Exactly two years ago, Superstorm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey, flooding 51 square miles of New York City. Its effects are still felt in the Rockaways and Staten Island, so if you thought your chance to help out had passed, think again. Here are three ways to get involved in continuing recovery efforts:
Friends of Rockaway: A non-profit founded in response to Sandy, FoR operates as a local affiliate of St. Bernard Project, a national disaster recovery organization started after Hurricane Katrina. Tasks for volunteers in the Rockaways are construction-related, and may include hanging insulation or drywall, sanding, painting, laying floors, preparing the home for homeowners to move in and more. To volunteer, register online or call 347-625-7419.
New York City Coalition Against Hunger: The NYCCAH does SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) outreach in the Rockaways, to help residents learn how to sign up for benefits. The next opportunity is Saturday, November 1 from 1-4pm. Volunteers will be distributing flyers in the business area of Far Rockaway, which detail where residents can be pre-screened for SNAP. The outreach is designed to increase the participation in the food stamps program. Volunteers can sign up online.
Rebuilding together: The New York branch of the national organization is currently working on nine homes and a community center in the Rockaways. You can register to volunteer as an individual or group—then you’ll get assigned a day and a place. Volunteer work includes installing drywall or installation and painting. Organizers say there's not need to have specific construction skills, though skilled builders are welcome.