Last month, Hurricane Sandy swept through New Jersey leaving a trail of massive destruction in its path. At least six people were killed, and widespread power outages left cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken dark and closed for business. Seaside Heights’ historic boardwalk was partially obliterated and swept out to sea. Atlantic City was buried under water. Boats ended up overturned on state highways, and tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy “unprecedented.” He also said the state’s recovery could take months.

Though gas rationing is over and most schools and businesses have reopened, there is still a lot of work to do. Tens of thousands of residents are still without power, and many residents cannot yet return to their homes. Thousands may not get to return home for months – until their damaged and devastated homes are rebuilt.

The easiest (and perhaps the best known) way to help New Jersey relief efforts and to provide aid to those in need is by making a financial donation to the Red Cross, which provides shelter, food, cleanup kits, hygiene kits, emotional support, and other assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Other ways to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts include

  • Donating to Waves for Water, which is coordinating a hurricane relief initiative that includes removing rubble and rebuilding towns along the Northeastern seaboard.
  • Donating lactose-free milk, canned fruit, adult underwear, D batteries, adult diapers, games, and small flashlights to the Keyport, NJ Central School Shelter.
  • Donating shoes, socks, tampons, maxi pads, baby food, baby formula, batteries, band-aids, bottles, and over-the-counter pain relievers to Toms River East High School.
  • Volunteering with or donating food/money to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
  • Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company #1. They are prepared to receive and distribute dry pasta, cereal, oatmeal, lunch meats, bread/rolls, Gatorade powder mix or bottles, protein bars, cereal bars, small bottles of OJ, and bottled water. (15 Lake Avenue, PO Box 316, Island Heights, NJ 08732)