It has now been six months since Hurricane Sandy arrived in New York City and, while the storm has passed and the flood waters have receded, New York Cares continues to mobilize volunteers to meet the still-pressing needs of affected communities.
To date, we’ve set up operations centers in impacted areas to help residents return to their homes, delivered social services such as food distribution and canvassing, and transported volunteers to communities difficult to reach by public transportation.
In the months ahead, helping hurricane ravaged neighborhoods thrive again will be about much more than cleanup efforts. The fact is that some of the hardest hit communities were struggling before the hurricane, so our goal isn’t to get them back to “normal,” but to improve the lives of community members long after the physical damage is repaired.
We expect significant programmatic growth as we provide more robust social services to these hardest-hit areas, from reading programs at libraries to job readiness projects at community centers. In focusing our efforts this way, we will learn lessons that will enhance our ability to serve areas like Central Queens, Bed-Stuy, and the South Bronx. Because of the opportunity to make a significant impact, we will be working to resource these services long beyond the hurricane.