It's over three weeks since Hurricane Sandy slammed into Long Island's shores, devastating our infrastructure and altering our landscape. On Tuesday morning as first responders went to work, over 90% of the region had no electricity; thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed; our transportation systems were flooded and immobile; our water bodies were being polluted by raw sewage; community facilities were shut; and confusion ensued. By Wednesday, Long Island's next responders--our nonprofit heroes, many of whom had suffered their own personal and organizational losses, got to the task of healing our families, neighborhoods, and our most vulnerable.
While national organizations such as the American Red Cross and
Salvation Army are working to providing emergency services in the hardest
hit areas, there are many locally based nonprofits that have been out there
responding in ways that are not as visible. These nonprofits range in size
from small grassroots groups to mid-sized organizations and continue to
work above and beyond their means to make a difference in the
neighborhoods they call home. No matter their budget size, most of the
emergency response services they have been providing are unfunded and
unbudgeted. Many of these groups were already strained financially due to
budget cuts from local, state and federal governments, as they head into
their busiest time of year - the holiday season.
We also need to remember that funding for long-term restoration needs will
soon follow. Restoring people's lives, rebuilding their homes, repairing our
beaches, boardwalks and parks-- does not happen overnight and come at
a significant cost.
As a community, we need to ensure that our nonprofits are able to provide
the basic services needed by our families, friends, neighbors and
coworkers and ensure funding is available for these nonprofits for the longterm.
We are urging Long Island businesses and individuals to donate
generously to our Hurricane Sandy Long Island Relief and Restoration
Fund so that we can get funding to where it will make the most impact; and
get the funds to our nonprofit heroes that will help rebuild our beautiful
David M. Okorn
Gifts can be made by sending a check payable to the Long Island
Community Foundation, reference "Hurricane Sandy LI Relief and
Restoration Fund" on the memo line, and mail to:
The Long Island Community Foundation
1864 Muttontown Road,Syosset, NY 11791
Contact Marie Smith, director of donor relations and communications, at
(516) 348-0575 x223 with any questions.