Hurricane Sandy has been one of the largest storms that has hit the Northern East Coast in years. While many were prepared for the storm, many people were not prepared for what the storm would leave. Sandy was at first classified as a tropical storm when it made its way up the East Coast from the Caribbean. However, when reaching the northern East Coast, Sandy because a dangerous storm that spanned almost 1,000 miles. In some states where the weather was colder, Sandy created even larger snowstorms and covered areas with up to 2 feet of snow. In other areas such as New York and New Jersey, rains flooded the area, taking out power lines, trees, and even filling the New York Subway system. In the DMV area, major transportation was shut down and schools cancelled. This hurricane that landed in late October also had its effects on the Presidential election that was to come on November 6. Many campaigns were cancelled as areas were put under evacuation and warning and President Obama took a short hiatus to deal with the storm.

It has been a little over two weeks since the storm, and where has this left the country?

Today many organizations have created relief efforts for those affected by Sandy. The Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation (HSRF) is a non 501(c)3 Non Profit that was founded on October 30, 2012 by victims for the victims. The HSRF are people of the communities hit by the hurricane who saw that they themselves and their neighbors needed help. Thus, they provided resources to local shelters in the area and volunteered to clean up debris and rebuild their own communities. Another organization called Hope for New York was founded with the mission “to provide volunteer and financial resources to organizations serving the poor and marginalized of New York City. Today, they have created a relief effort for those in New York City by helping to channel volunteers who want to donate their time and give them opportunities within the local areas to help clean up, donate, etc. The American Red Cross is currently created a fund to gain financial donation to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to victims of the storm. Along with the organizations listed above, there have been many more that are currently assisting in efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief and it is a wonderful thing to see people reaching out and helping others in need.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

-Anne Frank


Photo: Sandhill cranes along the Platte River

Sandhill cranes in Nebraska, United States.  Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic.

(ABC News)  Earth Day has been an American tradition for over 40 years now, and as we wrote last year, it has become a little less nonprofit and a little more corporate, much to the chagrin of some die-hard environmentalists.   Starbucks, for instance, is offering to fill up tumblers and washable mugs for free if you bring it in the store today, and last year’s Peat the Penguin plush toys caused mild outrage.  What happened to simply planting trees and raising awareness?  Why are we making ‘going green’ a commercialized trend instead of a noble goal? 

But alas, at the end of the day, if the news about our suffering earth is being spread, it’s being spread, nevermind in what mode.  So take heed and turn off the lights; recycle whatever you can, and switch off the tap as you brush your teeth–every little action helps.  And if you’re still scratching your head for ways to ‘go green,’ Earth Day Network , the nonprofit behind Earth Day festivities, is promoting A Billion Acts of Green–published pledges to keep the planet healthy. 

Happy Earth Day!

(IRS)  Registration is open for the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums, located in six different locations this year.  A new Exempt Organization Seminar will be featured entitled Charities and their Volunteers: Working Together to Help the Public.  Attendees will have the opportunity to network, earn CPE credits, and hear about the latest news and products for tax professionals.  Registration is available here.

(IRS) The IRS is offering informative workshops for small and medium-sized nonprofits.  Exempt Organizations specialists are running the workshops, which will include information about maintaining exempt status and following tax law.   The workshops are especially helpful for administrators and volunteers involved with tax compliance for a 501 (c) (3) organization.  The workshops will be held in Seattle, Washington from May 11-13 and in Washington, DC from May 25-27.  Attendees must pre-register.

Join the Charity and Security Network in a discussion of:

“Dilemma for US NGOs: Counterterrorism Laws vs. the Humanitarian Imperative

July 1st from 2 PM till4PM in Washington, DC.

See the Events page for more details.