Each week I try to tell stories of human courage, inspiration and people who take adversity and make it a gift. This week so many of our friends, families and neighbors are in real need of our help. What do we do when tragedy strikes and the unexpected occurs? How do we come together? How do we show our compassion and humanity for our friends on the East Coast without power, food or roofs over their heads?

We act. We give. We share. We do what we can do little or big. Here are a few ways to lend a hand.

American Red Cross

How can you help? Donate blood.

Approximately 300 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due Hurricane Sandy and more are expected. This represents a loss of as many as 10,500 blood and platelet products. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas where it is safe to do so. To schedule an appointment, please go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.  Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy,

Feeding America

How can you help? Donate food, have a food drive.

When a disaster strikes, Feeding America supports relief and recovery in communities by distributing assistance through the more than 61,000 local agencies that they support. Feeding America also provides immediate relief through emergency feeding centers operated by NVOAD partners, including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is serving those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with food, clean-up kits, as well as emotional and spiritual care. For the latest updates, and ways you can show your support,visit their blog. At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825). Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.

At the end of the day, whether you email a friend back east, say a little prayer, clean out your canned goods or give blood….its what we do. We act. We give. We share.

Charity Matters.

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