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Posted by on Oct 31, 2012

Help Victims of Superstorm Sandy


Superstorm Sandy has created chaos on the East Coast.  Now you can help those affected begin the long and slow process of recovery and you can support those in need. Millions are still without electricity and transportation and many have homes under water and nowhere to go.

Check out these highly-rated national and local nonprofits helping Sandy victims.  Your donation can help these nonprofits provide necessary food, shelter, health and medical aid. These organizations have been highly-rated by volunteers, donors and actual people helped by these charities.

Our list covers lesser known nonprofits most effectively helping victims of Sandy. Charities such as DC Central Kitchen, are open during the disaster to provide food to those in need. The lists of nonprofits covers charities whose missions span from providing food and shelter, to helping reunite storm victims with their lost pets following the disaster.

We urge potential donors to check this list before giving, in order to find groups highly reviewed by their own volunteers and the people they have actually helped.

Find the full list of top-rated Sandy disaster relief nonprofits here.

Are you a nonprofit helping victims of Sandy? Tell us in the comments! We would love to direct donors to you.

Did you know? GreatNonprofits was created out of a desire to find effective nonprofits on the ground helping during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.





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  3. Nonprofit Love: Two FREE Online Events from GuideStar You Won’t Want to Miss


  1. How much money did the Humane Society of the United States pay to get their scandal-tainted name on the top-rated list? The $200 million HSUS is not based in the New York area, runs no shelters, earns a D grade from Charity Watch and a similar rating (46% of income spent on overhead) from Animal People newspaper.   The HSUS reviews/ratings on Great Nonprofits are far from stellar, even with numerous scripted 5-star reviews from paid employees and sanity-challenged acolytes. 
    HSUS may have a few volunteers on the scene for animal rescue photo-ops, but certainly does not need to fundraise for that.  Neither does the mega-wealthy ASPCA, though that group is not in the same sleaze-league as HSUS, which was investigated by the Louisiana Attorney General for Hurricane Katrina fraud.  Prospective donors should contact the Consumer Protection division of the AG’s office for verification of that. 
    Followers of GreatNonprofits:  Know that HSUS funnels around $10 million a year to an outfit called Quadriga Art for direct mail fundraising.  Quadriga was recently exposed by CNN and Charity Watch and is now under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee for illegal fundraising practices.  Animal lovers who donate to HSUS can expect to be on Quadriga’s sucker list for begging letters and junk gifts indefinitely.  Don’t forget to thank Great Nonprofits and Charity Navigator for that.  Way to go, inept ones.

  2. HSUS At it again just like during Katrina and Rita. Hopefully the criminal division of the NY and NJ take this seriously.
    ATTORNEY GENERAL FOTI OPENS INQUIRY INTO HUMANE SOCIETY OF U.S. Publication: US Fed News Service, Including US State News Date: Monday, March 27 2006
    The Louisiana attorney general issued the following news release:
    Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr., announced today that his office has opened an inquiry into allegations involving funds raised for pet /owner reunions by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The Attorney General’s Office is asking the HSUS for an accounting of all funds HSUS raised for the purpose of pet rescue and reunion with pet owners in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
    The Attorney General’s office has received numerous complaints from pet owners about problems many are having finding their pets following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Through its association with other animal welfare organizations nationwide, HSUS has documented and placed animals in shelters around the country, often resulting in the displaced pets’ adoption. In some cases, pet owners claim that those who are currently caring for the displaced pets are refusing to reunite the pet with the proper owners. The Attorney General is asking anyone with information about questionable fundraising activities by animal groups or any other groups to please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-351-4889 or visit our website at .

    • @DawnTaylor1

    • @DawnTaylor1
      Nathan Winograd had a great post about how Pacelle uses Humane Watch to play the victim and perpetuate the myth that HW is their only critic. They also exploit Charity Navigator in a similar way, milking the dumb 4 star rating as a defense and shield to deflect attention every time they lie, cheat and steal, which is every day. Charity Navigator is angry that they have been criticized for their rewarding of HSUS’s cooking their tax returns. That’s why Great Nonprofits named HSUS the number one charity for this disaster. Charity Navigator and it’s puppets, like Grest Nonprofits, don’t want to improve their methodology and they are willing to help HSUS fleece the public in order to punish THEIR critics.

      • @Doppster  @DawnTaylor1 I read that article as well.
        I am now speaking with the State Attorney Generals office in NJ, NY as well as an agent from the FBI in NJ and a U.S. Marshall. I will not stop until every law enforcement office and government watch group knows what this crook has done to the animals he took in during the storm. I am in touch also with major media outlets including CNN and NBC.
         Pacelle better be very careful we are watching and not going to let him get away with killing people’s companion animals or duping people out of the money they send to help these animals. 
        Pacelle is going to be expose on every corner of the globe.

  3. HSUS’s Hurricane pitch mentions Charity Navigator love – and adds a disclaimer that donations will be used for Sandy and future disasters. HSUS considers farm animal cruelty cases and dogfighting as disasters. And you’re OK with this?

  4. No I am not and as a matter of fact that one of the key points in the investigation in Louisiana. HSUS tried to remove the link from Hurricane Katrina for donations that directed into a general fund. The link showed as if it was money going directly to Hurricane Katrina animals it wasn’t, it went into one fund. This is fraudulent and deceptive. We were able to pull that link from the “way back when” archives for the State Attorney General’s criminal investigators. The other key point was, donations were taken in for rescue and reunited, this as we all know did not happen. Animals were dumped off on us and dumped of anywhere they could find to put them off on someone else including the kill shelters. Only appearances mattered to Mr. Pacelle. I worked alongside HSUS for years after during the storm is when I turned against them. Many people were angry with me for going against HSUS publicly but, that did not matter to me the animals lives were at stake. I lost some friends along the way that just wouldn’t believe anything bad about HSUS. I am one of the first animal rescuers to ever go against them publicly. 
     At Lamar Dixon facility they were shipping animals into other states only a couple weeks after the storm. I knew so many would be lost forever. There was enough room at the Lamar Dixon facility to house more animals.
    The agenda was get them in and get them out. I know I was there. This place was a hell hole for not only animals but humans. It was unbearable hot and cages were so small the animals couldn’t turn around. They packed the animals like this so they could move more out. All I could do was cry. The animals were terrified. It breaks my heart as I write this to remember back how scared they all were. They would shove these animals in from the back they made sure everyone did it a certain way. There was little interaction with animals and humans. They would cage them and take turns walking them only for a few minutes and back into the cage. Can you imagine, one minute they are in the safety of their home the next into a cage, then a truck and then to be killed somewhere where no one would find out, or so Pacelle thought. He thought wrong. I will never stop trying to warn the public and rescuers what he did out there. You could hear animals crying on roofs and not one animal rescue helicopter was deployed. They were so weak and dehydrated they could hardly lift their little heads so we could see them. When I asked Pacelle why he did not send helicopters his reply was “We don’t have any helicopters” but he did have over 200 millions dollars he could have leased plenty of them.
    So I went over the boarder to Alabama to find out if I could rent a helicopter and of course you could but, they would’t let anyone land although HSUS could have gotten past this. 
    I met more than once with the State Attorney General’s office’s criminal division, as well as other key rescue groups. No the answer is I am not fine with diverting the money to other so called rescues. When money is donated for the rescue of animals in a particular storm that is what that donor intends it to go to. 
    Wayne Pacelle’s time is limited he will eventually go to jail. No one said anything derogatory about HSUS before the storm that is until they saw HSUS for what they really are during disasters, nothing more than a giant over paid animal control, collecting and killing. If you support HSUS you support the mass killing of animals during disasters and from shelters. Wayne Pacelle and HSUS comitted fraud during Katrina, Issac (where they were found out sending animals to a NC kill shelter) and now Hurricane Sandy. One day hopefully everyone will see what this org. is about and demand justice. 
    And that disclaimer was put on there because that is what got him into hot water during Katrina. Deceiving the public about where the donations were going and how they were being used.

  5. Dawn, I know you are not OK with the HSUS raising Katrina-level money on Sandy, while spending a small fraction of it on the intended purpose.  I was asking if Great Nonprofits and Charity Navigator were OK with it.  The answer appears to be yes.  And since Charity Navigator is a big part of every HSUS sales pitch and press release, HSUS has made them part of the opposing view.
    Sandy is nowhere near the disaster for animals that Katrina was. It is the biggest human disaster since Katrina, and the fact that the HSUS is listed in so many media articles as one of the top charities to give to you shows the aggressiveness and chutzpah of Pacelle and the HSUS media hounds – and the damage caused by Charity Navigator’s mistake.
    What HSUS did and failed to do after Katrina was deplorable.  Countless animals died as a result.  HSUS didn’t have a competent disaster expert in 2005, and they do not have one today.  After their Gulf Coast debacle and resulting AG investigation, HSUS hired a few disaster professionals like Allen Schwartz and Randy Graves.  Between 2006 and 2009, they, and other Emergency Response team members, complained that HSUS was exploiting cruelty cases for fundraising and publicity –  and worse, impersonating law enforcement officials.  Graves warned that this would result in lawsuits. (One very strong $5 million suit for an illegal HSUS raid and seizure, will be going to trial soon.)   All 12 emergency team members quit in 2009, and some were brave enough to speak out about their horrible experience working for HSUS.  Since 2010, there have been several interim staffers running the disaster department, hardly what you would expect from the self-proclaimed “leading disaster agency for animals.”  The HSUS Hurricane Sandy response involves temporary, makeshift shelters for displaced pets, coordinating the assistance of unaffiliated first responders (HSUS implies that these experts are HSUS staff), and handing out large amounts of pet food (all donated by corporations).  There is nothing wrong with any of this, except that HSUS is raising Katrina-level dollars for a relatively low-budget operation.  To make it seem like a bigger, more expensive effort, HSUS is claiming to have rescued thousands of animals,  provided 2 million pet meals, and ventured out on boats to save lives.  They did the same thing in the Gulf Coast – both to rake in donations and to justify the raking in of those donations.  HSUS helped rescue around 2,000 Katrina animals and reunited 210 with their owners.  HSUS took credit for rescuing 10,000 animals and reuniting 2,500.  
    In the aftermath of Katrina, HSUS was the first and most aggressive organization as far as getting out their donation pitch to thousands of media outlets, videotaping and pitching dozens of feel-good stories, and using mass email solicitations, telefundraising and celebrity PSAs.  In 2012, their online fundraising capacity is much greater.  Pacelle sees this as an another Katrina publicity coup, an opportunity to raise Red Cross level donations, and reimage their tarshished brand as a kind of animal Red Cross. 
    HSUS raised $34.6 million for Katrina and defended against impending criminal charges with the (technically legal) argument that only money specifically earmarked for Katrina had to be used for Katrina ($5.5 million).  Similarly, their Sandy pitch indicates that the money can be used for future disasters.  In HSUS’s case, that means it will disappear into their bank accounts and pension fund, pay for sleazy fundraising vendors, go to waste for Wayne Pacelle’s losing political and litigation warfare, and defend against current, serious RICO charges recently greenlighted by a Federal Judge.  The overfunded Red Cross has a better justification for the “future disasters” clause:  the Red Cross is a disaster relief agency.  HSUS is anything but.  Disasters and high profile cruelty cases like Michael Vick, are their greatest cash cows and media magnets.  Definition:  a cash cow “generates unusually high profit margins:  so high that it is responsible for a large amount of the company’s operating profit.  This profit far exceeds the amount necessary to maintain the cash cow business and the excess is used by the business for other purposes.”  How many people are writing the words “to be used for Hurricane Sandy” on their donation forms?  And HSUS isn’t a tax-paying, business.
    HSUS isn’t running a Hurricane Sandy fundraising campaign, it is running an HSUS fundraising campaign using Hurricane Sandy as the hook.  Very few people donating realize that their contributions are unlikely to benefit victims of this disaster.  With $200 million in the bank, some of it still earning interest from Katrina, HSUS could have easily funded their NY/NJ relief work without a single sales pitch.  Instead, they are, as always, turning it into a moneymaking opportunity.  I believe that HSUS may actually raise MORE than $35 million for Hurricane Sandy. Whatever the total is, it far, far exceeds the amount necessary.  And that will divert much-needed donations away from good animal organizations and charities in all fields.
    In response to a comment by a woman named Marilyn Reese on Huffington Post regarding HSUS’s use of Sandy donations for other disasters, HSUS rep “Del Jake” responded:  “If you are talking about Hurricane Sandy, how many millions should they put out for one storm and then have nothing in reserve for the next puppy mill bust or farm animal cruelty case?”  
    HSUS should – and will – be asked to provide a detailed accounting and timeline of money taken in for this disaster and money spent on it.  No vague information/approximations, no lowballing the amount of donated dollars.  Facts, documentation and verification.    It’s not about dead dogs this time, but donated dollars and donor intent.  That is what should be discussed with the media and AG’s offices.

  6. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

  7. I find it so heart warming every time I can read inspiring stories with social values. It is great to know that there are still a lot of people out there who cares for other people in need such as the victims of Sandy storm.
    Guys, this little preschool in Zambia that lost its roof in a storm just melts my heart. You can read more about it on


  1. Obama Victory Speech Transcript (2012) - Calls for Charity, Duty, Unity - [...] times of economic hardship or natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy, Obama reminds us all in his 2012 victory speech …

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