Since Hurricane Sandy hit last week, more than 10,000 donors have donated more than $32 million to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to aid in hurricane restoration efforts. The funds will pay for the City’s near-term emergency response needs as well as long-term restoration efforts. One hundred percent of the donations go towards the relief efforts, as the Mayor’s Fund does not take a cut for administrative fees.
”The Mayor’s Fund is working to help those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, addressing both immediate needs and the difficult work of rebuilding and restoration that will take place in the weeks and months ahead,” said Mayor’s Fund Advisory Chair Rob Speyer.
Many DKC clients have gone above and beyond in helping. Delta Air Lines, The Madison Square Garden Company, New Balance and the United States Tennis Association have all donated funds; Delta, Fairway and Hunts Point have all provided in-kind donations. Capri Sun provided a truckload of product to a Feeding America food bank. Modell’s Sporting Goods has instituted a matching gift program for its employees to encourage their donations. There are others helping in their local communities and through other organizations, like the American Red Cross.
Although Fairway Market itself is dealing with the temporary closing of its store in Red Hook, which was obliterated by the hurricane, it has been working with all its vendors and donating truckloads of food, water and other staples to local food banks, emergency relief shelters, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the areas in and around the city. The company has been working hand-in-hand with the offices of the Mayor, City Council, Brooklyn Borough President, and other elected officials to ensure that the food, meals and merchandise are going where they are most needed.
Client Airbnb, an online community marketplace where users can list and book accommodations, has launched the Airbnb Sandy Housing Directory to help victims of Hurricane Sandy with free housing options. In connection with the City of New York, the platform connects those who want to offer free housing with those who have been displaced by the storm, and Airbnb is waiving all fees and still providing its 24-hour customer service and insurance for hosts. Since the storm hit, there have been more than 2,500 last-minute bookings, accommodating more than 4,000 guests.
”We are proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg to provide an innovative solution to a devastating problem,” said Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, ”and we will continue to look at ways to do even more.”
Donations are being used to provide for the most pressing needs in hurricane-affected neighborhoods, such as water, food, baby supplies, clothing, blankets and cleaning supplies.
The effort to rebuild will be long term, and it is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to help out.
You can donate to the American Red Cross through their website or by texting REDCROSS to 90999; you can donate to the Mayor’s Fund through their website or by calling 311 in New York or 212-NEW-YORK outside of the New York area. You can also donate to the Children’s Health Fund by clicking here.