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Red Cross Donations Help Staten Island Recover from Sandy

Red Cross Donations Help Staten Island Recover from Sandy.

Kevin Keeley, nurse manager of the Community Health Action of Staten Island mobile unit, takes a client’s blood pressure. (Photo Courtesy: The Staten Island Foundation)

These funds will help Staten Islanders with some of the long-term challenges created by the storm.

American Red Cross donations for people affected by Superstorm Sandy continue to help in recovery. The Red Cross is partnering with local community organizations that are on-the-ground making a difference in people’s lives every day in a number of different ways.

One organization the Red Cross is partnering with is The Staten Island Foundation. The Red Cross awarded a $1 million grant to the organization to help address unmet needs created by the storm. The funding is being distributed through the Staten Island Foundation Nonprofit Recovery Fund, which was created to support the borough’s non-profit organizations as they work to relieve the devastation caused by Sandy.

Through the Nonprofit Recovery Fund, five grants – ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 – have been given to local organizations including Richmond Senior Services, Staten Island YMCA, Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, Community Health Action of Staten Island and the Staten Island Mental Health Society.

“These funds will help Staten Islanders with some of the long-term challenges created by the storm,” said Betsy Dubovsky, executive director of The Staten Island Foundation. “While many families are still dealing with significant repairs that will allow them to return safely to their homes, others are battling post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an increase in substance abuse rates or disruptions to their healthcare treatments. Some children are behind academically due to the emotional toll the storm took on them and their families.”

Kevin Keeley works in a mobile health unit as a nurse manager with Community Health Action of Staten Island.The funding will allow the organization to provide benefits counseling, health services and referrals for 350 individuals.

“People have just not been taking proper care of themselves,” Keeley said. “We’re seeing chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension going untreated because people are just so distracted by dealing with rebuilding their homes or trying to get back to work. They are not making the time for regular health check-ups. It helps that we can bring the mobile unit right into the worst affected neighborhoods, but we can see how badly our patients are affected by the stress of all the uncertainty and upheaval.”

Richmond Senior Services runs the Sandy Resource Center, a place where residents can register online with programs such as NYC Build it Back.

“It’s much quicker to apply online,” said Brenda Stramock, project coordinator at the Sandy Resource Center. “So I encourage our clients to do that—and to let me keep a copy of their paperwork so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle! Still, there is a lot of coordination involved in matching peoples’ needs up with volunteers’ skill levels and finding donated or low-cost materials to do the repair work that’s needed. There are always a lot of gaps to plug, so this grant will be a godsend to many of our clients.”

The grant to Richmond Senior Services will also benefit 20 households with home repair needs.

Josh Lockwood, CEO, Red Cross Greater New York Region, said: “The Red Cross is proud to partner with these community initiatives through The Staten Island Foundation. They will provide on-the-ground recovery for Sandy survivors throughout the borough.”

Here is additional information about the work of the remaining organizations:

  • Staten Island YMCA will provide tutoring and counseling to 100 children.
  • Jewish Community Center will provide service to 300 individuals suffering with PTSD symptoms and give support to their families.
  • Staten Island Mental Health Society will provide coaches for Sandy affected youth at high risk for substance abuse to help them move towards positive goals and learn job readiness skills.
  • 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 @RedCrossNY.

    About The Staten Island Foundation

    Since its founding in 1997, The Staten Island Foundation has granted over $50 million to local organizations for the benefit of Staten Island residents in the areas of education; health and human services; and the arts. The Foundation has supported 60 local elementary schools through its Children’s Literacy Program by providing professional development for teachers. It is a major funder of The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness Tackling Youth Substance Abuse initiative. For information visit the Foundation at www.thestatensialdnfoundation.org.