The storm may have passed, but the widespread damage from superstorm Sandy will be felt for months to come. With so many states affected — from the East Coast to the Midwest — recovery will be a massive undertaking for local governments, emergency workers and relief organizations.
And while professionals are already mobilized around the country to help mitigate what will likely amount to billions of dollars in damages, private donations from people like you are needed to facilitate a speedy recovery.
Volunteering with cleanup efforts and donating food, clothing and other supplies are great ways to aid the relief effort, but the best way to help out is by making a monetary donation to a reputable charity.
Many organizations, including the American Red Cross, allow you to specify how you want your money to be used, or you can simply have it go to the area of greatest need. Other national organizations worth contributing to include AmeriCares and the Salvation Army.
Another way to help out is to consider supporting a crowd fundraising campaign, such as this one on Crowdrise.com, which uses the Web and social media to raise money for multiple organizations at once.
Unfortunately, disasters can bring out the worst in some people, and some dubious “charities” will likely surface, hoping to feed off the good nature of kind folks. Before you donate to any organization, no matter how reputable it may seem, be sure to verify its legitimacy by vetting it through a watchdog organization, such as Charitywatch.org.
Tell us: How are you helping with Hurricane Sandy relief in your area?