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Super Storm Sandy - the impact

On October 29, 2012 Super Storm Sandy, one of the largest storms ever to hit the United States, made landfall, devastating coastal communities in the tri-state area.  Long Island’s infrastructure, landscape, and neighborhoods were severely affected. Over 90 percent of the region was left without electricity, with many homes and businesses out for as long as two weeks; transportation systems were flooded and immobile; water sources and homes were polluted by raw sewage and oil; and nearly 100,000 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged, including 2,000 homes deemed uninhabitable. Long Beach, home to 33,000 residents and the area hardest hit on Long Island, suffered more than $200 million in damages, more than any other single area affected by the storm.

Immediate response

The Long Island Community Foundation responded by immediately providing nearly $50,000 in grants to local grassroots organizations that were mobilized within hours of Sandy’s aftermath. LICF’s first round of grants were made to Dominican Sisters of Amityville; Five Towns Community Center in Inwood; Long Beach Latino Civic Association, Long Beach Reach and New York Communities for Change in Long Beach; Mastic-Shirley COAD; and Pronto in Bayshore.  These emergency grants to some of our hardest hit communities made it possible for local nonprofits to provide essential services such as distribution of food, clothing, supplies, and emergency medical care, help with FEMA registration and relocation services, outreach to Spanish-speaking residents, and mental health services.

"It’s with sincere gratitude that we thank our partners — the local nonprofit heroes — many of whom had suffered their own personal and organizational losses, but immediately got to the task of healing families, neighborhoods, and the Island’s most vulnerable."


Five Towns Community Center handed out food, water, and supplies to residents of Inwood.

Generosity through our donors

Shortly thereafter, and at the request of donors and others throughout the community, LICF established the Super Storm Sandy Long Island Relief and Restoration Fund. Through generous donations, the Fund raised nearly $300,000. We were able to make additional grants to support organizations that focused on volunteer services, legal services, capacity building and collaborative efforts for nonprofits to share information and resources. They are listed below.

Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, $30,000 for the LI Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD)'s Long Term Recovery Group a coalition of nonprofit, government, and for-profit organizations in Nassau and Suffolk counties committed to working together on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Long Island Volunteer Center, $20,000 to coordinate the response of disaster groups serving LI, training and dispatching volunteers in muck-out teams, hosting training sessions for organizations on worker safety, and hosting group meetings of the LIVOAD; which is providing space for out-of-state groups assisting in rebuilding and distributing protective gear and supplies to organizations assisting in clean up work.

Hofstra University, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, $25,000 to expand the Disaster Recovery Clinic, created to provide pro-bono legal representation to nonprofits and small businesses struggling with damageand loss.

Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, $20,000 for a free legal clinic to deal with critical legal needs resulting from Super Storm Sandy. Clinic students under faculty supervision will advise, counsel, and litigate in areas such as housing, landlord/tenant disputes, employment, FEMA benefits, property damage and rebuilding, consumer fraud, contractor disputes, and small business issues.

Vision Long Island, $15,000 for local grassroots organizations in Lindenhurst, Freeport,and Mastic Beach involved in restoration and rebuilding efforts, providing equipment needed for muck-outs and building capacity and infrastructure to ensure long-term viability.

LICF continues to accept donations to the Fund and we will continue to make grants to help rebuilding efforts and strengthen structures and systems so that our region is better prepared for future disasters.

Strong partnerships build strong communities

Additionally, the Long Island Community Foundation, Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund at the New York Community Trust, Rauch Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, and Claire Friedlander Family Foundation have established the Sandy Building Back Stronger Fund to pool local philanthropic resources and create a joint grant making strategy to support efforts that build the resiliency of the nonprofit sector, strengthen community support systems and ensure rebuilding efforts are done in a way that is fair and doesn't discriminate against vulnerable people. The following grants have been awarded through the collaborative, so far:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF LI/LONG ISLAND VOLUNTEER CENTER/SHINNECOCK NATION - $45,000 to further Sandy recovery efforts on the Shinnecock Nation and build the capacity of the housing authority.

DOMINICAN SISTERS - $7,500 to assist with basic needs, emotional support, and access to services to families affected by Sandy.

FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S ASSOCIATION - $25,000 to strengthen the ability of indigenous community leaders to meet the psychosocial needs of their residents coping with disasters and emergencies.

FIVE TOWNS COMMUNITY CENTER - $34,500 to form a Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD).

GREATER PATCHOGUE FOUNDATION INC. - $35,000 to strengthen the Greater Patchogue COAD and work with Stonybrook to create a COAD manual for other LI communities.

JOBS WITH JUSTICE/NYCOSH/NATIONAL DAY LABORERS ORGANIZING NETWORK - $60,000 to promote workers rights, and workers safety among low wage workers, and track Sandy public dollars and job creation.

LI COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS - $10,000 to purchase equipment to establish a disaster shelter in Amityville.

MIDDLE COUNTRY PUBLIC LIBRARY - $10,000 to strengthen its 211 database.

MOLLOY COLLEGE - $35,000 the creation of a pilot project that will establish policies and protocols, and the necessary support systems to assist Rockville Centre residents with disabilities in disasters.

ROOSEVELT COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION GROUP - $30,000 to form a COAD in partnership with the Fire Department.

UNITED POLICYHOLDERS - $15,000 to provide home insurance assistance for Long Islanders and help them strengthen their financial safety nets.

A generous grant from the New York State Health Foundation enabled LICF to assist the following organizations working on health-related Sandy issues:

ADELPHI UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH - $15,000 for a study to examine the physical and emotional health of low-income elderly Sandy survivors and to evaluate the services they need.

LONG ISLAND JOBS WITH JUSTICE - $25,000 to gather information on worker safety, the impact of mold, and advocate for local policies to establish disaster recovery health practices.

MAKE THE ROAD NEW YORK - $15,000 for safety training and legal advocacy for immigrant workers on Long Island.

NEW YORK COMMUNITIES FOR CHANGE - $15,000 to assess the health needs of low-income seniors in Long Beach and mobilize them to advocate for improved services.

NORTH SHORE CHILD & FAMILY GUIDANCE ASSOCIATION - $15,000 to provide mental health services for Hurricane Sandy survivors.

In addition, Newman's Own Foundation provided generous funding to The New York Community Trust, and a portion of which was designated for use  to fund Long Island nonprofits working to assist in Sandy recovery:

FIVE TOWNS COMMUNITY CENTER - $12,500 to solicit and coordinate resources to help 500 Inwood residents in recovery efforts, including continuing to serve as a warming center during severe weather, distributing clothing, shoes, and supplies as needed.

LONG BEACH LATINO CIVIC ASSOCIATION - $12,500 to perform case management for 450 local residents struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, including intake, assessment, home visits, referrals and follow up; develop round table discussion ground led by bi-lingual mental health professional to aid in recovery process.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
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