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Young and senior women holding hands

In the aftermath of great disasters, it is very heartwarming to see how people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities and genders come together to provide support and relief to those affected. It’s not even all about financial aid – there are also a few great acts of heroism. And then there are those countless, little gestures of generosity and kindness, which at the end of the day become absolutely greater than the sum of all its parts.

We saw it during Katrina, we saw it during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Today, we’re seeing it again in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which was immediately followed by the great snow storm that hit the US last week and over the weekend.

The damages caused by Sandy were at an estimated $50 billion. The death toll was more than a hundred; thousands of homes underwater and countless were left homeless. Millions of people were left without power for several days.

New Jersey and New York, which took the brunt of Sandy, were reeling once again when a nor’easter’ storm, which brought up about six inches of snow, hit just one week after Sandy came and went. Some people who just got their power back lost it yet again and those evacuees who came home after the hurricane were asked to leave once again.

A lot of people from all over America and even around the world have stepped up to lend a hand to those who are homeless, without power, heat and water. These good Samaritans come from businesses both big and small alike, students, private citizens, government agencies, non-profit organizations, celebrities, etc.

Here at PURE, we are big supporters of positive living and no other act is more positive than the gesture of kindness towards one another in times when kindness is needed most. So we have collated all efforts from all over the country of people who are doing what they can to help those affected by the recent extreme weather conditions. So read on and be inspired.

  • There are fitness centers in New York and New Jersey who have allowed the storm victims to use their shower facilities for free.
  • The mayor of Newark opened his home to constituents nearby and allowed them to charge their phones and gadgets & pass the time by watching DVD shows. A lot of households who had power also offered extension power plugs to passersby so they can charge their phones or get in touch with friends and family.
  • Aside from performing in a tribute concert, Jon Bon Jovi visited his flooded hometown of Sayreville, NJ. Bruce Springsteen & Christina Aguillera, among others, also sang for the victims. Meanwhile Ben Stiller helped feed people in Brooklyn.
  • Duracell set up charging stations for mobile devices at a public park in Manhattan, called Battery Park. They are also offering free Duracell batteries and flashlights. Another big company, Verizon, provided text and voice for free to those affected.
  • Children are out on the sidewalk selling various goods, such as cookies, candies and beverages. All profits will be given to the storm victims.
  • Students, colleges and universities across the country have been doing numerous fund-raising & relief efforts. Some schools are using high profile events such as Homecoming to raise funds. There are also cases where the students themselves took the initiative and hosted activities like all-you-can-eat specials.
  • Staten Island was one of the most badly hit by the storm and resident Emily Ellington gave out 40 boxes of pizzas to the affected residents in that area. Meanwhile, Andrew Carmellini of The Dutch Manhattan served free soup and salad. Lonestar Taco gave free tacos to people in Lower Manhattan. Various soup kitchens were set up in Queens.
  • Doctors such as Dr. Dave Ores are providing free medical care. He posted this on Tumblr: “I’m open today if I can help anyone. Until 6pm Spread the word. Thanks. 189 east 2nd street btw A and B’” Banfield Pet Hospital set up free physical exams in more than 140 hospitals of affected areas.
  • People who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans back in 2005 felt a surge of empathy for East Coast. The Daily Reporter of Greenfield Indiana wrote: Church groups, nonprofits, City Hall and individuals in New Orleans and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast have begun sending care packages, donating money and staging volunteers for the clean-up and recovery efforts.
  • ABC and Disney have teamed up and sponsored an event called “A Day of Giving” Starting with Good Morning America and ending with Jimmy Kimmel Live, it gave viewers a chance to make contributions to the Red Cross. This initiative raised almost $17 million.

We all wish that disasters do not happen but sadly, they’re inevitable. The good thing about it is it brings out the best in a lot of us. And we at PURE have this to say: Let’s keep it up! Remember the smallest things we do, even a kind word or a sincere smile, can mean so much for people who are under so much stress. And if you’re too far away for that, remember that organizations like the Red Cross and iTunes Store are always looking forward to your generosity. Remember to always be positive, stay safe and live PURE and the world is going to be a whole lot better.