Originally influenced by European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots particularly notable in the Celtic Samhain tradition, All Hallow’s Eve is the night before the Christian High Holy Day of All Saints Day (varies by Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic and Anglican, but let’s not split hairs, this isn’t an orthodoxy blog). Traditions vary even here within the United States in post-war secular society but generally speaking the youthful-minded dress up in costumes and travel from house to house that are adorned with carved pumpkins and ghoulish chachkas (the hip one in suburbia here is the air inflatable lawn ordainment, ugh) while collecting sweet treats, sometimes in an empty pillowcase sometimes in designer plastic ware.
Trick-or-Treating, the process of collecting food, coins and other treats, is mostly a good-natured affair and it would be terrible to take that away from the kids who so earnestly put together their costumes and looked forward from the beginning of the school year to going door-to-door showing it off for a few candies. Yet so many neighborhoods throughout New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut (the entire tri-state no matter how you carve it up around the dirty Jerz) aren’t able to provide this most youthful enjoyment.
Just as important for those neighborhoods that are able to give out treats to their neighborhood kids it is just as imperative that they give that much more this year. Perhaps not in candy but in another ghoulish way, blood. The region ravaged by Hurricane Sandy desperately needs blood and other donations and they need them now and will continue to need to for the coming weeks and months. Make your treats exceedingly worthwhile by gathering them together to give to those who need it far beyond your neighborhood, not just to give kids a delayed Halloween but everyone here in the devastation of Sandy a tomorrow in general.
All Saints Day commemorates and honours all the saints, known and unknown including the more liberal ideal of any soul attaining beatific vision. In appeal to every offshoot of Christian ideal, be it the spiritual beliefs or the dogmantic rendering, this is everyone’s chance to be a Saint and give something. It’s imperative that in the loving bind of alms for all that the outreach take on exactly that kind of saintly idealism even for those that would never normally consider themselves a Saint, even the most secular of us.
So how does one go about to blood and financial donation?
There are a number of resources set up to specifically assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, particularly in the hardest hit areas of New Jersey and New York. It is imperative you give to organizations such as these to ensure that beyond your tax dollars the people hardest hit by the natural disaster aren’t stranded and we as American’s stand together in the face of devastation to continue to rebuild stronger.
As well as these other organizations pledging help to the region (please feel free to add additional ones in the comments!) who are helping collect the necessities blood, blankets, food & water, money and more, including your time and skills as a volunteer:
don’t forget the animals too
Furthermore, don’t stand for tricks, go straight for the treats and in-as-such, I implore you not to rely on the tricks of national and international news reporting agencies or unverified Twitter accounts to find out what reality is here in the greater New York and Philadelphia metropolitan regions. These reporters aren’t here, aren’t well informed and are more often than not proven to be providing wrong information and heresay and you’re just getting a bad trick (@ComfortablySmug and the CNN reports of lower Manhattan/Wall Street and the Associated Press coverage of the MTA are three of the better examples – Fuck Those Guys!). If you want the facts go strait to the resources that are actually involved in the recovery and reconstruction efforts first. A few on the front lines including the offices of emergency management at the following:
and so on…including the county and individual town websites
many of which include information on where to volunteer, send donations and otherwise assist. And if you insist that Social Media is actually better, be sure to use the REAL accounts for government officials as well as approved government handles like these:
There’s nothing more frightening than the lights being out, prolonged in the dark and unable to get around is beyond the momentary scare, it’s paralyzing and nothing to joke about. These organizations that are directly related to the situation and are regularly updating on their services and outages with much more reliability than reporter speculation.
And, the real treat is getting news first hand info from reliable resources that are reporting with local residents beyond the national hype. It’s much better than the crappy mask and a synthetic cape version, trust me… If you need to see local news coverage, wrap ups like these are far better than second-hand and syndicated with editing that are spreading falsities, lies and partisan offerings haunting your news feeds, so verify the first-on-the scene reality of what is happening in the region with these reliable locals on the front line:
are a couple of good ongoing resources to start beyond the many local and regional news papers, television and radio stations and independent agencies located right here with men-and-women on the street providing fact-checked first hand, primary non-partisan information, interviews, images and the like. Again, many of these
The scare of this decade (we hope it is anyhow) has hit the tri-state, New York City metro region and we hope it will frighten you into action and not just reaction. Take the time to protect yourself and your well-being by having a go-bag and survival supplies ready. Take the time to educate yourself on the real dangers of selfishly staying in the event of an evacuation. Take the time to help your neighbors and fellow citizen recover and rebuild…
and take the time to get your ghoul on and give some blood this haunting holiday.