Hurricane Sandy relief effort continues at UW-Madison

Dec. 4, 2012

by Susannah Brooks

Photo: Hurricane Sandy flooding

Hurricane Sandy spread destruction and flooding across the New York and New Jersey area, and a UW-Madison relief effort aims to help storm victims.

In the days and weeks since Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, relief has come from many sources.

But many New York and New Jersey residents who already faced a tough winter now find themselves without the support of agencies they could typically count on for help. Groups already assisting families and children in poverty before the hurricane now struggle to stay afloat themselves.

Through Saturday, Dec. 8, the UW-Madison community is promoting a drive to collect the most needed items: socks, coats, blankets, toiletries, gloves, hats, and non-perishable food items. All sizes are needed, especially those for children. Books, games and toys are also welcome, as families fight to regain a sense of everyday normalcy.

"Disaster relief organizations have such a wide spectrum of tasks at hand that many people who were already in danger of slipping through the cracks are even more at risk," says Everett Mitchell, UW-Madison's director of community relations, who spearheaded the drive through connections in northern New Jersey. "These individuals, many of whom lost all the possessions they had, need basics such as food and warm clothing. But as the rest of the world approaches the holiday season — and a cold winter — these individuals also need tangible reminders that people care."

Donation barrels are available in these locations through Saturday, Dec. 8 (in main lobby areas unless otherwise noted):

  • Pres House, 731 State St.
  • Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon St.
  • Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St. (outside Flamingo Run)
  • Witte Hall, 615 W. Johnson St.
  • Sellery Hall, 821 W. Johnson St.
  • Smith Hall, 35 N. Park St.
  • Chadbourne Hall, 420 N. Park St.
  • Dejope Hall, 640 Elm Dr.

Significant support also comes through the First Wave program, many of whom have personal connections to the New York and New Jersey region. Collection barrels will be available outside First Wave's performances on Friday, Dec. 7 at 9 p.m. (Just Bust! in the On Wisconsin Room of the Red Gym) and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. (The Leak with Rafael Casal, in the Memorial Union Rathskeller).

Those who wish to donate money may still do so through the Red Cross, including a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. The Red Cross has raised nearly $170 million to date for Sandy and estimates that it will spend $110 million on the emergency relief through the end of December.

Campus organizations taking part in coordination and collection include ASM, the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement and the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. Fresh Madison Market is also assisting with nonperishable food collection.