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United Way Announces Regional Fund for Communities Hardest Hit by Sandy Throughout the Eastern Seaboard

Donate at uwsandyrecovery.org or by texting RECOVERY to 52000

New York, NY—United Way today announced the creation of the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund (#sandyfund). Contributions to the Fund will be used by local United Ways along the Eastern Seaboard to address the near-term and long-term recovery needs of communities most affected by the hurricane. In addition, the Fund will be utilized to bolster United Way’s community impact partners that serve Hurricane affected individuals and families who are already vulnerable -- struggling with food insecurity and the ability to meet their most basic needs.

At the request of and in coordination with United Way U.S.A., United Way of New York City will lead fundraising efforts and ensure that all funds are used efficiently and effectively to serve those in need. United Way of New York City will charge no administrative fees.

"We know that communities experiencing disasters of this magnitude have immediate and urgent needs, but often the greatest needs occur with the intermediate and long-term recovery and rebuilding of lives and communities. That's the role of United Way," says United Way U.S.A. President Stacey Stewart. "With leadership from United Way of New York City, our network of United Ways across the region and the country came together to create this recovery fund, and we will use it to strengthen the communities we rebuild."

“In this unprecedented situation, we know that those New Yorkers who struggle on a regular basis will have the hardest time getting back on their feet from the effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. “Here in New York, we will be working through our community partners who are on the ground to make sure that low-income individuals and families impacted by the hurricane are getting the services they need when and where they need it most.”

Contributions to the Fund will be used by local United Ways in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Long Island, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia to address recovery needs in communities that FEMA has declared disaster areas.  Taken together, the United Ways participating in the fund annually serve 11.9 million people, including over 1 million people served by the United Way of New York City. In the areas where the fund is operating, Hurricane Sandy has affected almost 8 million people.

United Way has a history of immediate response in times of need. Following the 9/11 attacks, United Way of New York City created the September 11th Fund in partnership with the New York Community Trust, raising and distributing over $500 million.  Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, United Way of NYC partnered with the Brooklyn Community Foundation to found and fund the NYC Haitian Hope & Healing Fund to address the short and long-term needs of affected individuals residing in New York. And following last year’s Hurricane Irene, United Way of New York State set up the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund to help those in need.

Donations to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund can be made online at uwsandyrecovery.org.  A $10 donation can be made by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000. Promote the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund on Twitter using #sandyfund.

United Way’s 2-1-1 has extended our  hours of service 24 hours a day seven days a week for non-emergency referral information. Please encourage your family and friends affected by the storm to reach out to United Way’s 2-1-1 for assistance. Residents should add the free, confidential Long Island Region 2-1-1 helpline to their list of critical phone numbers and bookmark the website at www.211LongIsland.org  or call 1-888-774-7633.

Most importantly, thank you for your support. We are resilient and as we LIVE UNITED we will recover from this storm.

Sincerely,

Theresa A. Regnante
President & CEO United Way of Long Island