What happens when Red Cross and Salvation Army leave Long Island?
As major relief foundations use their resources to bring the island back to a livable level, the long term restoration of many broken communities has come into question.
The Long Island Community Foundation believes they have the answer. The Hurricane Sandy LI Relief and Restoration Fund, established by the Syosset-based non-profit last week, will provide local foundations with the funds they need to continue repairing Long Island in the post-Sandy era.
"What we're doing right now is assembling the funds we have and we're looking at where the gaps are" between immediate relief funds and long term help for ailing neighborhoods, said Marie Smith of LICF.
All the funds raised will be allocated to local relief and restoration organizations that seek to heal bruised neighborhoods across Long Island. LICF, established in 1978, has said they will be vetting the organizations and ensuring the safety of donor funds.
"A lot of people are asking if they can have their donations used in a particular community or charity," said Smith. "If your community was one of the hardest hit, you can be sure it will be used there first."
She added that the more money the charity can collect, the more widely spread the funds can be allocated beyond the hardest hit areas.
"In addition to other donations that have come in, the Foundation just received a $50,000 matching grant for any contributions made to the fund," meaning a potential $100,000 could be raised even quicker, she wrote in a release.
“This is our Island--our home, and as an organization dedicated to the well-being of the people and communities of Long Island, we are going to do everything we can to help people put their lives back together," said David Okorn, LICF's executive director.
Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may send a check payable to the Long Island Community Foundation with "Hurricane Sandy LI Relief and Restoration Fund" in the memo section. Checks should be mailed to The Long Island Community Foundation, 1864 Muttontown Road, Syosset, NY 11791.