Western New Yorkers Help Sandy Victims

November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - If anything good can come from Superstorm Sandy, it's a show of strength and unity to help the victims.

Monday was a Day of Giving for the Red Cross, Channel 7 and ABC.

As of Monday, Western New Yorkers had donated at least $400 thousand to the Red Cross.

Nancy Blaschak, with the American Red Cross Buffalo Chapter, said "The best thing people can do is give us a cash donation."

There has been an outpouring of compassion and help.

Over the weekend, Julia Burke organized a run after Mayor Michael Bloomberg called off the New York City Marathon.

Burke told Eyewitness News "After what happened with Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to do it here. I thought if I just donated my travel expenses to the Red Cross, I could still get my race and feel good about it."

Burke's run raised $27 hundred for the Red Cross, which she dropped off Monday morning.

While the Red Cross appreciates people dropping off food and clothes, the organization urges cash.

Blaschak explains "it's a logistical nightmare to sort stuff that people donate and we need to get assistance to people right away."

The cash keeps coming in. Monday afternoon, Wegmans representatives stopped by with a check for $10 thousand for the Red Cross.

Theresa Jackson, a spokeswoman, said "We have donated over $200 thousand in product to the Red Cross and food banks in the area. That's where our stores are located and our families are affected and our employees."

The organization is encouraging shoppers to help. Starting Tuesday customers can make a cash donation at the register during checkout.

The Red Cross also desperately needs blood donations.

With so many areas without power, many blood drives in New York and New Jersey were canceled.

The Red Cross is also holding trainings in the upcoming weeks for new volunteers.

For more information on how you can help, call the Red Cross at 716-886-7500