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Red Cross Sandy Grant for Long Island Volunteer Recovery Program

Red Cross Sandy Grant for Long Island Volunteer Recovery Program.
"The Disaster Recovery Center will be a great resource."

The American Red Cross has awarded a $599,655 grant to the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island to support a disaster recovery center for non-profits and volunteers who will help hundreds of homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy repair their damaged homes.

The funding will be used to house 150 volunteers at the new Long Island Disaster Recovery Center on the New York Institute of Technology campus in Central Islip. Without the grant, these volunteers would not be able to access housing while they work to repair 600 Sandy-damaged homes throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties over the year to come.

The funding will also be used to coordinate non-profit and volunteer efforts - such as mucking, gutting and debris removal - and operate the disaster recovery and housing facility. The center will serve as the command center for rebuilding-related activities by Long Island long term recovery groups, and will include a kitchen, warehouse, office spaces and meeting rooms.

“Over the past year, the American Red Cross has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to helping the most vulnerable on Long Island recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy,” said Gwen O’Shea, president/CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. “With its latest efforts, the Red Cross is also reaffirming its confidence in the nonprofit sector to harness the power of volunteers to assist storm survivors. The Long Island Long Term Recovery Group is grateful for their support of the Long Island Disaster Recovery Center, which will be the multiagency command center for voluntary agencies. It will allow more groups to assist homeowners in their recovery.”

Last spring, the Health & Welfare Council received a $1 million grant from the Red Cross to distribute through the Long Island Unmet Needs Roundtable. The Roundtable, which brings together a diverse group of philanthropic donors, offers financial assistance to help meet unmet needs for people affected by Sandy.

John Miller, CEO, American Red Cross on Long Island, said: “This new grant builds on the strong partnership between the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island and the Red Cross and shows our ongoing commitment to help Sandy survivors recover and rebuild. The Disaster Recovery Center will be a great resource.”

Local elected officials were also pleased about the collaboration between the Red Cross and the Health and Welfare Council.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said: “The Red Cross has truly served Suffolk County residents prior to and in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. This funding initiative is yet another opportunity where the Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts on Long Island. Providing housing for the hundreds of volunteers who are still assisting residents is extremely crucial to the timeliness of repairs. I applaud John Miller, Gwen O’Shea, the American Red Cross, and the Health and Welfare Council for their continued commitment to the recovery efforts of Long Islanders.”

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano said: “I commend the Red Cross for donating the funds necessary for this Disaster Recovery Center. This facility will not only serve as a command center, but will provide vital housing for 150 volunteers as they work to repair hundreds of Superstorm Sandy-damaged homes throughout our communities. I thank the Red Cross and Health & Welfare Council for their commitment to our recovery and repair efforts.”

Superstorm Sandy is the largest U.S. operation by the Red Cross in more than five years, and thanks to

the public’s generous support, the Red Cross has received $309 million in donations for Sandy emergency relief and recovery efforts. As of December 31, the Red Cross has spent or committed nearly $287 million – nearly 93 percent of the donated funds.

The Red Cross has also partnered with and funded numerous community-based organizations to support the recovery of individuals and families on Long Island who were affected by Sandy. These partners include Catholic Charities USA, Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Disability Opportunity Fund, FEGS Health & Human Services, Island Harvest, Lutheran Disaster Response, National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, Points of Light Foundation, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Rebuilding Together, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Fund, United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Way of Long Island, Visiting Nurse Service of New York and World Renew. Sandy recovery efforts focus on the areas of housing assistance, case management, mental health services, volunteer coordination and food security.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.

About the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island:

The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI) is a not-for-profit health and human services planning and advocacy organization that serves as the umbrella for agencies serving Long Island’s vulnerable and at-risk individuals and families. HWCLI convenes the Long Island Long Term Recovery Group, which is a partnership of organizations dedicated to bringing recovery services to Sandy survivors.