I have to admit that I feel a bit guilty about how easily I made it through the ordeal which was Sandy last week. A big part of it is that I got lucky – just a few more feet of storm surge and my apartment would likely have been flooded and I’d be ripping out sheetrock and destroyed possessions right now. But I got lucky. The flood waters stopped at 10th Avenue, just a couple hundred yards from my front door. And even suffering four days of no power, we got power back last week; many more in the region still have no power. I had easy access to mid-town Manhattan and further north, where power, heat, food and friends were easy to come by. Thousands upon thousands did not have that and do not have that still today, a week later.
Hardly the worst of it, by far.
Things are slowly getting better around here. Power is coming back, the transit system is getting back online and where things are still broken the support from the community is incredible. In the travel world the response from JetBlue is nothing short of tremendous. They’ve been at the front of the industry in allowing for changes to travel plans for customers affected by Sandy and they’ve also been on the ground in New York City, supporting the NYC Food Truck association’s efforts to distribute 25,000 hot meals to city residents affected by the storm.
And now a group of us here on Boarding Area are stepping up to crowd-source some additional support. As a group we’ll be donating $1 toward the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for each comment on our Hurricane Sandy posts (like this one), up to a combined $1,800 total between the participating blogs.
We’re encouraging everyone to donate points, time or dollars. Or just take a few seconds to comment on this post. EVERY little bit counts. Many of us in the miles and points community are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to travel (I escaped to Hawaii for the day over the weekend), so let’s help those who are still struggling to get life back to some semblance of normal.
From a previous post I made, here are the hotel and airline programs I’m aware of offering points or matching donations made by members:
- JetBlue is matching customer donations up to the first $50,000 donated to the American Red Cross and also offering 6 points per dollar to their TrueBlue members. JetBlue is also making their presence felt on the ground in New York City, paying for meals from the Wafels & Dinges food trucks to be distributed to residents.
- Delta is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross relief efforts. Additionally, SkyMiles members can also donate miles or money to the Red Cross; there does not appear to be any miles promo associated with it at this time.
- United Airlines is matching up to $100,000 in donations to three charities: the American Red Cross, Feeding America and AmeriCares. As of this morning their member have already donated more than $300,000 to the charities so the match is maxed out. Additionally, members who give a minimum of $50 will receive 250 bonus miles. Donations of $100 or more will receive 500 miles. The company will issue up to 5 million miles as part of the effort.
- American Airlines is offering 250 AAdvantage miles to members who donate $50 and 500 miles to members who donate $100 or more.
- Hilton is offering 10 HHonors points for every $1 donated (through their GlobalGiving site) through the end of the year.
- Starwood Preferred Guest will match points donations made to the American Red Cross through November 30th. Donations start at 2,000 SPG points.
- Salvation Army accepts donations of United and Delta miles with a minimum of 1,000 miles.
- When you make charity donations using your US Bank FlexPerks card, you earn 3x for your donation.
Please consider donating through one of these programs (or another, if you are so motivated) if you can.
Leave a comment on this post stating how you like to help others in need, and it will raise $1 toward the hurricane relief efforts (one comment per person, please). Then head to the similar posts at View From the Wing, Deals We Like, Mommy Points, GhettoIFE and Very Good Points. The deadline to get your comment counted is 11:59PM Eastern on Thursday November 8th (so we can get the donations out by the end of the week). Thanks so much for taking the time to participate!
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Well done, Seth. A great gesture
I usually donate straight to the red cross since they have an infrastructure available to get things where they need to be.
Great job in helping raise funds to support relief efforts! I was away from NYC when the storm came ashore and I must admit, the first pics I saw of Sandy’s wrath were the ones you posted on your blog.
This is a great and generous initiative amongst the bloggers. Well done!
Nice gesture, though maybe some of the bloggers involved would also consider donating some of their CC referrals…
Nice thought FriendlySkies. Good on you Seth.
I donate to We Care, the internal help fund for United employees.
I’ve donated to the Red Cross. Kudos to you Seth!
Heck yes!! I’ve made my own modest contributions, but if leaving this note will help to enable even more, I’m good glad to do it. Grand Idea!!
It is now a full week since the storm stuck. FEMA is on-scene and looking very busy, for the most part taking applications… If anyone knows or can find out, a full week later, has anyone has a sip of FEMA-provided water, eaten a FMA meal or slept a (warm) night in FEMA-provided shelter? The Red Cross and others have been doing their thing – on the ground, but I’m not reading any reports of FEMA doing much beyond surveys, assessments and “Accepting Applications.” I hope someone can point me toward some direct action by FEMA. I cannot help but recall W’s comment in the aftermath of Katrina, “You’re doing a fine job, Brownie, and essentially fired him a few days later. I’d like to think that Mr. Obama’s team is doing a bit better, but I’ve yet to see reports of the on-ground services – like real, hot food passing the lips of those who have had cold canned beans or date-questionable cold cuts for a week. At this point, even a coach-class airline meal might be welcomed by many. There are countless catering kitchens in NYC. If they have power, are they helping with local food needs? I wonder.
Great deal! donated $400 already but would consider some more…
It is very nice of the boarding area bloggers to come together in this time of need.
As an alternative to the Red Cross, you may consider (as I have) to the NYC Mayor’s Fund (text NYCFUND to 50555) to ensure every $ of your donation goes to caring for displaced New Yorkers – no administrative overhead.
Great idea- my company has always 2x matched our donations so I gave to the Red Cross. Through twitter found a few locals in PA collecting items to bring to NY and hooked them up w/those offline wanting to donate goods, clothes, etc.
This is great!!
Thanks for this initiative.
Happy to add my comment and support
Great post & good info.!
I like to donate through my workplace.
I went to Costco and donated a bunch of essential items needed for the relief efforts. Also helping by getting another dollar raised right now 🙂
i donated food and clothes to a local church in my neighborhood. the people in need were so grateful and received help almost immediately.
Thanks for your support! great idea 🙂
Donating points like many readers of these blogs
From a Hoboken NJ resident who thankfully sustained just a little damage and just got power back Saturday, thanks for what you’re doing to support my neighbors and everyone else affected by the storm.
Donating to Red Cross as always.
I gave to the Red Cross and through the HHonors program.
I donate to the Red Cross.
Thanks to the link in your previous post about air and hotel programs that are contributing to the relief efforts, I got 500 AA miles with a donation to the Red Cross! Separately, I sent money to the Humane Society for their efforts to rescue pets that their human companions had to leave behind when they (the people) were evacuated.
You guys are great!
Never knew you lived in lower Manhattan too (like me). I’m gonna start reading your blog every day. Keep up the good work!
I donated to the Red Cross. Glad to see you were minimally impacted.
Glad to see you’re safe. Just me helping out.
My friends were affected by the storm. Thank you for doing this. I donated to the Red Cross.
Great thing for the Boarding Area bloggers to do!
American Red Cross
I’ve not been impacted by Sandy, but will spread the word about you bloggers with hearts of gold.
Great job, all!
I donate to a homeless women’s shelter.
donated to red cross via text. so sad for all my friends and colleagues up there…
This is great! Thanks for donating!
Right on! Great idea!
Thanks for your generosity
Great job. We’re pulling together supplies that we can donate, just need to find a way to get them up from DC.
I just returned from a trip. Will be making a monetary donation soon. Possibly in conjunction with one of the offers you listed. Thanks!
Donate for me!
I donated to the Red Cross.
Great idea by all of you, keep up the good work!
Great initiative. I’ve been affected by several hurricanes that have struck the mid Atlantic, you and everyone else up there have our sympathies.
By doing whatever is in my capacity!
Thanks for doing this. I donate to the Red Cross monthly, was told this helps with their budgeting.
Red Cross Disaster Relief
Never knew a simple comment could help out like this 🙂
73+153+82+101+63+79 — what does that say about the size of the blogs’ audience… or perhaps it’s just an indication that many can’t be bothered to add a comment or six?
Compare to Mommy Points’ Alamo swag giveaway, which drew 415 comments. http://blog.wandr.me/mommypoints/2012/11/04/giveaway-alamo-car-rental-deal-and-prize-pack-with-100-amex-gift-card/
Anyway, thanks for running this support effort, Seth. I sent some money to CARE
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