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11 Ways To Be Of Service During Hurricane Sandy Clean Up

Together we can

image via istockphoto

Our beloved city has taken quite a hit over the last few days. All of us here at Freedom Institute hold those suffering the effects of the storm in our thoughts and prayers. As the city rebuilds, the recovery efforts are similar to those we take in sobriety. Keeping things simple, we first care for our basic needs: shelter, food and clothing. Then we can do the next right thing, which often includes helping our fellows. For those of us who have our basic needs met today, here are some ways we can start giving back.

11 Ways To Be Of Service During Hurricane Sandy Clean Up

  1. Remember to "don your oxygen mask first." Many of us have a tendency to leave this for last, but especially for those in recovery, it is essential that this be number one on the list.
  2. Pray and meditate - this is akin to number one, but those who practice these disciplines swear to their far-reaching positive effects, both personally and outwardly in their communities as well.
  3. If you are part of a 12 step fellowship, you can arrange a phone meeting, or take a meeting to other members who are stranded. Try to set up conference calls that will allow up to 96 callers.
  4. If you have an extra bed or couch and feel comfortable doing so, let your personal network know that you can offer to shelter someone for a night or two.
  5. You can make a monetary donation to the Red Cross, an organization which is coordinating with the city on both rescue and rebuilding efforts.
  6. If in recovery, stop on over at, one of the world's largest on-line bulletin boards and visit "RedditorsInRecovery" thread. You'll see lots of people posting about trying to stay sober and many who are isolated because of the storm. It's a great chance to give some "cyber high-fives" and help others feel connected.
  7. New York Cares is looking for volunteers and if you have already registered with them it looks as though they can put you to work immediately.
  8. Text ANIMALS to 20222 to donate $10 to the Humane Society Disaster Relief Fund. Our furry friends need help too.
  9. alerted us to Team Rubicon, a non-profit made up of veterans and medical professionals dedicated to serving the community where traditional aid agencies cannot reach. They are on the ground on the East Coast and continue to need financial support.
  10. Mayor Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to visit the NYC Service Facebook page and register to volunteer. There will be ample need for help in the coming days and weeks.
  11. Finally, while you wait for any of the above agencies to ask for help, call an old friend. Ask how they are doing. Listen for five minutes without interrupting.

We reap what we sow. Be the community you want.

From all of us at FI, be well. We'll be open, no matter what, on Thursday.


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