Hurricane Sandy damage report: in wake of NY power outages here is how you can help your community

By Perry Nagin

Last month, the Knight Foundation released a study outlining that community based initiatives show the greatest fortitude in the face of disaster (read more here). In light of Hurricane Sandy’s recent destruction, a new non-profit, is helping prove just that.

For those in the New York City areas of Astoria, Queens; Red Hook, Brooklyn; on the Lower East Side of Manhattan; or Staten Island, has been working hard to organize relief efforts (click on your area to learn more about what services are being offered).  relies on inherent strengths of a community by centralizing volunteers, donations, and information. In the face of a disaster, we tend to witness a kindness that is otherwise easy to forget exists on a daily basis. Yet for many, this good intention is faced with frustration: a loss of knowing just what to do to help.  

This is where steps in and plays a pivotal role. Not only do they serve as a “town hall” of information, but they immerse themselves in the scene. There is no better way to organize for people than getting your hands dirty and joining them. often remembers those in a community that can be easily overlooked when our attention is focused on when ConEd is returning power—like senior citizens on food stamps or those in a mental hospital. is calling for food donations for East Village Access, which provides services for those with mental illness and is location on 2nd Street between Avenue C and B. They’re also organizing drives and calling on volunteers to work with translators to provide information to those left isolated in Chinatown. Most importantly, is there to listen to communities about their needs and then organizes relief in response.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit