One of the sad realities of any disaster is that criminals and charlatans will invariably come and try to profit off of them by trying to pass themselves off as charities. If you get approached by an individual or receive something in the mail, double-check and triple-check it before providing any kind of financial information.
Here’s a list of charities that are directly helping Hurricane Sandy victims, which I pulled from reputable sources on TV, radio, newspapers, and the Web in the New York area. This list consists of organizations that are local to New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Staten Island, and the entire affected region, as well as national organizations who are helping to support and coordinate local organizations. All of these organizations are very active in the recovery effort and need your help.
I included the mission statement from each organization so you can read about it before donating. Whether it’s $5 or $5000, your donation will go to help someone in need right away.
The American Red Cross – Greater New York Region - The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; our communities are ready and prepared for disasters; everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products; all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
AmeriCares - In times of epic disaster, daily struggle or civil conflict, AmeriCares restores health and saves lives by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to people in need around the world and here at home.
ASPCA - Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.
The Bowery Mission - The Bowery Mission has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879, when its neighborhood came to define the term “skid row.” Our children’s programs, called Kids With A Promise, serve at-risk youth and began in 1894 by giving the children of recent immigrants the chance to escape the tenements in the summer.
Catholic Charities - Catholic Charities helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike. The neglected child, the homeless family, and the hungry senior are among those for whom we provide help and create hope. We rebuild lives and touch almost every human need promptly, locally, day in and day out, always with compassion and dignity. We help your neighbors as you would like to be helped if your family were in need.
City Harvest - 1.7 million New Yorkers currently live in poverty, struggling to afford basic necessities such as rent and medical care and put food on their tables. We rescue some 115,000 pounds of food each day. We regularly give food to nearly 600 community programs. It costs City Harvest 25 cents to rescue a pound of food.
City Meals on Wheels - Citymeals-on-Wheels raises private funds to ensure no homebound elderly New Yorker will ever go a day without food or human company. Last year, our family of contributors helped us bring over 1.8 million nutritious meals to 16,351 frail aged in every borough of New York City. In addition, more than 12,200 volunteers collectively spent 45,574 hours visiting and delivering meals to our neighbors.
Feeding America - Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Our mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.
Feed the Children - Founded in 1979, Feed The Children is consistently ranked as one of the largest international charities in the U.S., based on private, non-government support. Feed The Children is an international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters.
The Food Bank for New York City - Food Bank For New York City recognizes 29 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As one of the country’s largest food banks, our mission is to end hunger in New York City by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity.
God’s Love We Deliver is the tri-state area’s leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
The Humane Society - The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization, backed by 11 million Americans. We help animals by advocating for better laws to protect animals; conducting campaigns to reform industries; providing animal rescue and emergency response; investigating cases of animal cruelty; and caring for animals through our sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centers, emergency shelters and clinics.
New York Cares - New York Cares is now the city’s largest volunteer organization, running volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools. Today’s volunteers share our founders’ vision that we all have a role to play in making our city a better place.
North Shore Animal League - World’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization with a mission to build our hands-on rescue, rehabilitation and adoption efforts to save the lives of as many companion animals as possible – one at a time – and promote education to increase shelter adoptions, reduce animal cruelty and advance the highest standards in animal welfare.
Operation Blessing International - Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation (OBI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, humanitarian organization headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Through core programs of disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, orphan care, water wells and community development, OBI is dedicated to demonstrating God’s love by alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world.
The Mayor’s Fund - The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3)
not-for-profit organization, which facilitates innovative public-private partnerships throughout NYC’s five boroughs. The Fund relies on individuals, foundations, and corporations to support public programs in areas including the environment, youth development, financial empowerment, health, volunteerism, and the arts.
Project Hospitality - is a private not-for-profit organization based in Staten Island, New York, that provides comprehensive services for hungry and homeless and inadequately housed people, especially those who are living with multiple diagnoses such as HIV, substance use, and/or mental illness. As the only comprehensive homeless service provider in the borough of Staten Island, Project Hospitality serves more than 5,000 Staten Island residents each year.
Robin Hood - We find, fund and partner with programs that have proven they are an effective remedy to poverty and are a consistent force for good in the lives of New Yorkers in need. We employ a rigorous system of metrics and third-party evaluation to ensure grantee accountability. The board pays all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of donations goes directly to helping New Yorkers in need build better lives. We work closely with our grantees to make them more effective, enabling them to assist even more people.
Samaritan’s Purse - Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Somebody Cares - We mobilize Christians into evangelism, thereby transforming communities. We seek to identify ministries that empower people to reach their full potential and become all that God envisioned when He created them. By standing side by side with our neighbors, we help them reclaim their community. We do not take over or do for others what they can do for themselves. Rather, we empower them so that they can do for themselves.
The Salvation Army - The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Save the Children - Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. We work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining our own independence without political agenda or religious orientation.
The United Way - To advance the common good and mobilize the caring power of communities around the world, we will ignite a worldwide social movement, and thereby mobilize millions to action — to give, advocate and volunteer to improve the conditions in which they live; galvanize and connect all sectors of society — individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and governments — to create long-term social change that produces healthy, well-educated and financially-stable individuals and families; raise, invest and leverage billions of dollars annually in philanthropic contributions to create and support innovative programs and approaches to generate sustained impact in local communities; and old ourselves accountable to this cause through our steadfast commitment to continually measure — in real terms — improvements in education, income and health.
Tunnels To Towers Foundation - The sole purpose of our Foundation is to honor the legacy of love given to us by Stephen Siller, FDNY, who laid down his life on 9/11; we do this by following Stephen’s footsteps of selflessness and love by “doing good” in his memory. The Foundation has established “In the Line of Duty” programs for Firefighters, First Responders, and Military and “Legacy of Love” programs to make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of children who have lost one or both parents.
World Vision - World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.