If you have school-aged children, they have surely heard about Hurricane Sandy and her aftermath by now. Maybe your preschooler has heard you talk about it with your spouse or a friend. If they have questions about it, talk with them. Help them understand what happened. Billings, Montana may be 1,800 miles from New York, but it can still affect them. Talk with them about how it may be affecting children in the areas that were hit, or the families, or the animals that are affected. Children are very empathetic and will probably want to naturally reach out.
If your child(ren) want to donate money, have them collect their spare change and put it into a jar for them to see how much they have accumulated. If they really want to give, maybe they want to donate what’s in their piggy bank. Let them know that you will match them penny for penny of what they want to donate. After a couple of weeks (or 1 week or even a few days), take them to the bank to deposit the money. Since you can donate online, have them with you when you make the donation. If you choose not to donate online, you can get a cashier’s check at the bank, and help them send it in the mail. There is also the option of purchasing gift cards and sending them as well.
Even if you don’t have the monetary means to give, there are other things that you can do to help. Because of the storm, many blood drives had to be cancelled in the affected area. According to this news station in New York, more than 200 blood drives had to be cancelled. If you are able, you can go to the local blood bank and donate blood.
If donating blood makes you squeamish, like it does for me, there are still things you can do. You and your child can make cards or pictures to send to those in the affected area. Reach out to a school or church in the area. Sometimes just a sweet homemade card can cheer someone up.
For those of you who really want to get involved, there is always volunteering. You may think it’s a long way to travel, but according to this local newspaper article, a 20-person firefighting crew and a 40 people from AmeriCorps have already left for the east coast. Volunteer opportunities are available through the American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse.
Just remember that anyway you decide to give will help someone in need.