By Nic Baird

Hurricane Sandy, a storm that shut down the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since 1888 and killed over 40 of the city’s inhabitants alone, has left New York resident and singer Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beats without power or running water, reports Essence. The couple and their two year old son, Egypt, were forced to evacuate their $17-million Manhattan penthouse on Monday and take shelter at Keys’ mother’s apartment, which fortunately did have power. “God forbid there’s anything else coming – but if it did, I want to be more prepared about how to handle it and be able to ride it out,” Keys said. “My heart really goes out to all the people out there going through crazy circumstances.” The singer added, “I really feel for people and am reaching out in any way I can.”

What are some ways to participate in charitable causes as a couple?

Cupid’s Advice:

Charitable causes can be a great way to work with your partner towards meaningful goals. If sudden disaster hits – like a Hurricane for example – share your altruistic passion with your significant other. Try these ways you can participate in charitable causes with your partner:

1. Grassroots kindness: You don’t have to formalize your good deeds by scheduling them. Open your heart and your home to those in need. The most meaningful impact you can hope for is to change someone’s life for the better. Having your partner to brainstorm with you on the best ways to lend your neighbor a hand will make things easier. Be ready for opportunities, your relationship can handle the spontaneity!

2. Local fundraising: You may not know how to build homes, or repair power lines, but you and your partner can think up tons of ways to raise money with friends. Bake sales, car washes, book/garage sales, casino nights, the list goes on. As a couple, showing your compassion together allows you to clarify your relationship’s identity. The Red Cross is currently accepting donations for the Hurricane Sandy relief fund!

3. Volunteering with an organization: There are many great systems in place to accommodate volunteers in a range of charities for a range of positions. Don’t expect any reward besides self satisfaction. Check the internet for groups that are active near you, or ask around at local churches and community centers. Having your partner volunteer with you will make the time pass painlessly.

What are some ways you’ve contributed to causes with your partner? Share your experiences below!