Update: Volunteering and other ways to help Sandy recovery

A ray of hope over the Gowanus this morning. Via Conor McDonough/Twitter.

UDPATE: Check our most recent volunteering guide here for the latest volunteering info. We made it through this thing, Brooklyn, or at least some of us did. What may have felt just like playful building-swaying wind to you elsewhere materialized as deadly fallen tree limbs, a sprawling fire that destroyed 60 homes in Breezy Point and caused some as-yet-to-be-determined damage to our ancient subway system. So instead of sitting around acting out Hungry Hungry Hippos with your extra storm supplies, you could go do something to help the less fortunate. Councilman Brad Lander is looking for volunteers or evacuation shelters at John Jay High School in Park Slope and at the Park Slope Armory, for six to eight hour shifts. New York Cares is posting volunteer opportunities here too. And there’s more:

Borough President Marty Markowitz also tweeted this link to other shelters that could be in need of volunteers if you are looking for something near you.

To help Councilman Lander, go to John Jay HS Evacuation Center on 7th Avenue between 4th and 5th Street, and at the Park Slope Armory (Medical/Frail shelter) at 361 15th St. between 7th and 7th Avenue. Volunteers are needed for minimum 6-8 hrs shifts, and must be adults (no kids). UPDATE: We’ve gotten word from a volunteer that you don’t need to worry about training or time constraints, but that the work is grueling. And Councilmember Brad Lander has said the center needs boxes of coffee, tea, hot water and large amounts of low-sugar/low-salt cereal.

Update 10/31: The Y (also located in the armory) is running an emergency shelter and needs volunteers for the evening and overnight. If people are interested in volunteering, they can get in touch with Faye Merolla (the director of the shelter) at [email protected] or they can go and ask to speak with Erin, Shannon, or Orly from NYC OEM (Office of Emergency Management).

The Red Cross is looking for volunteers at shelters too. More info here.

City Hall is also soliciting volunteers. Email [email protected] with your name, email address and borough. There will be ways to volunteer today and over the next week as opportunities arise.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is also collecting the names of willing volunteers here.

If your organization needs volunteers, email [email protected] and the Brooklyn Community Foundation will help find some.

The New York Blood Center has shut down its blood drives for the day except for one at the Upper East Side Donor Center (310 East 67th Street). But they’re hopeful that blood drives scheduled for tomorrow and Friday at Long Island University will go as planned. Call 1-800-933-2566 or visit their website to stay up to date on opportunities to give blood.

Update 10/31: Seven volunteers are needed at an evacuation shelter on 24th Street and Lexington (Manhattan). Email [email protected].

The Red Hook Initiative (767 Hicks Street) is open to individuals and businesses that need power. They’re also looking for food, flashlights, cell phone chargers and other assorted items. UPDATE 10/31: More volunteers are still needed: donations appreciated, there are some specific things needed such as already prepared food, utensils such as spoons and bowls, gallons of milk, flashlights, batteries, papers towels, and paper for printing fliers.

For more information call (347) 770-1528 or email [email protected]

The Park Slope Women’s Shelter (8th Avenue between 14th and 15th Street) needs volunteers to do any work necessary to keep the shelter running (laundry, helping with meals, etc.), for several hours at a time.

If you’ve got extra storm supplies, those can go to use too, from food and water to batteries and pet supplies. Find our list of where to donate here.

We also have gotten word of a shelter at PS 249 in Prospect Park South that can use help from licensed counselors, anyone that can provide temporary shelter and the following items:

  • Clothing, both children’s and adult’s
  • Coffee and tea
  • Kid’s toys and books
  • Drinking cups

Update 11/1: PS 32 (317 Hoyt St) is collecting donations for Red Hook non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, and money.


  1. richard

    I feel for you america, I have no job, barely any money money. I have an uncle from NY brooklyn and wish that i could come over to help. British charities should help more towards our allies.

  2. Angela

    Occupy Sandy Relief NYC

    Is regularly updating and posting volunteer needs on their FB page.

    Right now Fairway in Red Hook has carts of food that need to be transported to those in need.

  3. Pierre Wooldridge

    We’ve built a crowdsourced site ( which we’re repurposing to help with the efforts. If you’re able to help, just create a listing to say what you can do. If you need help, then you can find people to match you. Any contributions of time / skills / resources would be greatly appreciated.

    If you know someone without power – they can also send a text to 917 300 8912 with their zipcode and request and we’ll try and match them with a neighbor who can help.

  4. John Davison

    Jessica Waverka writes:

    ***URGENT*** I’m at American Legion Post 1404 at 209 Cross Bay Blvd., Broad Channel [Queens], NY 11693-1048. They are running out of food VERY quickly, and neither FEMA nor the Red Cross have arrived. Please forward the message. If anyone can bring water, pre-cooked, quick heat, etc. food PLEASE do. (No electricity or running water.) If you can help, please come. They also need extra hands to sort clothes.

    Facebook Page for American Legion Post 1404

  5. Becky

    Due to the special needs all donations to John Jay were sent back to St. Paul the Apostle. There are rooms filed with donations. Please see if you can get them for your shelter since things are not being used nor distributed. They may need help at the church with gettin the items cleared out. I was there 2 days ago.

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