From Newport to Charlestown, areas all across Rhode Island felt the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy, but much of this destruction pales in comparison to what happened to our regional neighbors. Places in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut continue to struggle with ensuring individuals affected by the storm find housing, food and drinkable water – things the rest of us take for granted.
In true Rhode Island spirit, though, businesses all across the Ocean State have banded together to lend a helping hand. Frog & Toad (795 Hope St, Providence), for example, collected enough supplies – canned food, flashlights, bottled water, towels, blankets, clothes and so forth – to fill two U-Haul trucks, and then drove it down to New York in November, dispensing the supplies to those in need. Still, even with this assistance, many continue struggling with recovery from the storm’s effects, and donations of all kinds are in high demand, with blood being among the highest.
Superstorm Sandy’s intense weather forced the cancellation of approximately 380 Red Cross blood drives around the region, resulting in the cancellation of more than 3,200 blood and platelet appoint-ments. Countless individuals rely on these donations for survival, and the injuries caused by Sandy have only increased this demand. All in- dividuals eligible to give blood or platelets are encouraged to schedule a donation appointment.
Of course, the financial cost of recovery continues to be a burden on families all across the East Coast, which is why the Humanists of Rhode Island are collecting donations for the Humanist Crisis Response. This program is part of the Foundation Beyond Belief, which serves as a focal point for the humanist response to major humantarian crises. Through the foundation, the Humanists of Rhode Island are offering two different donation opportunities, one focused on helping damaged areas in the United States and the other targeting damaged areas in Haiti.
While humans and homes remain the focus for so many looking to help with Sandy relief, countless pets have also become victims of the storm’s destruction. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 400 pets were evacuated from Long Island alone, each requiring food, shelter and animal supplies, and that’s only one area affected by the storm. Properly caring for these pets has put a great deal of financial stress on the ASPCA and its regional equivalents, such as our local RISPCA. Individuals interested in donating time or money to help with caring for these pets should contact the ASPCA or RISPCA.
Lastly, if you would rather help with the local recovery process, Serve Rhode Island continues to accept donations and volunteers.