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Hurricane Sandy: How you can help

Updated Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30pm

Rock Center has received an outpouring of support from viewers looking to directly help the people profiled in our reports about Hurricane Sandy's impact.

Phyllis Puglia's family has set up a website to help rebuild her home and replace personal belongings. http://www.gofundme.com/1gidqk

Kelley and Adam, profiled last week, are hopeful they will find temporary housing and begin to rebuild their lives.


If you would like to send or drop off donations of clothing or other tangible goods to those affected in Staten Island, NY, you may consider contacting the following local organizations:

(Click here for additional regional and national resources helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy)

Monsignor Farrell H.S.

John Makely/NBC News

Staten Island, NY -- John Dellorusso looks over his backyard which now contains the debris from a nearby restaurant. His home, at right, was severely damaged and his girlfriend refuses to return to the house.

2900 Amboy Road, Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 987-2900
Collecting blankets, coats, gloves and hats

St. Joseph By The Sea High School

5150 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10312
(718) 984-6500
Collecting cleaning supplies, rubber gloves and clothing

Project Hospitality
25 Central Avenue,Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 720-0079, ext. 10.
Collecting supplies like new underwear, socks, new towels, toiletries, canned food

Rabs Country Lanes
1600 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305
(718) 979-1600
Collecting clothing and blankets

Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10306
Accepting monetary donations for families in need

The Red Cross is providing shelter, clothes, supplies, food and blood, as needed, for the victims of Sandy. You can donate blood, but in terms of items, you'll be doing more for those in need by donating money instead of physical goods.

Text message: Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)

Phone: 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 800-257-7575; for TDD,  800-220-4095.

To donate blood: Visit this Red Cross Web page.

Online: American Red Cross

The Salvation Army is providing meals and shelter. "At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army," the organization said Tuesday in a press release.

Text message: Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. To confirm the donation, respond with the word “Yes.”

Phone: 800-SAL-ARMY (800-725-2769)

Online: Salvation Army; here's the organization's New Jersey site, and its Greater New York site.

John Makely/NBC News

Staten Island, NY -- Jane Caravello pauses for a moment after wading a couple hundred yards from her house. "Half of it is down there and the other half is on Beach Ave."

Many pet owners were able to take their pets with them, but for those who were not, the Humane Society's Animal Rescue Team is assembling staff and equipment to help rescue pets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Phone: 301-258-8276

Online: Humane Society of the United States

The association is helping animals that may need rescue or shelter.

Text message: Text the word HUMANE to 80888 to donate $10.

Phone: 866-242-1877.

Online: The AHA's website for donating is here.

Habitat, an international organization, helps those in need rebuild their homes after disaster strikes.

Phone: As of Tuesday morning, Habitat's online donation system was not available. If you want to make a donation, you can call Habitat's Partner Service Center at 800-HABITAT (422-4828). Press "0" when prompted and representatives will take your donation information over the phone.

Online: This is Habitat for Humanity's main website.

This group coordinates efforts with the state's Office of Emergency Management, as well as with state and local nonprofit organizations.

Phone: (908) 355- FOOD (3663), ext. 243.

Online: Community FoodBank of New Jersey

The organization will deliver food, water and supplies to communities in need through its network of food banks and the agencies they serve.

Phone: 800-910-5524

Online: This is Feeding America's main website.

Catholic Charities provides emergency food, shelter, direct financial assistance, counseling, and support "regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds."

Online: More information here; main website here.

Phone: 800-919-9338 

This group provides emergency medicine and supplies. Donations are accepted on its accepts donations on its website.

Phone: 800-486-4357.

This local NYC program is "the city's largest volunteer organization, running volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies and public schools." It is recruiting volunteers to help with Sandy relief efforts, and is also raising money.

Online: New York Cares; donation page here.

Phone: 212-228-5000

You can also approach the city government directly to volunteer, by emailing nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with your name, email address and borough.

The organization provides medicine and supplies to partner health centers and clinics.

Text message: Text the word RELIEF to 27722 to give $10.

Phone: 805-964-4767.

Online: Direct Relief International is the main website; go here to donate online.

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City charity supports "impactful public programs serving some of the City's greatest needs."

Online: The Mayor's Fund website is here.

Describing itself as "a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families" and communities, World Vision provides flood clean-up kits, hygiene kits, blanket and food kits.

Text message: Text the word GIVEUSA to 777444 to donate $10.

Phone: 888-511-6443.

Online: For World Vision's Hurricane Sandy relief, click here.

Provides immediate relief, assistance with cleanup and rebuilding, pastoral counseling and support for children and youth who have been through trauma.

Text message: Text the word RESPONSE to 80888 to give a $10 donation.

Phone: 800-554-8583

Online: United Methodist Committee on Relief

The Jewish Federations of North America Hurricane Relief Fund will contribute to recovery and rebuilding.

Text message: Text the word RELIEF to 51818 to pledge a donation.

Online: The Jewish Federations of North America.

One of the most badly damaged communities in Sandy's wake is Breezy Point, Queens. Catholic University student Matthew Petronis created this fundraising page to help his community rebuild. "I have seen the damage and can say that the place where I grew up during my childhood is almost gone," he wrote on the page, "but that is not the case for the children that are growing up now!" 

NBC Universal will host a benefit for Sandy victims on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts. Find more info here.

Though smaller instant charities are not always recommended for donating (for reasons discussed below), NBC News reporters have interviewed Petronis, and verified his story.

We'll be updating this list.

Remember that while giving is good, beware of those out there who are not good and are trying to trick you by taking your money. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last year, the Federal Trade Commission's caution still holds true: "Scammers may try to take advantage of a disaster, and so consumers should be wary of urgent appeals for charitable donations, and watch out for fraudulent home repair schemes after a storm."

You can read more about avoiding home repair rip-offs and charity fraud from the FTC.

Also, the FBI has counseled on its Facebook page "to beware of fraudulent emails and websites claiming to conduct charitable relief efforts. Disasters prompt individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or a good cause," and suggests reading "Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes" to learn more about avoiding online fraud.

Compiled by Suzanne Choney, TODAY.com