Red Cross Awards Two Grants in Bergen County for Sandy Recovery

hurricane sandy recovery grants
“We’re working together with the Red Cross to help New Jersey come back stronger and more resilient.”

The American Red Cross awarded two grants totaling $600,000 to the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc. These grants will be used to conduct assessments of residents in affected areas to ascertain their damages and remaining unmet needs, assign case managers to help clients develop a recovery plan and to repair and rebuild homes.

“The Bergen County towns of Little Ferry and Moonachie suffered major flood damage as a result of Sandy and by partnering with these community-based organizations, the Red Cross is helping the affected residents rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “The Red Cross was there for Bergen County residents in the early aftermath of the storm to provide relief and will continue to be there throughout recovery.”

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County will use its $400,000 Red Cross grant to support the activities of the Long Term Recovery Committee of Bergen County. These funds will enable the Bergen County Long Term Recovery Committee to provide outreach, training and casework to address the needs of approximately 500 Sandy affected households over the next year. In addition, this grant will help to pay for the services and supplies many of these households need to repair their homes.

“This generous funding will allow us to help meet the previously unmet needs of Sandy survivors in our community,” said Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. “We’re working together with the Red Cross to help New Jersey come back stronger and more resilient.”

Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc received a $200,000 Red Cross grant to support construction costs to repair or rebuild at least 30 homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Bergen County, particularly in the Little Ferry and Moonachie areas. The funding will help low-income families that do not have sufficient insurance or resources with home repairs or renovations.

“We are excited to be partnering with the Red Cross to restore safe housing for so many low-income families and individuals in our community, and grateful for this assistance to help people in Bergen County rebuild,” said Bob Halsch, executive director of Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc.

Donations to the Red Cross after Superstorm Sandy have led to clear signs of progress and hope throughout New Jersey nine months after the storm. In addition to the two grants announced today, as of July 2013, the Red Cross has partnered with numerous organizations to support the recovery of New Jersey families and communities affected by Sandy, including the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Operation Hope, the Points of Light Foundation, Habitat for Humanity International and the Greater New Jersey United Methodist Church. The Sandy recovery efforts include housing assistance, case management, mental health services, volunteer coordination and construction services. Additional New Jersey community grants will be announced in the weeks ahead.

More information on the Red Cross Sandy relief and recovery efforts, including a Nine-Month Update, can be found at

About the Volunteer Center of Bergen County:

Established in 1966, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the community by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders. The Volunteer Center coordinates the Bergen County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and its Long Term Recovery Committee, which works with a number of partner organizations in the community to asses needs and allocate resources to Bergen County residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Its storm-related operations are headquartered at the Recovery Information Center, 221 Moonachie Road, in Moonachie. For information, check or call 201-470-3143.

About Bergen County Community Action Partnership Inc.:

Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc. (formerly Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc.) is a 501 (c) (3), not-for-profit Community Action Agency. Established in 1967, Greater Bergen is part of a nationwide network of poverty-fighting enterprises, which were established as part of the nation’s effort to address the intractable and persistent problem of poverty in America.

Through an inclusive Board of Directors with members from the private and public sectors, along with community leaders, Greater Bergen seeks to mobilize public and private resources to change the conditions in which low-income residents live and work, while also changing the institutions which impact their lives.

Pictured L-R: Jocelyn Gilman, community chapter executive, American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey; Bob Halsch, executive director, Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc.; Janet Sharma, executive director, Volunteer Center of Bergen County; Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region; Assemblyman Gary Schaer (36th District); Young Kim; Mauro D. Raguseo, mayor of Little Ferry; and Cecilia Kim in Little Ferry, NJ. The Kim’s home was damaged during Superstorm Sandy and the grants awarded today will help the Kim’s and other Bergen County families repair their damaged homes.