February 11, 2013
When a disaster strikes, the work of a community foundation takes on added importance. That’s why we are especially heartened by the tremendous response from our donors and friends across the country in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Whether it was the $10 personal contribution from a woman in Vermont to thank New Jersey for its assistance to Vermont after Hurricane Irene or the major gift from the National Mah Jongg League Foundation, the broad array of support has allowed us to move quickly to establish two funds – a Relief Fund dedicated to critical community needs and a Recovery Fund focused on long-term planning and sound recovery.
We know from the experiences of Louisiana and more recently in Haiti and Japan, that the true cost of a natural disaster is felt over time. Communities may struggle well after federal and state funds run out. And many nonprofits will need time to get back on their feet following sharp increases in demand for their services.
We at CFNJ understand that as advocates for our state’s communities we play a unique role in our state’s recovery. That’s why we will continue to help:
- provide leadership on overlooked needs in the different types of communities that were hurt,
- work collaboratively across sectors to find and fund catalytic solutions to the challenges we will face, and
- deploy the best talent in our nation to help our communities recover.
Since the hurricane hit, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund has provided funding in places like:
- Morristown to support an emergency feeding program,
- Atlantic City to re-open a youth crisis shelter closed by the storm,
- Hoboken to help the Volunteer Ambulance Corps replace destroyed equipment,
- Keansburg to provide Thanksgiving dinners to displaced families,
- Little Ferry to support their fire department, specifically Hose Co. #1,
- Moonachie to provide replacement equipment for the First Aid Squad, and
- Union Beach to support clean-up efforts.
The New Jersey Recovery Fund has commitments of more than $5.0 million, thanks to partnerships with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and corporations and major foundations. It is important that as communities recover, they do so in a way that prevents such devastation from occurring again. Our focus will be on preparing communities for all forms of disasters and mitigating their potential impacts.
A special thanks to our Recovery Fund partners:
- Community Foundation of South Jersey
- Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Subaru of America Foundation
- David & Lucile Packard Foundation
- Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund
- National Mah Jongg League Foundation
- MetLife Foundation
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Newman’s Own Foundation
- Rita Allen Foundation
Finally, we’d like to share a few highlights from donors and those on the ground:
- The Dave Matthews Band committed $1 million to our recovery efforts as part of their “Bama Works” charitable platform. They even held a benefit concert at the Izod Center last month, with all proceeds going toward the Recovery Fund. A special thanks to Dave and his team!
- The Rumson for Sea Bright fund is a great example of neighbors helping neighbors. Donors and volunteers from Rumson are helping Sea Bright and its families recover. They are providing direct relief to displaced homeowners and are helping to hire a public adjustor who will work with, and advocate for, Sea Bright residents who are negotiating insurance claims.
- The Bay Head and Mantoloking Relief Fund is working to get both of these hard-hit communities back on their feet. Before turning our attention to rebuilding, the priority in the short-term has been on relief for emergency workers and families whose homes were literally swept away.
- Finally, special thanks to those New Jersey businesses and organizations whose support for our funds was especially innovative:
- Rudolph Technologies, whose employees donated nearly $50,000 worth of vacation time
- Raritan Valley Community College and Dance New Jersey, who hosted an on-campus concert with all proceeds going to the New Jersey Recovery Fund.
- New Jersey Future, who dedicated the “wine grab” at their 25th Anniversary Celebration to our funds.
- Regent Atlantic and Wealth Management Consultants who made CFNJ’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund the recipient of their holiday gift on behalf of clients.