On October 29th 2012, a 900-mile wide storm struck the east coast and caused about $62 billion in damage and at least 125 deaths in the United States. Hurricane Sandy was an unexpected tragedy that affected millions of people, not only in the U.S but in the Caribbean, as well. Months later, the devastation of Sandy continues to linger over the New York- New Jersey area, as buildings and towns that have become ruins wait to be rebuilt, and those who have lost everything, try to return to normalcy.
Luckily, these people are not alone. Almost immediately after the storm, campaigns and fundraisers emerged that were both creative and successful. Some of the most successful efforts were led by the American Red Cross, opening public donation centers around the country where anyone could donate supplies that varied from articles of clothing to non-perishable food items. These generous donations, collected throughout the nation were given to families living in shelters with very few items to call their own.
On a larger scale, celebrities did their part in raising public awareness, as well as money, for Sandy victims. On 12/12/12, a benefit concert was held at Madison Square Garden where all proceeds went to charities such as the Robin Hood Relief Fund. The Robin Hood Relief Fund is the largest organization in the New York area that fights poverty. The 12/12/12 concert featured Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West, The Who, Paul McCartney and even more. The fundraiser was more successful than anyone imagined; these musical icons came together to raise $300 million alone just in ticket sales. The concert was broadcast to about 2 billion people around the world, and merchandise is still being sold world-wide.
Other efforts included the “Restore the Shore” campaign led by MTV. On November 15th, MTV invited viewers around the country to tune in to watch special messages by pop-icons such as One Direction, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj. These celebrities, encouraged viewers to get involved in some way or another. The Restore the Shore efforts took off and began selling hoodies, T-shirts, and other merchandise with the Restore the Shore logo. Proceeds from the sales goes to Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps rebuild communities in need or recovering from natural disasters, such as Seaside Heights. To get involved in Restore the Shore efforta, simply text a number to donate something as small as $10. In all, The Restore the Shore Campaign is still raising millions of dollars for Hurricane Sandy relief, making a big difference in the wake of this disaster.
Whether it’s multi-million dollar celebrities performing a sold-out concert, donating non-perishable foods to a community center, or even buying a Restore the Store T-shirt, anyone can aid in Sandy Relief efforts. Hurricane Sandy definitely took it’s toll on the east coast. Billions of dollars in damage and crushed dreams cannot be fixed overnight, but the fundraisers discussed in this article are sure doing a good job to get there as soon as possible. In the wake of such a devastating natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy has reminded Americans what really matters. It has reminded us that coming together to make a difference in any way is more powerful than any one could imagine.