Around TownOpportunities

Support Lower Manhattan Residents & Businesses

Below is a list of ways you can support Lower Manhattan Residents & Businesses:


As Lower Manhattan grappled with the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy, many low-income residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, particularly older or disabled individuals, were stuck in their homes with little to no access to food and water. A number of community partners are working with local residents to help them recover from the storm and build a more resilient and vibrant community. Please visit their websites to learn more about their ongoing efforts to strengthen the neighborhood.

The Lower East Side Recovers is a site coordinating needs, gives, and volunteer opportunities.

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council are posting opportunities to help to Facebook.com/twobridges or @twobridgesnyc on Twitter.


Good Old Lower East Side

Partnership for Parks

The Jewish Community Project is also organizing some volunteer efforts in Lower Manhattan. Email info@jcpdowntown.org to help or to request assistance.


The Citizens Committee of New York City is offering Hurricane Relief Grants of up to $5,000.  Applications are due December 31.  For more info contact Saleen at 212-822-9566 orsshah@citizensnyc.org.

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has mobilized a Legal Aid Disaster Relief Program to help victims of the storm deal with a range of legal issues. Call their hotline at 212-584-3365 or email StormHelp@nylag.org.

Councilmember Margaret Chin issued a helpful list soon after the storm; it has now been updated with new information. For residents the topics covered are FEMA assistance; compensation for lost wages; food stamp access; insurance issues; legal assistance; the NYC rapid repairs program. For small businesses and non-profits the topics include grants; loans; help available from the Mayor's fund, the Small Business Administration; Renaissance Economic Development Corporation; and various other resources.  The list is available here.


Many of the storefront businesses along the East River in the old Seaport and in the Financial District were severely damaged in the storm, including many small and local businesses and restaurants. Their path to recovery is just beginning and they too will likely require assistance--skilled or unskilled expertise. Consider volunteering to assist these businesses as they work to clean up and re-open.

NYC Service is coordinating some volunteer efforts.

New York City's Public Advocate is also coordinating volunteer efforts.

Handbook for Individuals, Families and Small Businesses Affected by Superstorm Sandy: This comprehensive handbook provides an overview of resources available as a result of the storm. It was compiled from numerous sources by Morrison & Foerster LLP and co-produced by R.R. Donnelley who donated the printing of 30,000 copies. The Handbook is based on the Disaster Assistance Relief Manual compiled by Sarah Alba of Legal Services NYC, with assistance from The Legal Aid Society, organizations that have vast experience providing civil legal services to low-income persons in New York City. The Handbook can be viewed online here.

Make a donation to The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. One hundred percent of donations will be dispersed directly to relief efforts and organizations. Donations can be made online at www.nyc.gov/fund and checks can also be made out to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City with Hurricane Sandy in the memo line and sent to: Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, 253 Broadway, 8th Floor, NYC, NY 10007. For any further information please call 212-788-7794.

Finally, once these restaurants and store-front shops are up and running again, they will need your business more than ever. Later this month or as the holiday season ramps up, create an excuse to come down to Lower Manhattan to shop, dine, or visit the cultural institutions across this neighborhood. Discover local businesses and help support the recovery and ongoing redevelopment of this dynamic and historic district.