Communities from New York and New Jersey have spent close to a month cleaning up the mess Superstorm Sandy left behind. People from across Central New York have pitched in. Our Sarah Blazonis talked to two groups who say it's not too late for you to help out.
CENTRAL NEW YORK -- Elizabeth Ersek was part of the first group of volunteers from the Red Cross of CNY deployed to help out with Sandy relief efforts. She says the devastation hit home during a trip to the front lines in Long Beach.
"People just came out by the droves out of the buildings that hadn't had toiletries, didn't have Pampers for babies, hadn't eaten in awhile," said Ersek, who is originally from Manhattan.
Seventy-five volunteers from the group's 16 county coverage area have deployed to the hardest hit areas since then. Officials expect the region will continue to have a presence downstate because, as Ersek saw firsthand, a lot of work remains.
"Everything is covered with sand, there's a lot of garbage, it's just total turmoil," she said.
Also working to help Sandy survivors is American Legion Post 169 in Oneida. They're working to fill a truck with goods to ship to those most affected. They're asking the community for help and say no donation is too small.
"We lost four legions completely -- completely gone -- which is a big hit," said Post 169 Auxiliary President Charmie Baker.
So far, they've collected items ranging from bottled water to cleaning supplies to socks and gloves, but much more is needed.
"Anything that will make you feel more comfortable, because basically, their day starts when the sun comes up and it ends when the sun goes down because there are still a lot of people down there who do not have power," said Baker.
They hope their truck will be full by the time they ship supplies, letting survivors know Central New York is still here to lend a hand.
To contribute to Post 169's CNY Operation Sandy Recovery, drop donations off at 398 N. Main Street in Oneida daily from 3 p.m. on. To have donations picked up, call Larry Bavo at (315) 762-8047 or Charmie Baker at (315) 761-9611. Cash donations are also being accepted. The legion would like to ship goods out by December 30, but donations will also be accepted after that date.
To learn how to donate time, money or blood to the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.