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Austerity Cuts: How You Can Help

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Austerity measures have sent shivers of fear through Europe -- and are starting to have a devastating effect on municipalities large and small in the United States. A new Huffington Post series on austerity will examine the global impact of austerity, from the loss of affordable housing funds in San Francisco, to increasing class sizes in New York's public schools, fewer food inspectors in Canada, loss of disability benefits in the United Kingdom, decimation of France's solar industry and more.

But as readers of The Huffington Post, you can take action to help those affected by these measures. Check back here after stories in the series are published for information on how you can help.

Specific actions you can take to help those suffering from austerity cuts

HuffPost Austerity StoryHow You Can Help
Fire Department Cuts Place Fewer Firefighters In DutyBecause the Westfield Fire Department is a publicly-funded agency, there is no effective way to directly help the department. But the department has established two scholarship funds for the children of active-duty members who passed away in an untimely manner within the last year. Readers can send checks made out to either the Carly Pfeiffer Scholarship Fund or the Marisa & Talia Maglione Scholarship Fund, and mail them to 405 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090. Readers can also send checks to the New Jersey State Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association, the state-labor association of the Westfield Fire Department, at 1447 Campbell Street in Rahway, NJ 07065.
Education Cuts Harm Children's Chance To LearnWhile there are few, if any, charities expressly devoted to reducing class size, you can help schools in need across the country by donating to the Public Education Network. This organization funnels money to schools and school districts responsible for teaching 12 million children in the United States and Puerto Rico. Learn more here. Another option is to help a specific classroom in need through DonorsChoose. An average teacher spends a month on classroom essentials, according to the charity. You can help offset these costs or contribute to providing specific items such as books or science equipment. Learn more here.
Detroit Bus Cuts Reveal Depths Of National Public Transit CrisisTransportation cuts take a huge toll on the poor and disabled. In Detroit, programs such as Ways to Work provide car loans, inexpensive repairs and more -- operating under the assumption that transportation independence leads to greater chances of employment and increased job stability. Nationwide, there are a number of organizations, curated here by the Los Angeles Times, that help provide communities in need with low-cost and even no-cost vehicles.
Affordable Housing Gap Leaves San Francisco's Neediest In Dire StraitsA well-educated work force in San Francisco puts a burden on the city's poor and middle-class residents when it comes jobs and housing. San Francisco's nonprofits, which have felt a strain in recent months, help the bay area's disadvantaged populations find subsidized housing as well as other solutions. Community Housing Partnership, for example, provides permanent housing for homeless families, along with services such as job training, placement, substance abuse programs and more. Learn more here. The Hamilton Family Center helps break the cycle of homelessness by preventing evictions, providing temporary housing and supporting children's development, among other efforts. Learn more here.

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