By Ella Riley-Adams
If you’re living on the Upper West Side, you probably didn’t feel the brunt of last week’s torrential disaster. If you’re downtown or living in Staten Island, you weren’t so lucky. But no matter your apartment’s location, you were undoubtedly a part of the city’s Sandy panic and now, its recovery.
When you volunteer to help people get back on their feet, you build community, see new parts of your city, and get the inevitable swell in your chest that means you’re doing a good thing. If you invite a MeetMoi Intro to do that volunteering with you, you double all benefits.
We’ve got a few ideas so you can charm both NYC and your date:
Go Grocery Shopping Ask your date if he or she would be down to take a trip to Trader Joe’s or your local bodega. Fill a basket full of canned food and buy some snacks for yourselves. Check out Occupy Sandy Relief for up-to-date information on which volunteer locations need your nourishment most. Make the trek to drop it off (getting to know your date along the way!) and appreciate the wonder of a working metro.
Find Furry Friends Call your local humane society and find out how you can help them out. The Humane Society twitter feed shows many animals’ dire situation post-Sandy. Yesterday, for example, the Animal Rescue Team rescued 64 cuddly creatures in Ocean County, NJ. Those animals need food, toys, and TLC. Tell your date you have one and only one requirement: Must. Love. Dogs.
Clean Your Closets Turn on the new Grizzly Bear album and dig through your old college sweatshirts and clubbing T-shirts together. You’ll learn about each other’s past, and then share in the relief of letting those memories go. And the biggest plus, of course, is giving someone else comfort and warmth. Check in with the Red Hook Initiative to find out where your old clothes can best be distributed.
Work it Out Get rid of first date jitters by putting your nervous body to work, helping to clean up and rebuild damaged homes. Samaritan’s Purse is organizing teams of volunteers in NJ and NY to get affected neighborhoods back up and running, so you can skip small talk and bond over your attempts to hammer nails. Send flirty texts about your sore shoulders in the morning.
Finally, for the bold and brave: ask your date if they’re willing to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. Could be the weirdest date you’ve ever been on, but it could also be the cutest first-date story ever told at a wedding. “Once upon a time, there was a hurricane named Sandy…”