So Sandy kicked our ass when our back was turned, so what. One of the great things about being Long Islanders is that we don't take crap from anyone about anything, and we always take care of our own.
This week in the aftermath of Sandy, while we clean up our own houses, take stock of what we've lost and what we've gained through this experience, please keep the lesson of LITweetup Helps in your heart. A lot of people, making small efforts to help other people create big results.
Yes, give to the Red Cross and give to Island Harvest and do that as soon as you can and as much as you can. But I want to urge you to think much more local and much more micro as well. You and your neighbor both had to empty your fridges out as you hit the 3rd and 4th days of no power; does your neighbor have enough money to replace all that food for her family? Can you help there?
Maybe all your neighbors are in good shape right now. Is there a neighboring community that got hit harder and can you band together with your church or synagogue, or a group of neighbors, or friends in the office, and together help them somehow? Find out what they need and find an agency that's trying to get those services to them and donate what they need.
One example (and if you're in the area I invite you to join us): My church is adopting two locations; a neighborhood in Long Beach where residents have lost everything and are literally freezing at night because all their clothing is soaking wet and 2 buildings in Island Park where nearly 80 families (many with very young children) are without heat, power and food and other aid hasn't reached them yet. Want to help with this micro-effort?
- Drop off warm clothing donations at 1 Norwood Ave, Malverne, NY (or text Jeff at 516-882-7712 for alternate drop offs)
- Donate money at TheBridgeLI.com
The big agencies are doing miraculous work in enormous ways, but these micro-efforts by citizens and communities will fill the gaps for people that might otherwise have to wait. Want more ideas? In Brooklyn, Tony Bacigalupo of New Work City is coordinating NYC techies to help anyone who needs tech help after Sandy. The Business Corners in Hauppauge is offering free space to people who need somewhere to work for the rest of the week. Can you offer someone your skill or share your physical assets (maybe be a recharging station for people)?
Find a way to help your neighbors, LITweetup, there's no one better on the Island at it than you, and Long Island really needs you now.