How to Help After Sandy: Thanksgiving Week Edition

How to Help After Sandy: Thanksgiving Week Edition

November 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm

This Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have, and for what you didn’t lose. People are pulling together across the region after Hurricane Sandy, helping those who were hungry and in need before the storm, and coming to the aid of the newly displaced.

There are many ways to give a little of yourself to the greater good this holiday week, whether through a donation or volunteering — on your own or teamed up with your family or friends. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, so in the comments section, please let us know of other places and people in need of helping hands.

After Sandy, volunteers at the Coney Island food and water distribution site delivered water bottles to every floor of the NYCHA housing complexes in the area. MetroFocus/Christina Knight

Across the Region

  • The American Red Cross needs volunteers this week at fixed distribution sites to hand out food and disaster relief items. Sign up here. Financial donations are always welcome. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Occupy Sandy is running grassroots operations across New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. Follow their Twitter feed for constant updates on what is needed and where, and check their website for a list of urgent needs.

New York

  • Host a Thanksgiving Dinner for a Family: A Facebook page has been set up for people who want to cook a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Other holiday donation ideas are also listed on this page, which mentions groups or restaurants that can share a meal with families.
  • Thanksgiving food items are needed in Coney Island. Through its initiative Coney Recovers. the nonprofit Alliance for Coney Island is requesting holiday fixings as well as diapers, baby food, toilet paper and blankets. Bring items to MCU Park Parking Lot at 1904 Surf Avenue between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m (next to the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball stadium). One-hundred volunteers are needed on Thanksgiving Day. Fill out this form if you’re available.
  • Occupy Sandy is collecting turkeys, heating pads and other warming devices for the residents of Coney Island. Bring items to donate on Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. or come volunteer on both days from noon to 3 p.m. at Coney Island Generation Gap, 2904 Neptune Ave. For info, contact Pamela Harris of the Coney Island Generation Gap at

Food donations are needed year-round and especially around the holidays but this year, due to Hurricane Sandy, the need is greater. Flickr/ DC Central Kitchen.

  • Every year, FeedingNYC collects donations of funds and food to distribute to needy families in New York City shelters. Because of Hurricane Sandy, the need is even greater this year. Volunteers are no longer needed this year, but donations are gladly accepted.
  • BKGirlsGiveBack is looking for volunteers to prepare, serve and deliver Thanksgiving dinner for New Yorkers affected by Sandy as well as first responders. Its Twitter page is frequently updated with volunteer needs of other groups as well.
  • Rockaways Council Member James Sanders, Jr. of the 31st Council District is looking for volunteers on Thanksgiving day. Call 718-471-7111.
  • The Greenpoint Church in Brooklyn is hosting Thanksgiving and needs volunteers. All you need to do is show up. A full schedule is available on the website.

Turkeys, ready to distribute. Flickr/ DC Central Kitchen

New Jersey

  • Marvel US Management is looking for volunteers to help serve Thanksgiving feasts at three locations in Plainfield. Volunteers are needed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and monetary donations, canned goods and toy donations are being accepted at Freehold Boxing and Fitness in Freehold. If you’re in a band, entertainment is also appreciated! Contact or call 732-570-9467.
  • Free Thanksgiving dinners are being hosted for victims of Hurricane Sandy all over the state. The Asbury Park Press has compiled an exhaustive list, and volunteers are needed at many of the dinners.
  • Share your table with those in need through Tablesharing, which is matching displaced people and out-of-state utility workers away from their families with a place at the Thanksgiving table in a welcoming home. Fill out the form is you’d like to host someone or more than one person.
  • Liquid Church, a Christian ministry based in five New Jersey towns, needs volunteers to serve Thanksgiving meals to thousands of families. They’re also organizing groups of volunteers to clean out devastated homes and distribute relief supplies.

Long Island

  • Island Harvest, a food bank on Long Island, is collecting donations to serve the area’s needy residents and offers ways to participate in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Long Island Cares, another food bank, also needs donations.