Diana Nyad, the 64-year-old who made the record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida in early September, is putting her swimming endurance to good use in New York City’s Herald Square this week.

Nyad, with the help of organizers, put together Hurricane Sandy benefit Swim for Relief, which aims to generate donations to help city dwellers still suffering from the consequences of the storm. Nyad is specifically raising money for nonprofit health and disaster organization AmeriCares. She’s raised $42,000 thus far.

“With the strength and support of P&G brands at her side, Diana Nyad swims for 48 continuous hours in the heart of New York City to raise funds for the AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund,” reads the event website. “The Nyad Swim for Relief reflects the emotional and mental strength it takes to overcome adversity and restore a sense of normalcy to lives disrupted by disasters.”

For Nyad, a native New Yorker, the effects of Sandy hit close to home. The devastation it caused the area is something she’s determined to remember and to do something about. “I don't want to forget [the victims],” she said on the Today show. “I don't want to forget any people who have been through disaster.”

Ryan Lochte, Richard Simmons and others have also stopped by Nyad’s Herald Square-based portable pool for a dip in the name of Sandy relief.

– Chelsea Regan

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