Where to volunteer and donate this weekend- UPDATED!

They still need our help. via The Daily Beast

It’s been four days since Hurricane Sandy blew through, and Brooklyn is starting to mobilize again. Restaurants are re-opening, the marathon is still on cancelled and the MTA is hobbling along, with full (though slow) bus service restored and almost every train running on modified service (not, the G train, of course, which remains suspended).

That being said, it’s obvious that even though we’re moving forward, things are nowhere near back to normal. And with the weekend coming up (or perhaps, with your giant seven-day weekend now extended to nine days), here are some ways to start plugging in to the community. We’ll be updating this all day, so send any tips to @Brokelyn on twitter or [email protected].


-Folks looking to help out in Red Hook, one of the first neighborhoods to get hit by the flood, have a number of opportunities that only seem to only grow more plentiful by the day. Many of the efforts have been spearheaded by the Red Hook Initiative, an organization dedicated to empowering communities to create their own social change. Located at 767 Hicks St, RHI is currently good on volunteers but is still looking for donations of pre-prepared food (including food for children), candles, utensils such as spoons and bowls, jugs of water, flashlights, batteries, power strips, toiletries, paper towels, and paper for printing fliers. UPDATE: RHI can currently use toiletries, toothpaste, batteries, toilet paper, soft blankets (fleece, not wool) and clothes. They can be be brought to 610 Henry till 3 PM or directly to the Miccio Center located at 110 W 9th Street.

Help unload supplies at RHI and the Park Slope Armory starting at 8am today (Friday). This is expected to be a massive, massive effort.

-The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition will be cleaning up on November 3rd & 4th starting at 10am. Extra hands are welcome, especially if those hands are holding portable generators, long extension cords, or work lights. As many people as possible are needed for this effort, RSVP and/or send questions to [email protected].

-Red Hook Recovers is also organizing resources according to what individuals need, what they have to give, and when they can volunteer.

-For those who want to help provide sustenance but have limited cooking abilities, hands will be needed to distribute free packaged meals and drinking water today at Coffey Park at 85 Richards Street in Red Hook 7:30am-12:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9am-1pm. Bring your own bag to carry food and water.

(UPDATE 11/3) Trinity Grace Church of Park Slope is organizing volunteers at the Miccio Community Center in Red Hook (110 West 9th Street). The items they need there are: paper bags or grocery bags, blankets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products and food.


Donations collection again today (Friday) for Rockaways at Dekalb & Fort Greene Park 1-3pm. Warm clothes, canned goods, towels.

-The Meat Hook in Williamsburg is collecting supplies to serve hot meals to those stranded in the Rockaways, some of whom haven’t eaten in days. They’re also facilitating folks to sign up for FEMA relief. Stop by their store at 100 Frost Street to drop off items listed here.

-Union Pool is looking for musicians, artists, and generally creatively-minded people to help put together a benefit for those in the Rockaways. Contact them with ideas at [email protected] as soon as possible.

-It may not be possible to stress enough how much the Rockaways need resources. El Puente, a community initiative dedicated to the power of self-determination, will be collecting donations today and tomorrow at their CHE headquarters in Williamsburg. Drop food and supplies off on Friday 10am-5pm at 289 Grand St, and Saturday 9:30am-11am at 211 South 4th St. Bring non-perishable food, soap, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste/toothbrushes, diapers, formula, baby wipes, warm clothing for people of all ages, and cleaning supplies (shovels, garbage bags, gloves, etc). If you’d like to help sort and box the donations, email [email protected]Help raise funds for the families of Rockaway Park.

-The Corcoran is hosting a drive for kids displaced in two of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the city, Breezy Point and the Rockaways. Clothes, diapers, and food can be dropped off at 125 7th Ave. Donations for kids can also be dropped at Steve Levin’s Office at 410 Atlantic Ave.

-American Legion Post 1404 at 209 Cross Bay Blvd is running out of food VERY quickly, and neither FEMA nor the Red Cross have arrived. 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.

-If you’ve got toiletries, socks, underwear or sweatshirts, you can drop them off at Good Co. (10 Hope Street, Williamsburg), Pour House (7901 3rd Ave, Bay Ridge), Mullanes, (S. Elliot & Lafayette, Fort Greene) and at 118 Freeman St. b/t Manhattan & Franklin, Greenpoint

-Affinity Cycles (616 Grand Street, Williamsburg) is having a food and supply drive this Saturday and then riding the supplies down to the Rockaways on Sunday

-MOCUIN (224 Wythe Avenue), Pilgrim Surf and Supply (68 N 3rd Street) and Thousands of Picnics (171 S 4th Street), all in Williamsburg, are accepting donations of men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, bedding, undergarments and socks, which will be delivered to the Rockaways on Sunday


-Volunteers who can access Brighton Beach: the Shorefront JCC has become a center for recovery efforts for Jewish communities in the area. Call 718-743-0575.

-JASA is looking for able-bodied volunteers to carry food and supplies up 7+ flights of stairs to homebound seniors who’ve been trapped by the loss of elevator service.  Email [email protected] or call 212-991-6572

-Coney Island needs volunteers Sunday for cleanup & resident/merchant outreach. Meet at Tom’s on boardwalk at Stilwell at 9am. Food is being collected at MCU Park (Cyclones stadium) too.


– State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes & Councilman Vincent Gentile have helped organize a children’s drive.  Drop off all gently used toys, books and children’s clothing to either 7321 15th Avenue in Dyker Heights, or 351 87th Street in Bay Ridge. Goods will be given to children in Gerritsen beach et al who have lost everything.

-This cleanup effort on Saturday is looking for volunteers. Email them at [email protected]

-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is going door to door in Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach to hand out information to small business owners about filing for federal disaster aid, from noon to 4pm today. Email [email protected] to RSVP


-Meanwhile, in Park Slope, Congregation Beth Elohim is running a huge volunteer drive that will continue for days to come. You can sign up here to donate, help make food, or run meals to Red Hook.

-Folks in Park Slope can also donate goods at Postmark Cafe on 326 6th St. They will be accepting sugar, flour, 100% juice, canned fruit and veggies, canned tuna and chicken, soup, pasta sauce, rice, beans, boxed milk with a shelf life, cereal, oatmeal, coffee, and tea from 7am to 7pm (Saturday at 8am).

-Help Prospect Park! Sign up for the November 3rd Walkathon or attend the Prospect Park Anniversary Ball on November 10.

-Night Owls needed! Volunteering doesn’t end when the sun goes down, which is good, because the sun seems to be going down earlier every day. There have been plenty of volunteers during the daytime; overnight volunteers are needed at all shelters. Folks needed at John Jay, Brooklyn Tech, and Park Slope Armory. Volunteers at John Jay must sign up for shifts each day. The Armory is caring mostly for an elderly population, so those with experience are especially needed. UPDATE (11/3) The Armory is especially seeking volunteers who can do overnight shifts and shifts between 4am and 10am.

-Speaking again of the Park Slope Armory, Masbia soup kitchen has been there providing hot meals to over 500 evacuees from adult care homes in flooded parts of the city. This has been a huge expenditure for this small non-profit. Help Masbia cover its costs.

-The Park Slope Jewish Center (1320 8th Avenue) has put out a call for the following items to help Red Hook and the Armory: any XL MEN’s clothing, XL Men’s Pants, XL Men’s Jackets, XL Men’s Shirts, XL Men’s Sweatshirts. Unopened pre-packaged food. Flashlights, batteries, candles are the most important items for Red Hook. Fresh fruit, non-perishables, soap, paper towels, wipes and diapers are great as well.


-DUMBO’s Powerhouse Arena got rained on in a big way. Over two feet of water stormed the bookstore/event space, destroying store items and furniture with it, leaving the place stranded without flood insurance. However, Powerhouse is determined to re-open, and you can help with that! Donate to their efforts to clean up and restock. There’s also a Sandy Hates Books fundraiser on the horizon, currently scheduled for Saturday, November 17 from 12-8pm. Updates to come.


-Being surrounded by water and all, Staten Island got hit pretty hard. Disaster relief is being coordinated in Bay Ridge, where community organizers are collecting food, clothing, and non-perishable items to be donated to local shelters on Staten Island.


-Occupy Wall Street has been using social media to amalgamate information about donations, drop-off locations, emergency shelters, and aid. More info can be found at InterOccupy and OccupySandyReliefNYC, or by following @OccupySandy on Twitter. Volunteer opps can be found by searching the hashtag #SandyVolunteer, and those in search of assistance can use #SandyAid. For regular text updates, text “occupysandy” to 23559.

-The Red Cross is looking for medically credentialed individuals to support NYC shelters. Those with relevant experience should contact [email protected]. They are no longer accepting individual donations of food, clothing, or cleaning supplies, as the cost of sorting and re-distributing these goods has become greater than the cost of purchasing them locally in bulk. However! Monetary donations can be made here, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation.

-Techies! You are needed. NY Tech Meetup is looking for volunteers to help schools, non-profits, and small businesses to get their information systems back online.

-Volunteers in need of direction can sign up with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio here and will be organized/notified according to availability and location.

This guy right here is what it’s all about. Dr. Dave Ores is a doctor in the LES providing free medical service and also sandwiches. He’s taking a few volunteers at a time for sandwich assembly, but signal boosting is good too.

-Jessie Streich-Kest, 24, and Jacob Vogelman, 23, were killed during the storm on Monday night when they were trapped under an uprooted tree while out walking their dog, Max. Friends and family members are now asking for donations to one of the couple’s favorite charities, the Sean Casey Animal Rescue Center.

St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park is opening its kitchen to volunteers looking to help to cook hot food. Bring food and supplies.

-There’s a whole bike army picking up and distributing items around the city tomorrow. They’re meeting on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge at 3pm and 6pm tomorrow, more info can be found here.

-The New York Foundling is collecting emergency relief funds here, and partner Deposit a Gift to will give an additional 4% on top of each donation given.

UPDATE (11/3) The Church of the Ascension (122 Java Street, Greenpoint) is running a supply drive tomorrow (Sunday). They need toiletries, non-perishable food and cleaning supplies, such as paper towels and cleaning gloves. The supplies can be dropped off between 10am and 6pm.

UPDATE (11/3) The City Reliquary Museum (370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg) is running a supply drive tomorrow (Sunday). They need extension cords, batteries, candles, blankets, electric heaters, gas cans, chainsaws, rope, gloves and garbage bags. The items will go towards relief efforts in Breezy Point, the Rockaways and Staten Island. The Reliquary is also accepting cash donations to the Red Cross, and is organizing clean up efforts for Monday, November 5 at 11am. To get involved, send an email to [email protected].

-UPDATE (11/4) As temperatures prepare to drop below freezing, the mayor has issued a hypothermia warning, which is now especially dangerous as many remain without electricity. Brooklyn AYSO is hosting a coat drive between now and Thursday at midnight. Leave coats (in plastic bags if its rainy) at the top of the stoop at 491 1st St between 7th/8th Aves.

-UPDATE (11/4) Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, which has been delivering supplies to the Rockaways, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, and Brighton Beach, is running low on resources. Please bring the following to 274 Garfield: water, blankets (ideally washed and wrapped in plastic), non-perishable food, ready-to-eat foods, flashlights and D batteries, candles and lighters, clean dry socks.

-UPDATE (11/4) Teams are going door-to-door in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island to deliver food, water and, if necessary, escape methods to those in high-rises that remain without power and mobility. Contact Diahann Billings-Buford at [email protected].

-UPDATE (11/4) The Ali Forney Center, which provides shelter to homeless LGBT Youth, has been hit with a ton of damage. Their Chelsea drop-in center, reserved for their most vulnerable kids, has been rendered uninhabitable, leaving many on the street without resources. Help them rebuild their center as soon as possible by donating.

-UPDATE (11/5) Two Boots Brooklyn in Park Slope has been shuttling food, clothing and supplies down to the Rockaways all weekend and will continue to do so all day today. Needed items listed here.


  1. It’s not listed b/c I don’t think they’ve announced yet, but the Brooklyn Community Foundation will be set up at all the BK Flea/Smorgasburg locations this weekend collecting monetary donations for small business owners/craftspeople that have been affected.

  2. Kelly Levy

    To whom it may concern,

    If the NYC Marathon does happen this weekend, I hope there is a volunteer sign up for folks to represent Red Cross, Salvation Army, New York Cares, and other disaster relief organizations to collect donations from the crowds/tourists that will gather for the event. It is a huge donation opportunity. The amount of money that could be raised would be a blessing. For those who are against the marathon, it is definitely a silver lining.

    Thank you,
    Kelly Levy

  3. Your first paragraph is not accurate. The B and Q trains are also not operating at all. And others as well. Try for accuracy instead of snark about how bad G riders have it.

  4. Jordan Buntain

    I really dont think they should have the race, but if you have to keep the race on, flip the start and finish line. Have people run towards Staten Island. That’s what we all need to be doing right now.

    If you don’t think that showing people handing water to runners versus giving it to people who just lost their homes isn’t going to come back to haunt you…well…I hope they tell you to skip the borough altogether for the next decade.

  5. Volunteer

    Visit to sign up to help the relief effort. New York Cares is operating over 90 projects throughout the city, from staffing shelters, passing out food and water, checking in on the home bound, sorting donations, and restoring our parks and gardens.

    For 25 years, New York Cares has been New York City’s leading volunteer organization mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteers service to meet the city’s most pressing needs.

  6. Ashley Rose

    My boyfriend and I would love to help clean up the mess but we have no way of getting to New York. If there is someway of getting a free plane ticket we would leave on the first flight out. love you and god bless

  7. Laura Newman

    Great to see this burst of community spirit. I am working on a crowdmapping project listing in real-time and geographically need for food, service, cars, etc. Please submit any updates to the site.:

    I am an administrator on the site and will be verifying information.

    Shout out to everyone working on this.

    Laura Newman

  8. Gerrittsen Beach, Brooklyn has been decimated…blocks have no homes, no power; people have lost EVERYTHING…they are collecting supplies at Resurrection Church School at 2331 Gerritsen Avenue ; this should be listed with other “Brooklyn” neighborhoods!

  9. Hannah

    The information on the Red Hook Initiative is not completely accurate. The venue (school) at 610 Henry str that was supposed to be open till 3 PM was closed. We ended leaving our stuff in front of the door. I hope it will find its way to the people in need in Red Hook.

  10. Annulla

    If anyone wants to donate food, clothing, gloves, baby items, pet supplies, toiletries, beverages, etc., they can drop things off in Red Hook at (1) Red Hook Initiative (address noted in article) or (2) Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 98 Richards Street at Verona Street (near Red Hook Lobster Pound).

  11. chef michael shanker

    looking to help cook and help run kitchen for food for the needy in staten island, just finished up w/ red cross in tarrytown. Have at least one frien. also pro chef to assist!

  12. My wife and I visited John Jay High School in Park Slope today to see if they needed help (they didn’t at the moment, but we’re going back tomorrow). On our way home, we witnessed a man tearing down every sign posted with requests for volunteers or donations. I confronted him about it, whereupon I observed that he was fucking crazy. He was also convinced that such signs were just ploys to profit from the storm.

    I informed some police nearby, but I wanted to share this because I think it’s important for people to realize that taping up signs in accessible places will not necessarily get word out reliably. Make sure you spread the word online in places like this, through social media, by word of mouth, or by posting information in secured areas (at shelters, for instance).

  13. Annulla

    Donations are also being accepted in Downtown Brooklyn at the office of New York Communities for Change (2-4 Nevins St. 2nd Floor between Flatbush & Livingston) between 9am-7pm Monday through Friday. There is a great need for food, clothing, items for children & babies, feminine hygiene products, blankets, etc.

  14. marti

    I was at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition today. Because of the great turn out, I think everything was finished in the early afternoon. I don’t know if they still need hands tomorrow.

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