WHAT TO EXPECT
WHAT IS #NYCVOLUNTEERATHON?
#nycvolunteerathon is a one-day push to get New Yorkers engaged in ongoing Sandy relief efforts.
I SIGNED UP, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
We’re currently processing all the information you gave us and working on matching you up with a group of people to serve at a volunteer site. We’ll send you an email tonight giving you all the details for tomorrow morning.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON SUNDAY?
First and foremost, this work is not about you. Residents and community members are moving forward but still trying to process and deal with the effects of the storm. Be humble, respectful. These are peoples’ homes and communities. Be tactful when taking photos. We want you to document (their stories and yours) and spread the word of the amazing work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #nycvolunteerathon, but be respectful.
Many organizations have reported overwhelming support. The situation changes minute by minute, and so it’s possible that a site will have too many volunteers or too much of a particular supply at any given time. Volunteers may get redirected which can be frustrating. Be patient, be flexible, be pro-active, and be focused on where you can be most helpful at any given moment, not what you would most like to do.
Work can be dirty and physical, or quiet and contemplative. Bearing witness or providing an empathetic ear is just as important as mucking out a home or cleaning up debris.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
At the very least, plan to be self-sufficient. Bring water (or a thermos with a hot beverage), a meal/snacks for yourself, and basic personal protective equipment (dust mask/work gloves/tall boots or work shoes). But think of creative ways that you can go above and beyond to bring cheer to the site or meet practical needs of the community. In general, cleaning supplies (garbage bags, buckets, squeegees, mops, bleach etc) and basic tools (shovels, picks, wheelbarrows) can always be put to use or donated at the end of your day. Some sites require no tools but your hands and heart. Spend this afternoon making necessary preparations.
The weather is cold and you may be outside for the duration of your shift. Dress warmly…
HOW DO I GET THERE?
You will be assigned your volunteer sites in groups. We encourage you to share rides and travel in groups when possible.
Hurricane Sandy affected rich and poor communities alike. Volunteers are reporting nothing but positive experiences from all neighborhoods. But some of the volunteer sites will be in rough neighborhoods where the needs are greater, so be smart, travel in groups, and don’t put yourself in a situation you feel uncomfortable with.
Furthermore, you may be working in structures that were flooded or damaged. Be aware of your physical environment. Also be aware of how much you may be exerting yourself, and pace yourself throughout your shift. Water/dust/debris can also aggravate respiratory conditions or cause skin irritation. (See CDC Health and Safety Concerns for all Disasters http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/alldisasters.asp)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SUNDAY?
This is a one day event, but the recovery will take many months. To that end we’re happy to connect you with ongoing relief efforts after Sunday.
If you have additional questions, email Kyle at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.