United Way of New York City Distributes Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund for Communities on Eastern Seaboard Hardest Hit by Storm

Fund Addresses Near and Long-Term Recovery Needs of Individuals, Families and Communities Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Mar 04, 2013, 07:00 ET from United Way of New York City

NEW YORK, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Way of New York City (UWNYC) announces today the first phase of distribution of the $9.64 million raised for the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund. The Fund was established to provide near and long-term support to the people whose lives and health were put at risk by the devastating storm. In this first phase of distribution, $5.7 million of the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund will be distributed to United Way chapters who will grant moneys to community organizations that can make the greatest impact for the families still struggling in the aftermath of the storm.

"We are excited to announce that these funds will get to the people who need them most," says Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. "The Fund will bring crucial support to community organizations as we move away from the response to the immediate aftermath of the storm and enter into the near and long-term recovery phase in order to return people to a sense of normalcy."

Money from the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund is distributed based on a formula that takes into consideration three equally weighted factors: population impact, actual impact and ability to respond. Nonprofits providing support to individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Sandy are eligible for funds to help them recover from damage or to meet the increased demands as a result of the hurricane.

Near-term recovery funds will be used to address health and human service needs that are not being met by immediate service organizations, government programs or insurance. These include basic supplies such as food, diapers, infant formula, school supplies, winter outerwear, heaters and building materials.

Long-term recovery funds will be dedicated to improving societal conditions in communities. For example, funds may be allocated to reduce food insecurity in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, rebuild community spaces, support job retraining and counseling, rebuild affordable housing and provide better access to health services.

Grant recipients include organizations working to help recovering communities return to a sense of normalcy, such as:

  • New Yorkers for Children is a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the Administration for Children's Services to improve the prospects of children supported by the child welfare system. The grant will support early education centers affected by the storm and help nearly 1,000 families access early childcare and education services.
  • The Metropolitan Fire Association is a volunteer firefighting team on Staten Island that received a grant to repair major storm damage to their structure and help replace and repair emergency rescue equipment used for their Volunteer Fire Disaster Unit and Youth Educational Mentor Program. 
  • The Coney Island Lighthouse Mission, which serves as a food pantry and community center, suffered severe damages during Sandy. The center has struggled to provide essential services to the families and vulnerable individuals in their community as they rebuild.
  • Jewish Family Service, located in Atlantic City, NJ, will use grant money to provide case management services to those who are struggling to navigate the FEMA application process. Grant money will also be used for housing assistance, financial or utility assistance or other services needed to address recovery needs.

Funding started approximately three months following the storm, when the shift from immediate relief to long-term recovery work began. The United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund will enhance the individual assistance provided by FEMA as well as provide support where the greatest need exists. The Fund is being administered in three phases throughout 2013. The second phase will occur in April to further address near and long-term recovery efforts. The third distribution phase will take place in June to help meet long-term recovery needs.

One hundred percent of donations received (less any processing fees charged by credit card companies) will be distributed by local United Ways as grants to community-based organizations providing the supports and services that help those affected by Hurricane Sandy recover and rebuild their lives. To learn more about the Fund and to make a contribution, please visit www.uwsandyrecovery.org.

While the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund focuses on near and long-term recovery efforts, UWNYC helped address the pressing needs in the immediate aftermath of the storm through volunteer efforts and $100,000 in infrastructure support grants to community-based organizations directly impacted by the storm in New York City. These grants were separate from and distributed prior to the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund so that affected nonprofits could rebuild their infrastructure and continue to serve their communities.

About United Way
United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED(r) is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: www.UnitedWay.org.

Kamian Allen - 212-671-0892

David Rosenthal - 310-409-8114

SOURCE United Way of New York City