Volunteers Needed for Storm Relief Efforts

    As recovery continues after Superstorm Sandy, there’s much work to be done, and many needs to be met. I am passing along important information I received from Barbara Ransome at the Chamber of Commerce, who received it from Chuck Schwartz at LI Green.

    The following info includes immediate volunteer opportunities, as well as resources available for affected residents. Please help where you can, and please share this message.

    This just in from the Long Island Volunteer Center

    The Nassau County Emergency Pet Shelter is looking for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Vet Assistantsincluding vet tech students – or anyone with a love for animals that is willing to help maintain crates, walk dogs and interact with pet owners who come to visit their pets. The minimum age for volunteering is 16 and volunteers must be able to lift 50 lbs. Ideally, they would like volunteers who can work an 8-hour shift (8AM-4PM or 1-9PM), although four-hours shifts can be arranged. The shelter is located at 241 Miller Road in Garden City. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Anthony by e-mail or at (516) 272-0017

    The United Methodist Church Disaster Relief Center has an opportunity for volunteers who can provide general office assistance and answer phone calls from people who are calling for help with storm-related issues. Volunteers should have either general office or customer service experience. Scheduling is somewhat flexible. To express interest in this opportunity, click here.

    Up to 10 volunteers per day can help the Salvation Army transport products both to evacuation shelters as well as to mobile distribution sites along the south shore
    . Helpers will assist in the loading of product at the warehouses, either in Hempstead or Bayshore, and will then ride in the van/truck to the distribution site where they will help distribute it to the public. Shifts are four hours long. To express interest in this opportunity, click here.

    Later this week, the Long Island Volunteer Center will be opening a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) where individuals interested in volunteering can come to register, receive initial training, and be assigned to volunteer opportunities throughout Long Island. We are currently looking for volunteers who may be interested in helping to staff the VRC. Duties will include greeting potential volunteers and helping them through the registration process. Other volunteers may work the phone/computer banks taking requests for volunteers from local nonprofits and relief agencies. Training will be provided and shifts are somewhat flexible. The exact location of the VRC has not yet been finalized. To express interest in this opportunity, click here.

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    The Long Island Volunteer Center, an affiliate of HandsOn Network, is working closely with our local partner agencies and national HandsOn Network to identify volunteer opportunities in the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy to ensure a coordinated response.

    So far, we have pre-registered 1,883 individuals and, based on specific requests from partner agencies, have referred volunteers to support Red Cross shelters, food rescue and food bank agencies such as Island Harvest and Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank, Salvation Army donation sites, and a faith-based organization doing debris cleanups in an affected community.

    Please understand that due to the number of people interested in volunteering, as soon as an opportunity is identified, it is filled.

    We are working with national and local partners to identify more opportunities in the midst of our current challenges, including transportation issues, lack of fuel in the area, identifying volunteer housing and massive power outages. These challenges make it difficult to get team out to assess the need and scope projects. While we are working diligently, please understand it may be a few days before we increase the number of projects in the impacted area.

    In the meantime, there are additional ways you can engage now:

    • Donate supplies and materials by clicking here to ensure you are sending the MOST needed items.
    • Donate to local relief effort by clicking here.
    • Host a local fundraiser and donate the proceeds by clicking here.

    RECOVERY

    We request that you do NOT self- deploy to the region without identifying an opportunity AND housing. Once volunteer housing becomes available, we will update our website with the information on how to book reservations.


    More Volunteer Opportunities

    1) Long Beach: Call 516-301-0932 – to volunteer, please let us know your specialties. We are accepting donations at the Ice Arena. Food & water donations are also being accepted at East & West Schools and Waldbaum’s Plaza.

    2) Long Beach Rec Center could use more volunteers to help unpack/sort clothing and distribute donated items! . . . There are hundreds of bags generously donated that need to be unpacked and sorted. They still need warm blankets and coats (adults/children), packaged socks/underwear for children and adults, and hats/gloves in various sizes. Folding tables would help in organizing the clothing that has already been donated.

    3) Baldwin: The emergency distribution center at the District Office on Hastings Street is accepting donations.

    4) Register with the Long Island Volunteer Center: http://www.longislandvolunteercenter.org/

    5) Long Island Cares in Hauppauge needs volunteers to help sort food donations. Check their website for details: http://www.licaresorg or call (631) 582-3663 ext 119

    6) Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) is also accepting supplies — water, food, clothes: anything non-perishable. They can be dropped off at his office at 83-91 Woodhaven Blvd. For more information, call (718) 805-0950.

    7) Occupy Storefront is collecting goods at 59 Railroad Ave Ronkonkoma, New York 11779 Contact (631) 648-8811 you can also check out their webpage here:https://www.facebook.com/occupystorefront

    8. All Long Island Ace Hardware locations are serving as drop-off locations for non-perishable food items and clothing donations to those in need on the south shore. LI Ace locations are: 2138 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park | 770-14 Grand Blvd., Deer Park | 246 Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset | 1102 Route 110, Farmingdale | 2667 Merrick Rd., Bellmore | 448 Union Blvd., West Islip | 5135 Merrick Rd., Massapequa Park | 3899 Hempstead Tpke, Bethpage | 1518 Union Turnpike, New Hyde Park | 3965 Long Beach Rd., Island Park | 2120 Middle Country Rd, Centereach | 1330 Hicksville Road, No. Massapequa | 822 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport | 515 Montauk Hwy., West Babylon | 2323 Jericho Tpke, Garden City Park | 52 E. Main St., Smithtown | 15 W. Main St., East Islip | 360 Route 25A, Rocky Point | 518 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck

    9) Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Lindenhurst is collecting Food/Clothing/Blankets/School Supplies, at their Auditorium: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.Volunteers are also needed and welcome. Please contact OLPH at 631-226-7725 or e-mail tojsureau@drvc.org.

    10) Woodbury: Donations of blankets and comforters can be brought to Syosset-Woodbury Park: 7800 Jericho Tpke Woodbury, NY 11797

    11) Hurricane Sandy has devastated parts of southeast Brookhaven not far from us. EMPOA’s Board wanted to help those in need. Spearheaded by Board member Lauren Stiles, arrangements have been made to collect food, other needed items and checks in front of local King Kullen stores and then to deliver what’s collected to local organizations who are already distributing things to our neighbors in need. For this to work, more volunteers are needed to be at tables from 10 am to 4 pm: Nov. 9 King Kullen, Manorville

    This will be straightforward. Sit at a table, explain what’s being done and receive donations. You’ll receive the necessary information and instructions. To volunteer several hours or the day tomorrow in Center Moriches, please call 631-874-2384 right away. For Friday, please call that number or email EMPOA. Donations received will be given to 2 organizations that have already been providing help, so we believe they will continue to do so with what we provide. They are Island Harvest and the Mastic Beach Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. Once volunteers are scheduled, another email will be sent confirming the times that donations can be made.

    12) The West Babylon Lions Club on Saturday, Nov. 10, will have a tent set up at Harding Avenue Elementary School in Lindenhurst off of Grenada Parkway. They will be supplying water, cleaning supplies and are hoping to have food available. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    13) Suffolk County Legis. Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) is holding a “Blanket in a Bag” drive at his district office from Tuesday, November 13, through Friday, November 30. Donors are asked to place a new or clean, gently used blanket in a bag and deliver it to 325 Middle Country Road, Suite 3, in Selden (intersection of North Ocean Avenue in the Waldbaum’s shopping center). The office will accept donations Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Blanket donations will be distributed through Lighthouse Mission and other local charities. For more information call 631-854-9292, or email tom.muratore@suffolkcountyny.gov.

    From the Red Cross:

    – The American Red Cross has planned daily distribution and feeding sites throughout Greater New York on Sat., Nov. 10, Sun., Nov. 11, and Mon., Nov 12, to provide comfort, meals and relief supplies to communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. You can be a part of this relief effort by signing up to volunteer here: http://www.nyredcross.org/?nd=form__577

    – We are recruiting medically credentialed individuals to support NYC shelters. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact HealthServices@nyredcross.org.

    Other opportunities:

    – The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead has teamed up with Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank, and has become a donation site for storm victims. Click here for more info.

    – EAC’s Meals on Wheels Program needs donations that can be used to offset the cost of fuel for our vans and to purchase supplies such as blankets and flashlights to be distributed to the elderly. To make a donation, please call EAC Meals on Wheels 516-539-0150, ext. 219 or visit www.eacinc.org and click on the “Hurricane Sandy Senior Relief” button on the home page.

    – Sandy Help LB was created by a Wantagh-based realtor to help get supplies and help to Long Beachers. For more information and inquiries about how one can help, e-mail SandyHelpLB@gmail.com or call (516) 647-3242.

    – The North Merrick Fire Department is collecting donations Friday, Nov. 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the 2095 Camp Ave. firehouse. (223-4102). The following items are requested: battery lanterns, d batteries, 25-50 foot extension cords, bleach, plastic spray bottles, rubber gloves, garbage bags, hot plates, diapers, wipes, serving dishes and utensils, toilet paper, toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.), warm coats, winter hats, and gloves. Volunteers are also welcome on both dates. They will need assistance loading trucks on Saturday.

    – Vounteers are needed at the Long Beach NY, Hurricane Information donation drop-off site, located at 157 E. Sunrise Hwy, Freeport.

    – The BBQ Brethren will host a BBQ all weekend to serve thousands of families in Long Beach. The BBQ Brethren is based out of Smithtown and is the largest association of grilling and BBQ enthusiasts in the world. Volunteers will wrap, store, and deliver food to families. Volunteers are needed.  If you are interested in volunteering, come Saturday and/or Sunday to Long Beach City Hall, 1 West Chester St.; Long Beach NY 11561. Volunteers can arrive at 11 a.m. and will be needed to serve food. For more information, contact Nicole Papadopoulos atnpapadopoulos@hopeforthewarriors.org

    – Hicks Nurseries, in partnership with Long Island Cares, is a distribution point for food and donations for storm victims.

    From now through the end of the year, the nursery will be collecting items to help Long Islanders in need. Items in particular need are bottled water, pouch drinks, new blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, underwear, household cleaners, personal care items, pet food and non-perishable food.

    These items can be brought to the nursery, which is located at 100 Jericho Tpke. in Westbury, seven days a week for fast delivery to Long Island Cares for redistribution. Store hours are Saturday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., open late on Fridays until 8 p.m.

    – Tara’s Personal Cleaning is collecting and distributing items needed by Sandy victims. Our next delivery is Sunday afternoon and then again on Monday. Please drop off any donations to 204 Middle Road, Sayville Some suggestions are: personal care items (toothbrushes, mouthwash, feminine hygiene), bottled water and drinks, Parmalat boxed milk, baby formula, winter coats and clothing, lawn/construction bags, cleaning supplies, EasytoEat meals and granola bars, baby supplies, blankets, pillows and sleep sacs and anything else.

    -Starting Nov. 13, Legislator Sarah Anker will be accepting non-perishable food items, water, bottled drinks, personal care items, pet food, household cleaning supplies, new blankets, hats, gloves scarves and socks. Donations can be dropped off Monday
    – Friday between 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. at the Legislator’s office at 620 Rt. 25A, Suite B, in Mount Sinai.


    Info About Assistance from Long Island Business News

    There are a number of government, financial and legal resources out there for businesses struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

    Long Island Business News has compiled a list of those resources for companies seeking help. Please send additional information regarding help for Long Island businesses to editor@libn.com.

    Government

    Nassau County has established a storm assistance program for small businesses. Eligible firms may receive up to $99,000 to be used toward recovery efforts through the Nassau IDA’s Local Enterprise Assistance and Development Services Program. The program provides eligible small businesses with help through a sales tax exemption on any furniture, fixtures, equipment and material purchased for repair and reconstruction. For information, contact the Nassau County IDA at (516) 571-1745 or by email at Leads@nassauida.org.

    Suffolk County is offering recovery assistance through the Department of Labor and Department of Economic Development and Planning. The county is hosting Small Business Assistance Recovery Centers daily at labor department offices at the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and at the Suffolk County Department of Labor in Riverhead from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For information, call (631) 853-6600.

    Nassau County has set up a Mega Hurricane Sandy Recovery Center at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford. The center includes a FEMA Registration Center, New York State Department of Financial Services insurance resource center, Red Cross food and drink distribution center and a free mobile laundry facility.

    The Federal Emergency Management Authority’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program uses governmental funds to buy waterlogged properties at pre-storm market value from the owners, who can then take the money to relocate to a less flood-prone area. Primarily designed for homeowners, FEMA has made hazard mitigation grants available to business owners. Contact FEMA at 1 (800) 621-3362 or apply for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov.

    The New York State Department of Labor is looking for workers to clean up damage on Long Island and in New York City caused by Hurricane Sandy. Hired laborers will receive $14.89 per hour, working 35 hours per week for up to six weeks. Employees can select where they prefer to work, including Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties, as well as New York City’s five boroughs. Apply for the temporary work program on the New York State Department of Labor’s website.

    New York state is looking to ascertain major impacts on manufacturers on Long Island. If you have been seriously impacted by flooding or other damage, please contact rzounek@lift.org or (631) 846-2732.

    The U.S. Small Business Administration has set up a disaster assistance hotline at 1 (800) 659-2955. The SBA provides low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, up to $2 million. To be eligible for SBA assistance, businesses or nonprofits must have sustained physical or economic damage and be located in a disaster declared county. For application information, visithttp://www.sba.gov/content/business-physical-disaster-loans or emailDisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Also visit www.sba.gov/sandy to learn more and apply.

    SBA representatives will be at the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center along with SBDC business advisers on Monday, Nov. 12, to help small business owners learn what SBA resources are available to help recovery after Hurricane Sandy and to help complete all the necessary forms. To register, call (631) 632-9837 or email sbdc@stonybrook.edu.

    The Small Business Development Center at Farmingdale State College is hosting an Official SBA Disaster Recovery Center. An SBA Representative is available to process Disaster Loan Applications from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The SBDC also has business advisers at various locations to help businesses apply and complete SBA Disaster Assistance Applications. For information, go to www.Farmingdale.edu/SBDC or call (631) 420-2765.

    The State Liquor Authority and the Department of Environmental Conservation have extended deadlines for permits, license renewals and payments. Businesses due for a liquor license renewal in October and November will receive a 60-day grace period after the expiration date; have until Dec 1 to apply for New Year’s Eve “all night permits” and can request to have temporary licenses extended for an additional 30 days. The DEC will waive fees and extend application deadlines for state permits for 30 days from Nov. 7.

    Financial

    The IRS is extending tax filing deadlines for individuals and businesses affected by Sandy in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

    Banks are waiving late fees on mortgages for 90 days, eliminating payments for 90 days and postponing foreclosures and evictions for 90 days. New York Community BankM&T BankApple Savings BankDime Savings Bank of WilliamsburgEmigrant Savings Bank, Ridgewood Savings Bank and Hanover Community Bank are among the community banks providing relief. Contact your individual bank for specific details.

    JPMorgan Chase also is waiving all mortgage-related fees and offering 90-day moratoriums on mortgage payments and temporarily suspending all foreclosure sales in FEMA designated zones. It is also offering up to $5 billion in incremental capital for lending to small and mid-size businesses directly affected by the storm to help them rebuild. Contact your local bank for details.

    State-chartered banks in New York, including M&T BankApple SavingsDime Savings Bank of WilliamsburgEmigrant Savings Bank and New York Community Bank have agreed to waive the following fees and penalties at least until Thursday, Nov. 15.

    • ATM fees
    • Late payment charges
    • Penalties for checks returned because of insufficient funds
    • Overdraft protection transfer fees
    • Penalties for early withdrawal of savings in circumstances in which the customer has a need for the funds resulting from the storm

    Contact your individual bank for specific details regarding fee waivers.

    Bethpage Federal Credit Union has a series of Hurricane Sandy relief loans available, including a storm emergency cash advance loan, which is an unsecured loan up to $25,000 with fixed rates starting at 6 percent APR and a three-month payment deferral. It can be a term loan or a line of credit. Call 1(800) 628-7070 or visit your local Bethpage branch for information.

    NEFCU has a number of limited-time Hurricane Sandy loan programs for home and business owners, including the hurricane relief loan, which features a low fixed rate of 1 percent APR for the first year and an optional 90-day deferral of the first payment. After one year, the rate will revert to the prevailing rate on the day of the application, as low as 9.49 percent APR. For information about NEFCU loan programs or assistance with Hurricane Sandy recovery, call (516) 714-2928 or visit www.myNEFCU.org.

    Gold Coast Bank is offering Hurricane Sandy relief loans of up to $100,000 for a period of 3 1/2 years, including paying only interest for six months. The loan comes with a 3.9 percent fixed rate for a $500 fee. For information, call (631) 233-8600.

    Valley National Bank has made all of its standard loan programs, with higher loan limits, available to customers who need funds for repairs/rebuilding that require more than the Valley Family Assistance Loan offers. For information, contact 1 (800) 522-4100.

    Wells Fargo has initiated an emergency personal loan program for customers in FEMA-designated disaster counties in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. These loans will be offered at favorable rates and will be underwritten using existing underwriting criteria. Wells Fargo customers who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and need assistance should call 1 (800) TO-WELLS (1-800-869-3557).

    TD Bank is providing immediate relief to customers impacted by waiving all late fees resulting from Hurricane Sandy on lending products. It also is providing expedited decisions and delivery within 72 hours on all credit card decisions up to $25,000, and waiving any late fees incurred by customers impacted by the storm.

    Deutsche Bank has committed $1 million in zero interest financing to help homeowners and small business owners in disadvantaged neighborhoods make critical repairs to their properties.

    Financial institutions seeking guidance for assisting customers affected by Sandy should contact theDepartment of Financial Services‘ Albany office at (518) 473-6160.

    Legal

    The Nassau County Bar Association is offering a series of free Superstorm Sandy Legal Consultation Clinics for Nassau residents on Monday, Nov. 19 and Monday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. to be held at the bar headquarters in Mineola. Contact the Nassau Bar at (516) 747-4070.

    The Touro Law Center and Suffolk County Bar Association have created a Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for small businesses. For information, call (631) 761-7198 or email tlcheart@tourolaw. The telephone hotline will be answered live Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Voicemail messages can be left anytime.

    Insurance

    The state’s Department of Financial Services has instructed insurers to accept property owners’ documentation of losses, including photos and videos. All of those documenting damage should take individual color photos and video of the damaged property with date/time stamps, and take samples of items like carpeting, furniture upholstery and window treatments where quality will be a claims factor. The state has also imposed a 30-day moratorium on cancelling or terminating homeowners’ and small business owners’ insurance policies in storm-stricken areas for any reason, including nonpayment of premiums.

    Office Space

    Fishbat, a digital marketing firm located near Long Island MacArthur Airport, is offering free office space for area businesses knocked out by the storm. For information, contact Fishbat’s John Romeo atjohnr@fishbat.com or call (855) 347-4228.

    Totus Business Center at 105 Maxess Road is leasing furnished spaces equipped for telecommunications that can accommodate from 10 to 60 employees and can be occupied within 24 hours. The offices, pre-wired for telephone and Internet with fiber optics, also include use of a receptionist and call forwarding. Leases are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. ContactTotus at (631) 574-4400.

    FalconStor Software in Melville is offering office space for those that need it. FalconStor’s offices, located at 2 Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 2S01, are equipped with phone, fax and Internet. ContactFalconStor at (631) 773-5813.

    Grasshopper, a virtual phone system geared toward entrepreneurs, is offering businesses affected by Sandy a free three-month Grasshopper account to help keep your business open and connected.

    Temporary office provider Champion Office Suites is waiving fees to help businesses recovering from Hurricane Sandy. The firmis providing clients with free hour-long temporary office access at its Garden City location for anyone who needs to warm up, use the Internet and charge devices. In addition, clients can have their mail forwarded rather than having to pick it up to save on gas and the firm is offering free voicemail and email services to any clients affected by cell phone outages. For information, contact Roger Kahn at (888) 275-5055, rogerk@virtualofficeny.com or visit www.championofficesuites.com.

    Small Business

    A forum is being held from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack, to provide disaster relief information for small businesses. State, city and federal disaster relief agencies will be available to assist businesses to fill out disaster relief applications and speak to counselors. Attend to find out how may be eligible for up to $2 million in SBA or FEMA loans. To RSVP, call (718) 723-5412.

    Energy

    Continue to report power outages to the Long Island Power Authority online at or call 1 (800) 490-0075 or (631) 755-6900. Stay up to date with LIPA outage information via its storm center or on its Facebook page or Twitter feed.

    The U.S. Department of Energy has set up a hotline for gas stations with gas but no power or power but no gas. Call 1 (866) 402-3775.

    Food

    The Fresh Diet is offering discounted meals for small business owners in the tri-state area. Use the promo code ‘Sandy‘ to get 3 meals and snacks delivered for $24.99 (usually $44.99).

    Additional information

    The Better Business Bureau has launched a resource center on its website to help businesses and nonprofits affected by Hurricane Sandy. The information covers a wide array of topics on recovering from the storm including government resources, shelters, safety and health, nonprofit response efforts, insurance issues, legal and financial information and recovery resources for businesses and nonprofits.

    Empire Government Strategies has created a New York Disaster Aid Toolkit, detailing key financial programs available from federal, state, city and local agencies. Download it here.

    Check out this list compiled by Forbes, which has additional business-related resources.


    An Update from Island Harvest

    Thanks to your continued generosity, today our fleet of 11 trucks, vans, and mobile food pantries are visiting neighborhoods including Shirley, Oceanside, Freeport, Island Park, and Wyandanch. Water, baby food, blankets, cleaning supplies, and pet food are being distributed.

    It is because of the amazing outpouring of support of concerned residents like you that we are able to load up our fleet of vehicles with food and supplies, and be on the road seven days a week! Thank you!

    Please keep in mind that our warehouses – Uniondale, and Hauppauge – are open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to receive food donations. Non-perishable food donations and personal care items are greatly needed!

    Here’s a comprehensive list of resources that will help our community recover and rebuild.


    Thank you to all of our tireless volunteers, first-responders, and Port Jefferson residents who have been working so hard to help one another. You are truly appreciated.

    Amanda Eckart
    Three Village/Port Jefferson Real Estate Expert

    North Shore Real Estate
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