It’s Time to Organize! The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy Means Doing What we Can For Others-Here’s How!

Hi everyone!  Here is a photo from a TBK reader who enjoyed  a candle lit dinner with her family  after the storm. Romantic but not something we want to do for an extended period of time. It can become exhausting and cold, as many of us know.

We want to thank all of our friends and family for checking in on us and providing play dates, a warm place to charge our phones and computers, Halloween parties so the holiday wasn’t lost for the kiddies, a warm and inviting place to sleep, cook and eat ( your food and ours), and a host of other needs that you met for us.

We were so happy to see our power come on today and while we settled back in, re-stocking our fridge and freezer, doing some laundry,  and making the beds, we started thinking how we could help others.  A friend told me of another friend who was in need but  did not want refuge. We made a hot meal and delivered it for this family  who wanted to stay in their home. They were tired of couch hopping  (totally understandable-this is hard!!!) but were hungry.

As the aftermath of Sandy continues, I realize that we need to start thinking out of the box when providing for those in need-they may not need what we think they do.

Here are some suggestions:

Few people want to be a burden and most of us have a hard time asking for help and receiving it. One way to make it easier on the recipient is to make the offer of help sincere, normalize it by saying you are offering this help to everyone and they are taking it (even if it is a white lie) and following through!

Don’t assume that coming to your house to stay or hang is what everyone wants/needs. They may want a hot meal but not necessarily want to eat it with you. Don’t take it personally!  Being with so many people in close quarters may be taxing for some people who are not very social so please keep that in mind. Even for the most gregarious, being with people 24/7 can get tiresome.

Offer a hot meal but bring it to them if you can.

Make your house a kitchen incubator where families can do massive amounts of cooking for shelters, food pantries, and neighbors in need. Some of you can deliver even if you don’t want to cook.

Offer up your firewood and drop it off so they don’t have to get it from your yard themselves. This can be embarrassing for some and difficult to manage.

Offer to drive people places if they have no gas or even let them borrow your car if you feel comfortable enough.

Give a gift card to a neighbor to shop instead of bringing those in need random foods that you think they may want.

Simply call, text or  physically check in on friends to see how they are doing and ask what they need. Maybe just some company. This can be a scary and lonesome time for some who don’t have a strong support network.

Offer to watch a friend’s pet!!!

Many people are collecting clothes and materials for people on Staten Island and the Jersey Shore . Look on facebook or your local websites to see how you can donate or be a part of the relief effort in a town that may not be your own.

What are your  suggestions? Please let us know what you have been doing or ideas you have in the comments section. Be safe!

Some local help:

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

73 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ, 973-744-6220.
They have a soup kitchen going and the priest can provide provisions.






5 Responses

  1. Alma, great advice! One more thing you can do is keep folks updated on the status of power on the block. Having you and Brian check on our house kept us from leaving the warm confines of the in-laws, where we’re staying to return to a cold house! I know I automatically thought that I had power because other folks on the block did. So updating your other neighbors is a great help.

  2. Alma, this is such a great post. I wish I had paid attention to the firewood idea! We had it and could have shared it! I offered it but no one came to take it, so I wished I’d offered to drop it off! I’ll do that next time.

    Also, I learned this from being out of power: I think I was in a state of shock (for real!) during those days. We spent a whole day at a friend’s house and it was great, but it felt strange (like another country!) to be there where everything is “normal.” Remember, everyone has their own normal during a crisis.

    Thanks again Alma. Glad you got the power back. We love you!

  3. My friend Dana just sent me this: hey friends…i heard from a source at town hall that 8 tankers arrived this afternoon at costco in clifton off route 3. they’re selling gas 24/7, for $3.30/gallon, debit card or cash only. odd/even license plate gas rationing rules apply. and you don’t have to be a member of costco to buy.

    good luck!

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