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Let me start this post by saying we now have heat, power and warm water, however many New York residents are still suffering greatly and have no clue when things will get back to normal. Tons of my NYC friends and blogging friends are in this predicament and are still staying positive, and trying to help out as much as they can!

Here is a list of Four local organizations that do amazing things all year round for the residents and families of New York, and they have an even greater need right now since Hurricane Sandy has hit. I know any type of donation either in gear, time or money depending where you live would be put to great use.

  1. Room to Grow– Founded in 1989, Room to Grow is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.
  2. Baby Buggy– Founded by Jessica Seinfeld in 2001, Baby Buggy provides essential clothing, gear and services to families in need. Since inception Baby Buggy has donated over 5.7 million items.
  3. Robin Hood Foundation– Has been around for over 20 years, and they plan to act quickly and effectively to bridge the gap for poor New Yorkers between catastrophe and the help that will come from government sources.
  4. K.I.D.S– Founded in 1985, Kids in Distressed Situations provides brand new clothing, shoes, toys, books, baby products and more to 70 million children in need throughout the United States and overseas. In these 26 years of service, K.I.D.S. has been able to efficiently and effectively deliver essential merchandise to communities prone to chronic poverty; families suffering from life-altering and debilitating circumstances; and communities hit by natural disasters.

Also NYC moms Allison Weissman Citron and Melissa Weissman Rosenberg have started The Weissman Fund raising money for residents of Staten Island.

The days leading up to Hurricane Sandy were very busy for My Strange Family, my mom was in town and her initial flight to leave NYC was for Tuesday Oct 30th. We quickly got her a flight out early, and packed her last few days in NYC with tons of activities. We took H to his weekly classes, had brunch and attended local Halloween parties. H is still a bit young to understand “Halloween” but he loved seeing the pumpkins everywhere and dressing up in his train engineer costume.

Photos by Bellamy Blue Photography

We did some shopping in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, but our apartment was not labeled as a high risk zone so we put little effort into stocking up.

On Monday Oct 29th it was raining all day with strong wind gusts, but nothing extreme or “hurricane like”. Around 9pm the lights started to flicker, and soon after the power was completely out. Once the power went so did the cell service and the storm picked-up.

Our only way to know what was going on was to use the MicroLink FR160 from J&R Jr. H even had a cute little dance every time we cranked the radio.

I am so thankful I received this amazing Dayna Decker candle the week before! it smells amazing and the EcoWood Wick made the flame burned evenly and created a soothing sound of soft, cracking firewood.

We also used the 4Moms Origami stroller to walk through the dark New York City Streets. The headlights on the Origami helped light the way and the cell phone charger attachment was very helpful when we had no where else to charge our phones!

We stayed two nights at our apartment but the lack of power, cell service and hot water was draining on us. Our neighborhood was empty, dark and eerily quiet. We had to walk about a mile north to find warm food and cell service.

So, on Halloween we moved into the Westin hotel on 42nd street near Grand Central. It was like a whole new world above 40th street, and on the corner of Park Ave and 40th St an old man said, “Kansas is down that way, and OZ is uptown.”

By Thursday I was desperate to find an activity for H, so I was happy to find out that one of our favorite indoor play spaces Apple Seed UWS was opening their doors for us to play. And on Friday I took H to the UWS location of New York Kids Club to play. H was completely off schedule but was being a trooper!

H’s outfit is from NUNUNU Baby.

We were not getting any clear answers from Con Edison as to when our power was going to be back on, so we tried to secure a few more nights at our hotel but we kept being told it was sold out. However, after using social media and Twitter I was able to secure us as many nights as we needed at the Westin. We only ended up needing one more night but it was such a stress relief to know we had some place to stay long term if needed.

On Sat Nov 3rd we moved back downtown to our apartment, it is great to be home! The heat has been a bit spotty, we had to clear out all of our spoiled food and H’s bedroom ceiling caved in because of rain water runoff. However, besides these minor things we have been very lucky and everything is slowly getting back to normal for My Strange Family. I hope in due time everyone can be at a comfortable spot.

Hurricane Sandy has been so hard on so many, and any little bit you can do to help either locally or from around the world would be greatly appreciated for the families not as fortunate as my own.

If you know of any organization or family in need please let me know so I can link to this page!