CMOM Responds After Hurricane Sandy
Urgent help needed!
CMOM launches long-term plan to help families impacted by Hurricane Sandy
As CMOM has learned through its work after 9/11 and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, creativity is at the heart of recovery and it is imperative to keep children’s minds active and engaged, even in difficult circumstances. CMOM is putting out an urgent call for volunteers and donations needed toward its relief efforts.
At Memorial Sloan Kettering
Among the families who suffered losses and have had their lives greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy, are the families with children being treated for cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. When CMOM artist-educator Jamie Kim went to the hospital to lead this week’s CMOM art program, she found that families of children being treated for cancer had been displaced by the hurricane with no where to stay, siblings and other relatives were waiting for hours at the hospital. Not only are these families dealing with the stress of being displaced or lacking access to electricity or transportation, they are dealing with a great added burden in getting their children timely medical care.
CMOM would like to create art kits for these children in transition, to create and participate in fun activities while waiting in the hospital, shelters or wherever they are staying. These kits would include a Wishing Wand Project with decorative materials, spiral bound writing and drawing journal and colorful crayons, and a soft pillowcase to draw on with fabric markers.Volunteers are needed to make Art Kits. If you want to volunteer, contact Liz Tsaoussis at 212-721-1223 ext. 254.
Staten Island Relief Project
The New York Public Library Branch division has asked CMOM to host “relief” programs at public library branches in areas of Staten Island affected by Hurricane Sandy. CMOM needs volunteers to buy or fund materials to prepare up to 100 Art Kits (each kit will include a draw-on stuffed animal or pillow case, wishing wand and journal with crayons) and 40 no-sew fleece blankets (to be hand constructed). Volunteers are needed to work with staff at the libraries. If you want to volunteer, contact contact Liz Tsaoussis at 212-721-1223 ext. 254.
Holiday Toy Delivery
Additionally, in December CMOM will receive a donation of over 400 toys which the Museum will deliver to children and families in Staten Island and Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital. Volunteers are needed to help deliver toys. If you want to volunteer, contact Leslie Bushara at 212-721-1223 ext. 250.
In the coming weeks, CMOM will continue to work with our citywide partners to determine how to best deliver programs at libraries throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island; Head Start sites, hospitals and community centers.
Please let us know if you would like to make a donation toward the fund for the CMOM Art Kit supplies, for Memorial Sloan Kettering or Staten Island Relief Project; or alternately, if you can put us in contact with any individual or company that may be able to donate supplies for the kits or offer additional resources. If you would like to donate funds, supplies or offer additional resources please contact Leslie Bushara at 212-721-1223 ext. 250 or Callie Siegel at 212-721-1223 ext. 260.
Message from the Director
CMOM was thrilled to have reopened to the public in the wake of the hurricane on Thursday, November 1 to provide safe, nurturing and educational experiences for families. Shortly after on Monday, November 5, the Museum also resumed its citywide outreach programs to homeless shelters, hospitals, after school programs, Head Start centers and in public housing.
As are all New Yorkers, CMOM remains very concerned about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and its lasting effect on our region. Many New Yorkers have been displaced or are living in semi-permanent housing, and the work to rebuild and recover will be long term and require a sustained effort by all of us. CMOM in particular has a history of working in communities affected by disasters and is helping those in areas affected most severely across the city — namely Staten Island, The Rockaways and Lower Manhattan — regain a bit of normalcy in their lives.
In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, CMOM created PlayHelps in New Orleans with support from the Toy Industry Foundation. PlayHelps was a recovery project to provide children affected by Katrina with a safe place to participate in everyday play and learning activities, and where they could also express their concerns, fears—and hopes for the future. PlayHelps was built on CMOM's previous experiences working with families after the 9/11 attacks and its years of working with children in the pediatric oncology ward at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. We know that the trauma of Hurricane Sandy may stay with children for some time and that providing comfort through the arts, play and writing helps to mitigate their long-term impact. CMOM is currently reaching out to its partners in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy to see how we can help.
Beyond the physical rebuilding of our city, we must also care for those children who need to be fortified emotionally. If you want to help either at CMOM or in these communities, or can direct us to resources and partners, email me directly at AAckerman@cmom.org. Together, we can make every effort to minimize the trauma of Hurricane Sandy.
Thank you for your support of CMOM and the families of New York.