Hurricane Sandy has left a devastating wake, both domestically and internationally. The stories we have seen on the news and heard from our families and friends paint a very grim picture. As a community, we want to respond in any way we can. If we have personal connections to the NYC, NJ or other areas hardest hit, we may have already gone down with supplies. But for those who do not have immediate family affected by Sandy, we may wonder how to support our neighbors who are still without power and food.
This blog post serves as a resource for the Nazareth community for ways to make a positive difference in the response, relief and recovery efforts.
In an email that BreakAway (a nationally recognized nonprofit that supports higher ed institutions in the development of quality service immersion programs) sent this week, all colleges and universities are called to be intentional when organizing response and relief efforts.
Volunteers can often have the unintended consequences of draining resources (food, water, space, and attention) and causing strain, rather than participating in true aid.
There are clear stages to disaster response – of relevance to us are a) response and relief and b) recovery. In response and relief, most efforts are directed at immediately minimizing the hazards created by a disaster (emergency services, restoration of previous crucial services, and meeting basic needs). Recovery efforts are those projects intended to return the community to pre-disaster norms or better (clean-up, longer-term rebuilding, community development).
While humanitarian organizations are involved in disaster response and relief, they are typically large or local organizations who can connect with federal and local systems…Depending on the gravity of the disaster, this work (and organizing future actions) can take up to a few weeks or many months, as we have seen in places like the Gulf Coast and Haiti.
We ask that you take into account the length of recovery time and look forward to creating sustainable impact on the communities you work with. Through this, let's keep in mind that disaster recovery lasts much longer than the media attention.
Nazareth Immediate response efforts:
- Join us on Tuesday, November 13 at 12:10pm in GAC-151 to brainstorm college-wide avenues of responding to this hurricane (immediate fundraising, near-term volunteering, etc.). Feel free to bring your own lunch.
- Donate to the Red Cross on-campus on Tuesday, November 13 in the Forum and Reading Lounge from 10:00 am – 4:00pm. For your own convenience, make an appointment at http://www.naz.givesblood.org/
- Donate money and blood to the Red Cross. Over 100 blood drives were canceled in the New York Metropolitan area last week due to the storm. Blood supplies are reported to be very low. Equally as important, take the money you would spend on gas and travel to help out in New York City and donate it to the Red Cross.
disruptions have also caused a shortage of platelets. Find information on
platelet donation at NYBloodCenter.org.
- Please let the Center for Civic Engagement know if your family has been impacted by the hurricane. We will be keeping our community informed using the Department of Community Service’s blog.
- Donations: Keep in mind that most organizations are no longer accepting clothing donations.There is still, however, need for winter clothes (coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks), blankets, water, batteries (C, D, AA, AAA, 9 volt), flashlights, generators, candles, food (mostly prepared, though also non-perishable), vitamins for the elderly, insulin, baby items, pet food, toiletries, cleaning supplies (gloves, brooms, mops, bleach and paper towels).
- Visit this blog, Department of Community Service’s blog for more information about how to donate!