Everyone’s outpouring of help has been absolutely amazing. We know those living in affected areas are so thankful for all you are doing, and they will continue to need help in the weeks and months to come. Tonight’s storm has made things even more difficult for these people living through a seemingly impossible situation, and we know so many of you want to help further. However, unless you have a plan to head west to help family or friends, DO NOT, PLEASE DO NOT go into affected areas to help WITHOUT a connection “on the ground.” Your efforts will be much more effective working with a group or organization that has relief efforts in place. Areas can unfortunately be unsafe, some have curfews, and some communities are only allowing access to residents and professional relief workers. It is a dire, dire situation, and we all have to ensure that our work is not hindering efforts.
The power of social media is amazing – what started as an idea among several women on Sunday afternoon has become what looks like a full-scale relief effort. All of us appreciate the magnitude of the situation, and are evaluating how East End Cares can be the most help to relief efforts already in place. If you want to help and East End Cares is not able to make a connection to a group that meets yours needs, there are many organizations online that are offering relief services that need volunteers. Check our our blog – https://eastendcares.wordpress.com/help-needed/ – for a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you – and please send good thoughts up west tonight!
Please follow Alison on Twitter at @lightxxx to see how you can help. Alison is embedded with the National Guard in the Rockaways and is collecting supplies for her Command Center and Warming Shelter. You can see what they need in real time right on her twitter feed.
Her latest update: “Sleet just started, winds around 40 knots, debris flying around and I am wearing a hard hat.”
East End Cares is an informal group of East End locals and organizations helping to connect individuals and groups to bring relief to our friends up west who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our work started during a meeting of friends at Gurney’s on Sunday afternoon, where we created a Facebook page, and hatched some plans to help. In just a few short days, with the help of so many in our East End Communities, we have been able to get large-scale collection centers up and running at the Montauk Community Church and East Hampton Town Hall; have paired with local nonprofits Paddlers for Humanity and Montauk Youth, Inc. to collect monetary donations; worked with a Jitney to send a bus of volunteers and supplies up to the Rockaways – where we are in contact and coordination with relief workers “on the ground;” and sent a refrigerated truck with over 1000 prepared meals provided by local restaurants, delis, schoolchildren and families that were distributed to hungry people within 10 minutes. We are not tooting our horns, we’re just letting you know the scale of help needed.
Please get involved. You can make a difference in the hard-hit communities. Look through the sites pages, figure out how you can get involved, then offer your help in the East Hampton Cares Facebook Group. Lots of people want to help, too, and it’s easy to connect with people on the Facebook page and start making things happen.
Please visit this site often to connect and help – we will post regularly!