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How to help after the superstorm

By Julie Hays, CNN
updated 3:34 PM EST, Tue November 6, 2012
People sift through their damaged home for items to save in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York.
People sift through their damaged home for items to save in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on millions along the East Coast
  • Relief groups are working to take care of those affected
  • There are ways you can help from wherever you are
  • Stay Informed on how to help with Impact Your World

(CNN) -- Though the storm itself has passed, many residents in the Northeast are still struggling in Sandy's aftermath.

Relief groups continue to provide aid for those displaced, and for others the hard work of cleanup and recovery has begun. There are many ways you can help.

Donate blood -- Hundreds of blood drives have been canceled due to the storm but the need remains constant. Eligible donors, particularly those in nonaffected areas, can schedule a donation appointment with the Red Cross online or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The New York Blood Center is also collecting blood donations in the New York/New Jersey area.

Give food and shelter -- Organizations including Red Cross, Salvation Army, Feeding America and Catholic Charities USA are providing millions of meals, bottled water and emergency shelter for those still displaced from the storm.

Help children in need -- Covenant House New Jersey, Save the Children, and World Vision are paying special attention to the needs of children affected by the storm.

Care for animals -- PetSmart Charities, the American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States are providing supplies and shelter for pets caught in the storm. For volunteer opportunities and more ways to help, follow @HumaneSociety on Twitter or the Best Friends Animal Society of New York on Facebook.

Provide supplies and financial aid -- AmeriCares, Convoy of Hope, Direct Relief International, Operation Blessing International, Jewish Federations of North America, UMCOR and United Way are providing everything from blankets and medical kits to emergency funds and cleaning supplies for people in need.

Join in the cleanup -- Team Rubicon has dispatched veteran field teams to start working right away, and Samaritan's Purse is organizing volunteers of all skill levels to help rebuild in the weeks and months to come. For more volunteer opportunities visit Recovers.org or learn how to register in your area.

Help outside the U.S. -- Hurricane Sandy took a deadly toll on the Caribbean before it hit the United States. Church World Service, Operation USA, International Medical Corps and the International Rescue Committee are helping people affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba. Church World Service and Operation USA are also providing aid to the East Coast.

Stay Informed -- For the latest on ways to help, visit Impact Your World. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us @CNNImpact.

If you are planning to give to an organization in the wake of any disaster, verify that it is legitimate. Charity evaluators like Guidestar and Charity Navigator are good ways to check that the group you are donating to is established and your funds will go where you intend.

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