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Six Ways Travelers Can Quickly Help with Hurricane Sandy Relief

November 5, 2012 at 12:40 PM | by | ()

LaGuardia, flooded

Maybe you're not in New York City and therefore the effects of Hurricane Sandy are way in the back of your mind, behind memory of your flight departure time, hotel room number, car rental agency and so on and so forth. Well, as travelers, we all actually have some of the best brains for thinking about one city while in another. Wherever you are, whatever your connection with the Big Apple, here's several ways to help:

· Buy a pizza for Staten Island **TODAY ONLY** **Anywhere donors**
Do this right now as it's a relief effort being coordinated by a single person for the immediate relief of hunger in the very destroyed area of New Dorp, Staten Island. Call Barrio's Pizza at 1-718-370-0100 and mention code "Yael." For $8 each, you may order pizzas which will then be picked up this evening by volunteer Yael Lewitinn and taken to New Dorp for dinner; it's just like ordering a pizza for yourself, except it'll be delivered elsewhere. According to her initial Socialisting entry, she's already rallied 140 donated pizzas. Now think about how many times cheap pizza has saved your hungry butt on the road. It's the ultimate comfort food.

· Donate money for bonus frequent flyer miles **Anywhere donors**
As we previously reported, four airlines are working to accept your donations and three of them will throw some bonus frequent flyer miles right back atcha as a thank you.

· Hit up the Amazon Wishlist **Anywhere donors**
We get it; you're a busy person but you'd like to get involved on a more personal level than just donating money. In a stroke of brilliance, Assemblyman Matthew Titone of Staten Island has turned an Amazon Wish List into immediate help for his community. They need everything from socks for children to flashlights and batteries, so here you have an opportunity to pick out exactly what you'd like to send. Go through the usual Amazon check-out procedure and the items ship directly to one of the most effected areas on SI.

· Donate a New York hotel stay **NYC-bound donors only**
As you know, the NYC Marathon was cancelled. Hoards of runners instead chose to volunteer and Race2Recover even allowed them to donate a night of an NYC hotel stay to families displaced by the Hurricane damage. There's no reason it has to be just runners, however; if you have an NYC trip upcoming this week and are planning to cancel or can find alternative lodging, you can still fill out this form to donate that hotel stay.

· Clean out your hotel toiletries **NY/NJ donors only**
We're totally guilty of being hotel toiletry hoarders (though not as serious as that one guy on Marriage Ref), and there are many shelters in the NY/NJ area in need of donations of these things. We cleaned out underneath our sink and filled a shopping bag with unused toiletries (and some toothbrush/toothpaste sets from business class amenity kits) and took it to our nearest donation center in New York City. They confirmed the need and were happy to have them, seeing as how the bulk of donations have been "family-size" shampoos and such, which is fine for families but is wasted on one person only staying in a shelter a few days.

· Sign a petition for school supplies **Anywhere donors**
It's not just homes and businesses that were hit by the Hurricane; schools were waterlogged as well. One NJ teacher has started a petition on Change.org to ask both Obama & Romney's campaigns to donate their supplies to affected schools. The election is over tomorrow, so what else will happen to all those highlighter markers, boxes of paper and patriotic bunting? Send 'em to the schools! This requires no money and anyone can sign the petition.

[Photo: Twitter]

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