A number of St. Andrew’s folks have asked me how we can help those whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We see the pictures of the devastation on the web and on the news. We hear from friends and colleagues over social media about what they’re going through. I saw that the parish I served as an intern in seminary – Trinity Church in Southport, Ct. – is dealing with extensive flood damage.
The most immediate and effective way to help in this situation, and in just about every other crisis of this proportion, is to send financial gifts. If you happen to know people or organizations “on the ground” who can use your help, by all means contact them directly. But for most of us, the most effective way to help is to identify a relief agency and make a financial gift.
In this case, I recommend the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund offered by Episcopal Relief and Development. Donations can easily be made at here.
A great article in the Greensboro paper reminds us that when we send unrequested material aid (or show up to offer help that those in crisis don’t yet need) we may actually be making the recovery more difficult. Jose Holguin-Veras reminds us that materials and help that aren’t requested make it harder to get the crucial aid to those in need.
Again, if you happen to know folks in that area who can identify specific needs, then by all means do what you can to help out.
But in most cases, in these critical days and weeks after the event, cash donations are the best way to help. I know that Episcopal Relief and Development does great work, and I encourage you to consider them. But other organizations, including the Red Cross, are also good agencies to consider.