Last week it was really cold in the greater New York area. Really, really cold. Which is fine, because it's winter, but it can be unpleasant.
On Thursday there was no heat on the bus I took to work. I was cold waiting for the bus, cold on the bus, and then I got painfully cold walking the ten blocks to my office. My feet hurt, my thighs were numb, and my face felt like a mask. I started feeling sorry for myself as my back cramped up and I began to get a headache.
And then I remembered the folks at the Jersey Shore, in Brooklyn, on Long Island and in other parts of New York and New Jersey whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, or who have houses but still don't have heat because their electrical and/or heating systems were ruined by the hurricane and haven't been repaired yet. And I made a decision.
When I got to work, I hopped onto the internet and checked out Occupy Sandy's website. Occupy Sandy has used the wedding registry function on Amazon to make lists of what they need. Because I was so cold, I chose to send a case of oatmeal and a blanket to folks on the Jersey Shore.
Please remember the people who are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. They are not all rich people whose second homes were damaged. Many of the communities that were hit by Sandy are working class communities where people have lived for generations. These are the people that run the boardwalk establishments, the people who build the second homes for the rich people, the police and firefighters that patrol the streets. They need our help.
If you don't want to donate through Occupy Sandy, that's cool--many organizations are helping and you can donate to the one you trust the most. I like Occupy Sandy because I figure if I send oatmeal and a blanket, it will probably get to someone who needs it. I know what I'm buying and I know where it's going. If I want, I can go volunteer at the distribution center and see for myself what's going on there.
But please, give and keep giving until everyone is back safely in a home with heat and electricity and plumbing. Because they need our help.