Snapshots from Hurricane Sandy

November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm , by

As the Northeast hunkers down for another difficult storm today, we wanted to share some pictures we snapped this past week during Hurricane Sandy. LHJ staffers were pretty lucky. We’re all safe, back at work and most of us have power (keyword: most). New York City is crawling back toward normal, but we’re not there yet. So many of our neighbors are without electricity and heat. We’re still cleaning up and assessing the damage. Worst of all, lots of people lost their homes and some even lost their lives.

If you’d like to help, check out these great organizations working to restore New York, New Jersey and other places along the East Coast that are still suffering and make a donation if you can. Share your own experiences or ways to help in the comments.

American Red Cross The Red Cross has 5,400 workers and 250 shelters spread from Virginia to Rhode Island. Donate online or text REDCROSS to 90999.
Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund Tireless New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat established a relief fund of their own to restore the hardest-hit areas in New Jersey.
United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund United Way has set up its own fund to help disaster areas with teams of volunteers and lots of supplies all along the Eastern Seaboard.
The Mayor’s Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief You can donate directly to New York City’s recovery with an online donation or find in-person volunteer opportunities if you’re in the New York-area and want to help out.

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

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LHJ's health editor Julie Bain believes in being well prepared! Here she tests the batteries on her headlamp before the storm. She lost power at her place in Manhattan on Monday, October 29, and the lights came back on Friday night, November 1. The headlamp was great for walking up and down pitch-black stairwells, leaving her hands free. Read Julie's other lessons for storm preparedness here.

Do Good: Give Back This Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm , by

ss_101625444_wFor most people, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where being thankful for our abundance (and sitting down to a table overflowing with holiday bounty, like the ridiculously good-looking truffle butter bird at right) goes hand-in-hand with being mindful of those who are less fortunate, and whose bellies are less full. Does your family volunteer or give back during the Thanksgiving season? It’s a wonderful tradition to start, and great a way to make Thanksgiving about more than just food and football (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things…). Here are a few ways to give back.

- Does your family go around the table and say what you’re thankful for? (Love that tradition.) Put each family member in charge of coming up with a group volunteer idea for the upcoming year based on their “thankful” thing. That way you’ve got volunteer ideas for the year, not just the season. Kids count too! For instance, is your little niece Addie thankful for her pet kitty? Take everyone to the animal shelter to help out for a day.

- Take the pledge and donate to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. No child in America should have to go hungry on any day (not just a holiday), and Share Our Strength’s goal is to end childhood hunger by 2015. That’s a mission we can all get behind.

- It’s a cliche but if you’ve never actually volunteered at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, now is the time. But before you package up all your leftovers to bring along, call the shelter to ask about their food donation policy. Even better, sign up to volunteer on a monthly basis so your holiday spirit keeps on giving.

- I think we’re all thankful for our service men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country. Operation Gratitude is a great organization that sends thank-you care packages to our troops, and they’d love your help all holiday season (and year!) long.

-  To find specific Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities in your area, do a quick search with our friends at Volunteer Match. Just type in your zip code and “Thanksgiving” as the keyword.

Four Ways To Do Good This Halloween

October 25, 2010 at 11:22 am , by

ss_100506908Halloween isn’t necessarily a holiday that you associate with volunteering and giving, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great occasion to do a little good! Here are a few ways to help out:

  • Still looking for a last-minute costume? Dress up for a cause you believe in. That way every time someone asks what you or the kids are, you can get a little plug in for your favorite charity. (If you volunteer at an animal shelter, for instance, go with a cute dog and cat theme.)
  • Halloween is just a few days before election day. No matter what side of the political aisle you fall on, we can all agree that it’s super-important to vote! Help get out the vote in your area by volunteering with Trick or Vote, a non-partisan organization.
  • Trying to figure out how to keep your kids (or yourself) from eating their weight in candy? Donate some of your haul to needy kids in your area who don’t get to go trick-or-treating. Call local shelters and organizations to find out how to donate. You could even dress up to deliver your treats together!
  • Check Volunteer Match for a Halloween-themed volunteer opportunity in your area. We did a quick search and found lots of different spooky carnivals, food drives, auctions and other events around the country. (Just type in your zip code with the keyword “Halloween.”)

Food of the Week: Ben & Jerry’s Exclusive Target Treats

July 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm , by

Target is famous for their collaborations: Liberty of London, Alexander McQueen, and Zac Posen—even celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis has a line of cookware and food products. But Target’s newest co-conspirators aren’t fashion designers or even chefs, they’re ice cream makers!

Ben and Jerry’s have partnered with Target to create two new do-good flavors (just in time for this summer heat-wave we’re experiencing in Northeast) to encourage volunteerism and celebrate both companies commitment to service. You can even log on to Volunteer Match to “Scoop it Forward” and find volunteer opportunities in you community. Register for an activity and Target will give you a coupon for a free pint of ice cream. Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder and are on sale now, exclusively at Target stores nationwide.

Be In LHJ: Calling All Difference-Makers!

June 28, 2010 at 9:19 am , by

Do you make a difference in your community, or know a woman who does? Maybe she started a local charity organization. Or she finds the time in her busy life to volunteer for a cause that’s close to her heart. We’re looking for these amazing women for our Difference-Makers Contest!

Nominate your difference-making lady today and she could be featured in an upcoming issue of Ladies’ Home Journal and on Better!