One of the things we love about our AmeriCorps Alums is that they are ready to answer the call when they hear of situations like those created by Hurricane Sandy. “Getting things done” is more than a slogan for our national service family – they are also words to live by. So let's talk about how you can help.
As residents along the battered coastal areas try to reassemble their lives during this difficult time, many of our AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps NCCC members are uniquely equipped to help with the situation. Alumni from our Corporation for National and Community Service programs who have training from the American Red Cross may have skills they can contribute to relief and recovery efforts.
NCCC members and AmeriCorps members who have worked with the Red Cross before may have training in shelter operations, mass care, and feeding operations. You may also still be certified to help Red Cross chapters with this work if less than one year has passed since your service.
Contact your local Red Cross chapter and ask to be added to a volunteer list if you would like to serve with them. Those who wish to work in disaster services and are not certified or whose certification has expired can get recertified by completing their disaster training through the Red Cross.
Here are some other ways you can help. (Note: In most cases, on-site volunteers are responsible for their own expenses in these areas.)
- Serve Rhode Island has begun outreach and is preregistering volunteers for recovery operations. Visit its website to get more information.
- New York Cares is maintaining a list of Hurricane Sandy response projects and is making an additional call for help with its coat drive in New York City this week due to additional demand created by Sandy.
- The HandsOn Network is preregistering volunteers in the affected areas and maintains a list of agencies that need help for Sandy relief efforts. Check in with these agencies to offer help.
- NECHAMA is on the ground in New York and New Jersey performing debris removal, mucking, and gutting services. If you live in the area, register to volunteer by visiting their website.
- If you can't physically travel to the areas affected by Sandy, consider having a fundraiser to help the volunteer agencies working in relief and recovery. Many are listed on the Hurricane Sandy page on serve.gov.
Another final thing to remember is that the need for volunteers for Hurricane Sandy recovery will be ongoing, so if you are not available or ready to serve now, there will be plenty of opportunities to help in the weeks and months ahead. Take a moment to bookmark or flag service agencies along Sandy's path and check back with them often to uncover unfilled needs.
To keep up to date with volunteer and recovery information, please tweet using #SandyVolunteers and follow the organizations mentioned above: @FEMA, @Redcross, @Servedotgov, @serve_RI, @newyorkcares, @NECHAMAjrtd, and @Handsonnetwork. If you're an AmeriCorps Alum who's serving, be sure to tweet @AmeriCorpsAlums and #ACAlums to share your story from the ground.