{Sandy}: Call For Help

by Katelyn Block on November 4, 2012 · 18 comments

I feel so dang helpless today, friends.

I’ve been watching all of the news about the storm. Sandy’s devastation. The homes destroyed. Sisters of mine whose towns have been completely washed away. People with no clothes, limited food, unable to see their families or recover old photos.

I want to help. I want to help so, so bad. And I’m stuck here. All because of classes that need to be attended; work that needs to be done.

My heart is constantly breaking, just like when I went to Nicaragua years ago. You see people in such pain and suffering, and want to help them so badly, but there’s only so much you can do at an arm’s reach. I went twice, and couldn’t go a third time. I hope to go again, but at the time it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to simply sit still and accept that there was nothing I could do. No way I could get there, and no way I could see the faces of the people I had helped two years in a row. I was helpless.

Now, I’m looking for any and every way possible to help the people who were devastated by the storm.

It’s easy to make jokes about Sandy. For those of us that weren’t affected, especially. But it’s not funny. Not funny in the slightest.

So, Thursday, after my last class, I’m going somewhere…. anywhere on the East Coast, to help the people who are suffering. Who don’t have access to food, water, shelter, and clothing. The people that, more than anything, need assurance that it’s going to be okay.

This image is not an indicator of my political preferences. We don’t talk politics here unless someone does something really stupid.

If I were in a situation where I lost everything, the first thing I would want is a hug. And then I would want something nourishing.

So, if you’re in Upstate NY, or anywhere near Syracuse, please donate clothes, non-perishable food items, and anything you can think of that you can donate to those in need. Please drop it off at CrossFit 315 (or shoot me an email and we will find a way to switch hands). We will be taking anything and everything donated down to the people that need it most.

My heart goes out to all of you affected, those of you with family members and loved ones affected, and anyone who doesn’t have access to healthful food, clean water, warm clothes, and a roof over their heads.

My heart hurts so dang bad.

I love you guys. Donate, donate, donate, even if it’s not to me. The Red Cross has an amazing operation going that is helping so many people. Two of the guys from my Box (shout out to you both, Matt and Dave!) are there right now, doing all they can to help. I’ll keep you guys updated with everything happening.

So much love.

Will share an awesome snack recipe later with you guys, but first I had to get this out. Can’t say ya blame me, right?

Here’s how YOU can help:

xo

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Aditi November 4, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I live in New York and have been volunteering for the last few days. Its absolutely heartbreaking to see what people are going through in the Rockaways, Staten Island and Coney Island to name a few. Before you start collecting random donations though, I would call specific shelters and communities to find out exactly what they might need. We have had to turn away lot of random donations because people were giving things that no one needed, and it ended up being a hassle for everyone involved. Needs are constantly changing area to area so call ahead before you collect.
This also isnt a time to donate old ratty t-shirts or sweatshirts. People want comfortable, clean (read: no stains, pet hair etc.) clothing – new is preferable.

I would suggest that instead of donating goods the best thing is to just donate money to the Red Cross – they are the ones who are on site and really doing the best work.

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Katelyn Block November 4, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Awesome, awesome feedback. Thank you. I will DEFINITELY be in contact with the Red Cross about what it is — EXACTLY that they need.

Do you have an idea of what areas need more help than others, or where it would be most beneficial for me to go? Just an idea would be helpful. There are SO many communities that need help, and any direction would be most helpful!

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Aditi November 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

New Dorp in Staten Island still needs more volunteers to sort through donations and help with clean up efforts.

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Megan November 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I’ve heard of quite a few animal shelters that need supplies – blankets, pet food, etc because they are taking in so many stranded animals

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Joy November 4, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Hey katelyn
If your box will take it i will priority some donations to you

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Katelyn Block November 4, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Yes, DEFINITELY! Please shoot me an email at katelyn@chefkatelyn.com. Thank you!!

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Aditi November 4, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Maybe instead of spending the money on priority shipping, you can just take that amount and donate it to the red cross.

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 4, 2012 at 3:59 PM

It absolutely breaks my heart. One of my good friends lives on Staten Island and her house thankfully had very limited damage but her neighbors were basically wiped away. It really puts things into perspective and I wish there was more I could do and that I could be there CLEANING up with them. I lived outside NYC for a couple years after college and I just wish I could help more.

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alyssa November 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Thanks for doing this!

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Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness November 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Great post Katelyn! Thank you so much for sharing this! You have such a big heart and I commend you for spreading some positivity!

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Mindy Artze November 4, 2012 at 4:59 PM

It’s heartbreaking!!! You are such a good person for doing something!!! Aditi has some good advice. I would hate for your hard work to go to waste!!!

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Emily November 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM

LOVE this and LOVE and ADMIRE that you are taking action. I was glued to the coverage of Sandy and am still glued to the recovery process. The widespread devastation is heart-wrenching. Here in Morgantown, I have friends in my major who student teach in Preston County, WV. … A county that was all over CNN for the blizzard brought on by Sandy – a county who is still buried in snow and without power. And then I have friends from Long Island and NYC who have lost their towns as well. From flooding, to power outages, to fires, to snow – the devastation is nothing short of a disaster and I too struggled with the feeling helpless and sad.

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Sarah November 4, 2012 at 5:41 PM

This is such a beautiful post. Thanks for doing this, girl <3 It's such a terrible tragedy that is worth recognizing. There are so many people in need right now and by spreading this message, it enables more people to help.

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Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans November 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

The devastation breaks my heart. I donated to the Red Cross but I wish I had more to give. I agree that it’s so frustrating to sit still while so many people need help. Can I mail you some clothing donations? I don’t live in the Northeast and I haven’t seen many Sandy donation places around me.

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AlexandraFunFit November 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Red Cross. Done.

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NYC Fit GIrl November 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

This is great! I am from the Jersey Shore so we really appreciate all the help we can get. I know if you head down to Statin Island, Belmar, Sea Brite, Seaside you just say you are there to help and they give you a job!

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The Road Less Travelled November 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

The next storm is coming Tuesday – Thursday and is going to be big with 50 mph winds. I know others want to help, but going into situations where you potentially will need help yourself may not be the right timing. Resources like the food or gas you will need is taking resources from others locally. Some people are driving hours to find gas and even out of state. I highly suggest going with an organized group. Now that temperatures are dropping to 30′s and 20′s overnight people will have to leave their homes that were staying in them and resorting to shelters or hotels. Help is going to be needed for months to come and there will be opportunities to so. Travelling with an official group or supported by your University in a group sponsored effort may be wise. There is going to be need for help in the months to come for sure and at that time, others coming into the tri-borough from out of state will not be taxing the resources that are primary right now.

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