By: Kaustav Mukherjee
Hurricane Sandy crippled mid-Atlantic and northeastern states when it ravaged schools, hospitals, homes, and other buildings in late October of 2012. A catastrophe, the storm wreaked havoc on a scale not seen since hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans in 2005. Even so, hope continues to burn in the hearts of struggling Americans today.
On December 28, 2012, the Senate approved a $60.4 billion recovery package to aid the victims of the natural disaster. Twelve billion would ensure that our transportation systems are strong enough to survive future storms. Seventeen billion in Community Development Block Grants was dedicated towards rebuilding communities, helping small businesses, and improving the power infrastructure of the northeast. Although the bill provided a lesser amount than the $82 billion that was requested by the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the bill was approved by a vote of 62-32 in the Senate.
But, politicians should not be the only ones who can deliver us from this crisis. You can help too. Start by donating money to the Mayor’s Fund, The United Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund, or the Salvation Army. Donations can be as little as $10, and they can include such everyday items as food, water, and supplies. Soup kitchens such as Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen provide not only a volunteering opportunity but also an opportunity to get to know hurricane Sandy survivors and provide help. In addition, you can donate your old books to the Scholastic Fund, which distributes 1 million books to schools and libraries that were hardest hit by Sandy. The Empire State Relief Fund also helps to rebuild and restore homes that were damaged or lost as a result of the Super Storm.
So, countless opportunities exist to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The people at Washington have already passed a bill dedicated to providing relief for those in need. Now, the question is: Will you provide assistance as well?