How to Help | Sandy Recovery

Are you able to assist in storm cleanup? Donate food, money or cleaning supplies? We're keeping an updated list of how people can help.

Across the City


The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers 16 or older to work 12-hour shifts at local New York City shelters. Need to be able to carry 50 lbs. Go here for more info and application.

Catholic Charities of New York is also looking for volunteers interested in the long term Sandy recovery efforts. You can sign up here.

A spokeswoman for Food Bank for New York City says the group needs over 100 volunteers a day at its main headquarters, which includes a warehouse and kitchen. The group is also working to place volunteers in areas that need them, and collecting non-perishable food donations, such as cereal, canned fruits and vegtables, peanut butter and water, for distribution. They ask volunteers to register online.

The Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen is a community-based relief effort that is preparingand delivering food and cleaning and personal supplies to the Rockaways, Staten Island, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island and other areas. They need volunteers to help prepare and portion hot meals, make sandwiches, and assist with driving deliveries to their sites.

New York Cares is registering volunteers online. Create an account and sign up for projects at their Sandy Disaster Response site. Executive director Gary Bagley says that the organization is posting neighborhood canvassing, food distribution and debris cleanup projects daily.

NYC Service is matching volunteers with opportunities to help. Visit their web site for more information. 

Occupy Sandy has volunteer and donation sites listed by neighborhood. The main volunteer site is located at at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew (520 Clinton Avenue, between Fulton & Atlantic) in Clinton Hill accepting volunteers and donations. 9am – 9pm. They are also running a kitchen in Bay Ridge at St. John’s Episcopal Church serving meals for various relief hubs in Rockaway and State Island. They are accepting food and kitchen donations only at this site and need kitchen and driver volunteers daily from 8:30am – 6pm. Supplies can be donated directly to the kitchen through an Amazon Registry. The Kitchen can be contacted directly at (347).465.7430 or email

Team Rubicon, an organization comprised of veterans of the armed forces, is conducting Operation Greased Lighting, collecting money and organizing volunteers for Sandy relief.

The United Way of New York City is also looking for volunteers. You can fill out a Recover Volunteer Interest Form here.

On her Tumblr Sandy Sucks, Katie Benner breaks down a daily list of Things You Can Do Today for the latest needs and volunteering opportunities.

-Donate money: 

If shopping is your thing, a group of shop owners, internet retailers and businesses is holding Sandy Friday - a movement to get organizations to dedicate 10 percent of their profits every Friday. 

Craft Emergency Relief Fund is an organization that supports artists through financial aid. To donate to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, visit their donation page.

To attend a charity concert, event or meal, you can find a list of restaurants, clubs and music venues hosting Sandy Relief efforts here.

-Help animals:

If you would like to help out with animal rescue and fostering, pet food donation or volunteering at animal shelters in NYC, visit the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. The page also provides information for pet owners seeking aid. You can also use the Twitter hashtag #sandypets for updated information on where help is most needed.

-Help nature:

For those who'd like to help restore trails in New York and New Jersey, The NY/NJ Trail Conference is organizing volunteers.



Bay Ridge:

Occupy Sandy Bay Ridge Kitchen is preparing upto 2,000 meals daily at St. John’s Episcopal Church for various relief hubs in Rockaway and Staten Island. They are accepting food and kitchen donations only at this site and need kitchen and driver volunteers daily from 8:30am – 6pm every day. Supplies can be donated directly to the kitchen through an Amazon Registry. The Kitchen can be contacted directly at (347).465.7430 or email

The organization 596 Acres is posting volunteer opportunities on its Facebook site.

Park Slope:

Park Slope Armory is an emergency shelter in need of volunteers and donations. In particular, they need overnight volunteers and donations of men's and women's clothing, sizes L, XL, XXL.

Red Hook:

Red Hook Recovers is connecting volunteers and givers in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Red Hook Initiative is collecting toilet paper, water, candles, food, flashlights, cell phone chargers, batteries, paper towels, and paper for printers. If you plan to bring a meal, send an email to


Lower East Side: 

Lower East Side Recovers is an effort to match volunteers and givers with people who have needs in the Lower East Side, coordinated by the folks at Occupy NYC and community organizations on the ground.

The Bowery Mission is accepting donations for the homeless at both locations. Volunteers should report only to the Bowery Street location. 45-51 Avenue D, (212)777-3424 and 227 Bowery (212) 674-3456.


The Soho Grand has an outreach for displaced victims of the storm and are asking for donations at the hotel.

Upper East Side:

Saloon NYC is accepting donations to the Rockaways and Broad Channel. Supplies and food (no clothing, please) dropped off there will be delivered to St. Francis des Sales church in Belle Harbor, NY. 1584 York Avenue, New York, NY 10028 (Between 83rd & 84th St) 212.570.5454


Staten Island Recovers is connecting volunteers and givers in the borough and @SIrecovers

SI Live has a list of organizations and locations accepting monetary donations and goods.

To register to foster a displaced animal on Staten Island, register with Anarchy Animal Rescue.



Astoria Recovers is connecting volunteers and givers in the Queens neighborhood.

Breezy Point:

Virginia's House of Hope is non-perishable foods, toiletries, diapers, clothing and clean-up supplies to people impacted by the disaster. 202-30 Rockaway Point Boulevard Breezy Point, Queens 11697

Howard Beach:

St. Helen's Church has set up an emergency supply shelter and are accepting donations. In particular, they are asking for disposable soup bowls, toiletries, flashlights, batteries, baby formula, cleaning products and lip balm. The church is located at 8309 157th Avenue.

202-30 Rockaway Point Boulevard

Breezy Point, Queens  11697


Lava Girl Surf Club is coordinating donation and relief efforts out of the Rockaway Beach Surf Club - mainly looking for donations and volunteers. 

Occupy Sandy Relief has been collating drop-off locations, volunteer info and requests.

Drop-off location for goods like clothing, batteries food and water:

  • Firehouse on 59th street across from the train station - contact person: Jean Dupont 917.975.5623
  • Veggie Island - 96th Street and Rockaway Blvd.
  • Store Front Community Center - B113 and Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Rockaway Recovers is collecting donations, food and cleaning supplies. For a list of donation sites, go to their Facebook page.

Rockaway Recovery has instructions on how to aid in getting food and goods to Far Rockaway.

Rockaway Renegades are a group of organized volunteers who are working on cleanup efforts and distribution of goods.

Shore Soup aims to provide Rockaway residents with free hot soup everyday. They're looking for donations and volunteers to help cook and distribute food every week from Wednesday to Sunday.

The Silver Gull Club is accepting donations to help Breezy Point. They are collecting batteries, flashlights, toiletries, water, food, blankets/bedding and other necessities. No clothing, please. 1 Beach 193rd Street (718) 634-1500


The Restaurants United for Sandy Help - R.U.S.H. - is hosting a fundraiser for the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy called Taste of Sunnyside - featuring local restaurants, a concert with three bands, raffles, trivia, and a DJ for children attending, with all the proceeds going directly to licensed nonprofits/churches/organizations on the afternoon of Nov. 18th at Sunnyside Community Services located at 43-31 39th St.


Community Food Bank of NJ is seeking food donations - call 908.355.3663 or visit the website to find out how and where to give.

Jersey Cares is coordinating volunteers with opportunities near them. Sherry Fazio, with NJ Cares, says the most important thing to do is register with their website to help in the coming weeks as projects look for help. If her family is any indication, she expects water, blankets and non-perishable food will be items requested in the days to come.

An emergency response hotline: 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397) - they're looking for trained volunteers who are affiliated with an emergency response organization to volunteer their services. Gov. Chris Christie's office says the hotline is getting an overwhelming response, so another number to try is 609-218-0460.


The Long Island Volunteer Center is registering volunteers.

The Town of Oyster Bay is holding a clothing drive that continues until 5pm on Sunday. Donations can be brought to three locations: Marjorie R. Post Community Park, Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, and Oyster Bay Community Center.


Food Bank for Westchester is accepting donations of food to help area residents without power. Check the website for a detailed list.

The Volunteer Center is coordinating volunteer and relief efforts. The website also includes a list of places in Westchester accepting donations and help.

Federal Government:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the president's disaster declarations in parts of New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy could free up loans and grants to homeowners and small businesses. Relief may also include unemployment and other payments, to residents who are not covered by insurance, or aren't already receiving benefits from their states. For more information, and to find out if they're eligible, residents can log on to, or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

General volunteering:

Give Blood: The New York Blood Center says it was in need of blood even before the storm, but the storm has made the need greater. Five locations are currently open: in Midtown at 601 Lexington (the Citigroup building), in the Upper East Side on 67th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave, at the Elmsford Center in Westchester County, and the East Fishkill and Kingston Center, both located in the Hudson Valley.

In Northern New Jersey, the Community Blood Services in Paramus is the place to donate. Platelets also urgently needed.

Give Clothes: The shelter at FDR High School in Midwood is outfitting people who got stuck near the Gowanus Canal.

Give Service: People are being directed to sign up at NYCService for volunteer opportunities. Food Bank of New York is open and distributing food. It has also been in contact with agencies it supports to find out need. With the opening of the bridges and tunnels, it says it will be able to get trucks in, but recommends going to its website for how to help.

Food not bombs is looking for volunteers to help set up staging areas in the the city to help prepare meals on site. For more information, go here.

House the Displaced: The online service Airbnb is waiving fees on discounted Sandy listings. You can offer extra rooms in your home for those displaced by the storm on their website.

Follow the Hashtag: #sandyvolunteer has become the unofficial hashtag for those looking to volunteer and those looking for help.

Finding Family or Friends

With problems in the cellphone networks and the power outages, The Red Cross has set up a registry for people looking for friends and family or wanting to send a message to friends and family that they are safe.