Category Archives: organization

Funding and Labor Help for Middletown Residents

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Middletown Disaster Relief Fund, an independent registered 501(c)3, and the New Monmouth Baptist Church today announce a joint grant program aimed to help residents of Middletown who were severely affected by Superstorm Sandy. 

“The program, made possible by a $325,000 grant funding from the Robin Hood Foundation, is a further extension of the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund’s objective to help our residents rebuild their homes and rebuild their lives,” said MDRF Chairman Tony Fiore. “Our partnership with the New Monmouth Baptist Church goes back to the day after the storm when NMBC helped coordinate and host hundreds of volunteers from the Southern Baptist Relief team.  “Through the continued generosity and partnership of the Robin Hood Foundation, we believe that we can continue to make a difference helping fill the needs and gaps of our most affected residents.”

About the program
The program is limited to Middletown Township residents only.

The program will provide funding and/or volunteer labor to help residents with the rebuilding process.  Volunteer labor may include demolition, cleanup (inside or out) and repair work that does not require construction permits.  Electrical and plumbing labor is excluded.

Residents who do not receive a grant may still receive assistance in volunteer labor and should fill out application regardless to assess needs.

The program may also provide other types of assistance to residents in need on a case-by-case basis. All severely affected residents should fill out an application so their needs can be assessed.

The maximum amount of funding for each applicant is $2,500.

To apply, residents must fill out the attached application and return it to either the New Monmouth Baptist Church or via mail to the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 4068  Middletown, NJ 07748

All inquiries and questions should be sent to [email protected] or the New Monmouth Baptist Church at [email protected]   Please do not contact the Mayor’s office or the Township of Middletown.

Applications must be submitted by July 15, 2013. 

Forms can be found on the Middletown Disaster Relief Website (www.middletownrelief.com), at Middletown Town Hall at the Clerk’s Office or by contacting the New Monmouth Baptist Church at nmbchurch.org.  Income and other verification will be required.   

Sandy Resource Fair Coming to VFW on April 11

April 11, 2-8 pm

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township will hold a Superstorm Sandy Resource Fair on Thursday, April 11 from 2:00 pm to 8pm at Middletown VFW 2179, 1 Veterans Lane. The VFW is located on Route 36 next to Foodtown in Port Monmouth. The fair, which is being organized by the Middletown Volunteer Corps, is expected to include representatives from more than 25 government agencies, non-profits, and relief organizations.

Participant list

Sandy NJ Relief Fund Doubles Current Grant Cycle Allocation to $10 Million

Morristown, NJ – With an overwhelming response from the non-profit community to its online application, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund’s Board of Directors voted to double its grant cycle allotment to $10 million on March 21st. On Tuesday, the Grants Committee approved 15 grants totaling over $3.7 million. The grants announced today and listed below fulfill a variety of long-term recovery needs primarily supporting housing assistance, and financial and legal counseling. The Grants Committee is scheduled to meet again in two weeks, and thereafter as needed, to approve further grant funding requests for the remaining $6.3 million of this grant cycle. Recipients were notified yesterday of the grant awards.

“We are very excited today to announce 15 more grants to aid in the recovery effort in New Jersey. These grants focus on housing assistance, reconstruction, mold remediation, and important financial and legal counseling services, among others,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Fund. “It’s an honor to partner with these wonderful organizations that are on the ground providing services for Sandy victims. This support is only made possible by the generosity of tens of thousands of individual and corporate donors who answered the call to help total strangers in need. We’ll have additional grant awards soon and look forward to continuing to be an ongoing resource over the long term for New Jersey’s recovery effort.”

The grant recipients announced today are the first of many during the current cycle, with a large number of applications still under review by staff encompassing the four priority areas of housing, social services, financial and legal counseling, and economic development. As a result, the Grants Committee will approve further grants to fulfill the $10 million cycle commitment on an ongoing basis as those applications are finalized over the next 2-4 weeks. First announced on February 11th, the current grant request drew 138 applications by the March 15th deadline. Eligibility requirements are accessible on the Fund’s website at www.sandynjrelieffund.org.

“Our team is beaming with today’s $714,000 grant announcement, which will help renovate and rebuild 20 homes in Belmar, Neptune and Manasquan for low and middle income families and expand our staff to support the completion of over 100 home renovation projects in the next year,” said Maureen Mulligan, Executive Director of Coastal Habitat for Humanity. “This project will help put displaced residents back in safe homes. We are excited to get to work.”

“Insurance payouts and potentially six figure checks in federal aid to help rebuild homes in the coming weeks mean homeowners will have major financial choices to make. The sizable grant awarded to our organization comes at exactly the right time and will support homeowners and businesses on the front end to foster good decision making and planning, all of which will have a positive impact on their own lives and the communities in which they live,” said Fred Smith of Operation Hope, which has assisted 300,000 people covering 33 disasters since 2001. “Operation Hope will help Sandy victims navigate the enormous paperwork challenges with regard to insurance and federal funding, and make sure they understand how to properly apply those significant dollars in a way that allows families to rebuild and move forward with their lives.”

“Those with disabilities have been historically under served in times of disaster, and could be permanently forced out of their homes without proper access, particularly if homes are raised based on new building guidelines. For those who are forced out, finding accessible, affordable housing can be an even greater challenge,” said Paul Timmons, Chair of Portlight Strategies, Inc., which received a $250,000 grant. “This funding is an enormous gift which will help construct wheelchair ramps, vertical lifts and replace medical equipment so those with disabilities can remain independent and stay in their homes.”

To date, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has supported six county based Long Term Recovery Committees with grants totaling $1 million, which were awarded on February 28th. After a major disaster like Hurricane Sandy, FEMA urges the creation of these non-profit organizations to coordinate, collaborate and manage the recovery effort among community leaders long after immediate relief organizations move on from the area. Most of the recipients receiving funding from today’s grant awards are working closely with their county’s Long Term Recovery group.

Those interested in donating to support the continued efforts of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund can do so immediately online at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org, by texting SANDY to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation (standard text and date rates may apply), or by mailing a check via US mail to PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945.

 

April 2nd HSNJRF Grant Awards

 

Atlantic City Long Term Recovery Group – $100,000

Serving Atlantic County

Description: Build Long Term Recovery Group capacity to address unmet community needs.

 

Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation | Hurricane Sandy Initiative – $150,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Hudson County

Description: Rental assistance supporting 65 families/individuals, home repairs for 10 families/individuals, and assist seniors with clean-up of damaged belongings.

 

Coastal Habitat for Humanity | HSNJR Fund-Community Restoration Initiative -$714,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Monmouth County

Description: Provide funding for home rebuild and repairs for 20 homes in Neptune, Belmar and Manasquan, and increased staff capacity to support 100 home renovation projects in the next 12 months.

 

Family Promise of Monmouth County | New Beginnings Program – $50,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Monmouth County

Description: Assist displaced families locate affordable housing, provide security deposits and case work to connect with other community resources.

 

Habitat for Humanity Hudson County | Habitat Helping Hands -$94,800

Housing Assistance

Serving Hudson County

Description: Staff and materials to provide 8 home repairs over a 3 month period for low-income individuals.

 

Legal Services of New Jersey | Hurricane Sandy Survivors Legal Counseling and Related Services Project – $450,000

Legal Services

Statewide service

Description: Providing free legal assistance to storm victims as they navigate federal aid, landlord-tenant issues, rebuilding issues, insurance disputes, and more. Funding will also support 3 social workers to monitor statewide hotline.

 

Newark Emergency Services for Families Inc | Hurricane Sandy Housing Assistance Program – $10,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Essex County

Description: Provide rent, household budgeting and security assistance to low income families affected by Sandy

 

Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity | Hurricane Sandy Rebuild – $400,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Ocean County

Description: Provide funding for staff, materials and mold remediation to rebuild 18 inhabitable homes over the next 9 months.

 

Operation Hope, Inc. | Project Restore HOPE – Hurricane Sandy – $600,000

Financial Counseling Services

Serving Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Union, Hudson and Essex Counties

Description: Providing assistance to victims in applying for federal disaster home rebuilding aid, and offering individuals the financial guidance in appropriating those funds. Funding will also support 4 office locations and provide financial and economic recovery services to estimated 1,895 individuals and 775 small businesses.

 

Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church | Volunteer Village – $31,300

Housing Assistance

Serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Description: Improve dormitory facilities housing 36 volunteers per week (over 1800/annually) that supply non-profits with volunteer labor for local home rebuilding.

 

Portlight Strategies | NJ Sandy Home Accessibility – $250,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Atlantic, and Cape May Counties

Description: Wheelchair ramp replacement and construction, replacing durable medical equipment and providing accessibility for raised homes in line with ADA requirements to ensure those with disabilities can remain in their homes.

 

Rebuilding Together for Bergen County | Sandy Recovery Project – $345,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Bergen County

Description: Provide funding for staff, renovations and materials to help 20 low-income families return to their homes

 

United Policyholders | Roadmap to Recovery – $47,000

Counseling Services

Statewide Service

Description: Provide insurance related education and counseling services to policy holders, including negotiations, paperwork support, and hiring strategies to avoid scams.

 

Volunteer Center of Bergen County | Long Term Recovery Mold Remediation -$400,000

Housing Assistance

Serving Bergen County

Description: Help up to 200 homes with mold remediation in Little Ferry and Moonachie.

 

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Inc | VLJ Disaster Legal Response Program – $133,000

Counseling Services

Statewide Service

Description:  Volunteer training, and free legal representation to victims with complex legal issues

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice to Hold Free Legal Aid Clinic for Sandy

Clinics Part of VLJ’s New Disaster Legal Response and Preparedness Program

NEWARK, N.J. – Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) will hold free legal aid clinics at Brookdale Community College in Hazlet for New Jersey residents dealing with legal issues directly related to Superstorm Sandy. The clinics are part of VLJ’s new Disaster Legal Response and Preparedness (DLRP) Program, which also includes extended representation and a statewide hotline. Brookdale Community College is located at One Crown Plaza in Hazlet, and the clinics will be held on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following dates: April 5 and 19; and May 3, 17, and 31.

At these free legal clinics, VLJ and its volunteer attorneys provide counsel, advice and limited scope assistance to participants. Topics often range from insurance, housing, and landlord/tenant issues to public benefits and FEMA appeals, among others. Volunteer attorneys are from Citi, Duane Morris LLP, and Jackson Lewis LLP along with other volunteers. Clinics are also being held twice a month at the Hoboken Hurricane Resource Center in Hoboken. In addition, future clinics are planned for an Ocean County location as well as in Jersey City. A regularly updated list of clinic dates is available at www.vljnj.org.

All victims of the storm with legal issues in New Jersey, regardless of their income and assets are eligible to meet with a volunteer attorney at the legal clinic for advice and brief service. Clinic participants needing extended representation are screened for financial eligibility and VLJ will attempt to locate a volunteer attorney to take on full representation of the client’s legal issue. Applicants will be screened by VLJ for eligibility, but generally, a family of four must have an annual income that is less than $71,000. Applicants will also be asked questions about the value of their assets.

VLJ’s DLRP Program also includes a statewide hotline – (855) 301-2525 – staffed by volunteer attorneys, VLJ staff, and law students. Intake staff are available to answer calls on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will screen cases for potential placement with volunteer lawyers. Callers may also leave a message on the hotline after hours and receive a prompt call-back from a VLJ volunteer or staff member to address their issues.

VLJ is a state-wide 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in Newark. VLJ provides comprehensive legal services to economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey to ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues. 

HOPE NOW Event in New Jersey Assists Hundreds of Homeowners Affected by Sandy

Over 500 Families Receive Help from Mortgage Companies and Others

SAYREVILLE, NJ – The HOPE NOW Alliance brought together several of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, along with non-profit housing counseling organizations, insurance companies and others to New Jersey this past Saturday, to work face to face with homeowners affected by Super Storm Sandy.

The event was co-sponsored by by NeighborWorks® America, Faith Fellowship Community Development Corporation, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

Approximately 550 families showed up to receive comprehensive mortgage and insurance help at the Faith Fellowship World Outreach Center in Sayreville.

“Many organizations came together, in a very short amount of time, to make this event happen. From planning to execution, this event was a complete success and a testament to the commitment of the industry, non-profits and government agencies all working together for the benefit of struggling homeowners. HOPE NOW is grateful to all who donated time, funding and resources to spend many hours on a Saturday, for the sole purpose of assisting those in need,” said Eric Selk, Executive Director of HOPE NOW.

“The opportunity to meet face to face with lenders, housing counselors, insurance representatives and others, who can offer assistance, is such a relief to homeowners impacted by Sandy – many of whom find themselves caught in red tape. Homeowners were able to get answers and a clear path forward. We thank HOPE NOW for taking the lead in organizing this event, and the State of Jersey and Faith Fellowship CDC for its support,” added Deborah Boatright, Northeast Regional Director, NeighborWorks America.

Mortgage companies in attendance included Bank of America, Chase, Citi Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage, Homeward Residential, HSBC, M&T, Nationstar, Ocwen, OneWest, PHH, PNC, Select Portfolio Servicing, SunTrust and Wells Fargo.

Other participants included several local HUD-approved non-profit housing counseling agencies will also be in attendance, plus representatives from AllState Insurance, Central Jersey Legal Services, Fannie Mae, Farmers Insurance, FEMA, Freddie Mac, Liberty Mutual, LoanScamAlert, NJ 2-1-1, New Jersey Better Business Bureau, New Jersey Housing Resource Center, OSHA and several other agencies and organizations.

HOPE NOW is the industry-created alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, counselors, and other mortgage market participants, brought together by the Financial Services Roundtable, Housing Policy Council and Mortgage Bankers Association, that has developed and is implementing a coordinated plan to help as many homeowners as possible prevent foreclosure and stay in their homes. For more information, go to www.HopeNow.com

Face to Face Event for Homeowners Affected by Super Storm Sandy

HOPE NOW and State of New Jersey Agencies to Host Free Event for Homeowners Affected by Super Storm Sandy

SAYREVILLE, NJ – The HOPE NOW Alliance, state of New Jersey agencies, and several local partners are bringing the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, along with several non-profit housing counseling organizations and others to New Jersey to work face to face with homeowners affected by Super Storm Sandy.

The event is co-sponsored by NeighborWorks® America, Faith Fellowship Community Development Corporation, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

Many of the largest mortgage companies are scheduled to be in attendance including Bank of America, Chase, Citi Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage, Homeward Residential (formerly American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.), HSBC, M & T Bank, Nationstar, Ocwen, OneWest, PNC, Select Portfolio Servicing, SunTrust, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

Local HUD-approved non-profit housing counseling agencies will also be in attendance, plus representatives from AllState Insurance, Central Jersey Legal Services, Fannie Mae, Farmers Insurance, FEMA, Freddie Mac, Liberty Mutual, LoanScamAlert, New Jersey Better Business Bureau, New Jersey Housing Resource Center and OSHA.

 

WHO:             Area homeowners who need mortgage assistance due to Super Storm Sandy or other circumstances

WHAT:           HOPE for New Jersey Community Event

WHEN:          Saturday, March 9, 2013

                     10:00am – 4:00pm

           

WHERE:        Faith Fellowship World Outreach Center

                      2707 Main Street

                      Sayreville, NJ 08872

Jersey Shore Running Club Donates to 23 Towns

SHREWSBURY, N.J. – The Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC), the largest running club in New Jersey, has donated nearly $20,000 in grants to 23 towns up and down the Jersey Shore to assist with rebuilding efforts following Superstorm Sandy. 

JSRC president Carly DePolo announced Tuesday that the club, which hosts race events and club runs year-round on the streets and boardwalks of Shore towns in eastern Monmouth and northern Ocean counties, has provided grants earmarked for Sandy relief to the following towns and municipalities:

  1. Seaside Heights
  2. Ortley Beach section of Toms River
  3. Lavallette
  4. Brick Beach section of Brick
  5. Mantoloking
  6. Bay Head
  7. Point Pleasant Beach
  8. Brielle
  9. Manasquan
  10. Sea Girt
  11. Spring Lake
  12. Lake Como
  13. Belmar
  14. Avon-by-the-Sea
  15.  Bradley Beach
  16. Ocean Grove
  17.  Asbury Park
  18. Loch Arbor
  19. Allenhurst
  20. Deal
  21. Long Branch
  22. Monmouth Beach
  23. Sea Bright

“As runners, we have felt the effects of Superstorm Sandy in a unique way, since our more than 1,500 club members use the waterfront every day for their running pursuits,” said JSRC President Carly DePolo.  “Whether going for a jog or training for a marathon, the boardwalks have always provided the Jersey Shore running community with a safe haven from traffic, pollution and other hazards.

“These towns have all hosted races and our weekly club runs for years upon years, so we feel these small grants are the least we can do as part of the community to help them recover from the storm’s lasting effects,” said DePolo.  “We hope the towns will find the donations useful, especially if they are still awaiting other relief from insurance or government grants.”

“JSRC felt it was particularly important to support the towns that host events related to RunAPalooza, our largest annual event,” said RunAPalooza Race Director Bob Both.  “RunAPalooza normally includes a marathon-distance relay race, in which six towns—Seaside Heights, Brick Beach, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach, Belmar, and Asbury Park—play a major role by either hosting important transition points or the race start and finish lines.  These events bring a lot of runners and traffic to the towns, so we wanted to show them some extra support and thanks with these grants.”

For more information, contact Carly DePolo, JSRC club president, at [email protected] or visit the club’s website at www.jsrc.org.

About JSRC

The Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) is the largest running club in New Jersey, with more than 1,500 members.  Dedicated both to running and to the community, JSRC members enjoy both the camaraderie of running with friends and participation in a wide range of social, running and community minded activities, many of which support local neighborhood and charitable organizations.  Every year, through more than 50 of its own sponsored events and others in which it is an active participant, JSRC raises more than a half-million dollars for area charitable groups such as Special Olympics New Jersey, The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, local PBA scholarships, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and many other worthwhile causes.  JSRC is a registered 501c3 organization.

 

JSRC offers a variety of benefits, including group runs several times a week, planned social events, discounts on race entry fees, a monthly newsletter, and an award winning website.  For more information, visit www.jsrc.org.

Monmouth University School of Education Donated Supplies to Union Beach Memorial School

mu_edu_students_union_beachPhoto: front left, Monmouth University students Jessica Dayton, Kate Muller, Kelly Coulson, Sarah Meyer, and Jordan Fanelli

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – School of Education faculty members and students dropped off supplies to teachers and students at Union Beach Memorial School on February 7.

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) and the International Reading Association (IRA) of the Monmouth University School of Education organized the donation drive for the Union Beach Memorial School. To date, the Union Beach Memorial School has moved twice since Superstorm Sandy. The School and is currently located at the Holy Family School Building.

Students and faculty collected supplies from the Union Beach Memorial Beach School “wish list” including desk chairs, children’s books, educational videos, cleaning supplies, paper and markers, and art supplies.

Employees from Monmouth University’s Facilities Management Department arranged for storage of the supplies and transportation of the donations to the Holy Family School Building.

Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund Rolls Out Online Grant Application to Aid in Long Term Recovery

Mendham, NJ – The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund Inc. announced today it has launched an online grant application accessible to any non-profit organization providing disaster relief services in New Jersey. The Fund will place a priority on four focus areas, including housing assistance, social services, financial and legal aid, and economic development. The deadline for the current grant cycle is March 15th, and the application can be accessed on the Fund’s website at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org. The grants expected to be awarded during this cycle have a target allocation of $5 million.

The State of New Jersey, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and other state networks will assist in alerting non-profits from around the state about today’s announcement.

“There are so many worthy organizations on the ground day in and day out providing critical services to those in need in the hardest hit areas around New Jersey. They want and can do more with greater financial support. We are proud to partner with them and are looking forward to efficiently disbursing funding that will help the long-term recovery effort in this state,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Fund. “We’ve focused on these four priority areas after an extensive needs analysis collaborating with national and local disaster experts, first responders and government agencies. As has been said before, New Jersey will come back stronger but it will take time. That’s why our Fund will continue to be a resource in the months and years ahead.”

Grant eligibility requirements and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page covering the process are available on the Fund’s website. For example, applicants must be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit, overhead costs will be limited to just ten percent, and start-ups will be considered if the project being considered fits into the HSNJRF mission and focus areas. Groups that are headquartered out-of-state, but are active in the New Jersey recovery effort, are also eligible to apply. The minimum grant request is $10,000.

In December, the Fund allocated $1 million to county-based Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs). Per FEMA recommendations, LTRCs are created in the wake of a disaster to coordinate community-based organizations, non-profits, business groups and others to aid in the recovery effort long after immediate relief organizations like the Red Cross and FEMA have left the area.

The Fund’s competitive and transparent grant process will track all distributed dollars from start to finish, ensuring applicants are delivering the promised assistance to families and communities according to their approved proposals.

DONATION INFORMATION

Donors interested in making a contribution can do so in a number of ways by either visiting the Fund online at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org, making an immediate, one-time $10 donation directly to their phone bill by texting “SANDY” to 20222 (message and data rates may apply), or by mailing a check made payable to the “Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund” to: 

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

PO Box 6200

Merrifield, VA 22116-6200

General correspondence to the Fund can be sent via US mail to PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945-0095. 

Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund Announces Bono and Brian Williams as Newest Members of Honorary Advisory Board

Mendham, NJ – First Lady Mary Pat Christie today announced that U2 front man and global humanitarian, Bono, along with NBC Nightly News Anchor and Jersey native Brian Williams, will join the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund’s Honorary Advisory Board. Bono and Williams join previously announced board members including Vice-Chair and former US Senator Bill Bradley, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Ripa, and Dr. Oz, among others. To date, the Fund has raised over $32 million from more than 22,000 donors world-wide.

“It’s an honor to be asked to support the Governor and First Lady in this on-going effort,” said Bono. “New Jersey is always a highlight of any U2 tour. What’s inspiring about the New Jersey relief effort are not the names on the Board, which I’m humbled to serve with, but the volunteers who have rallied all over the state, in fact all over the tri-state area.  This is the America to keep faith with.”

“Sandy took away just about every piece of my Jersey Shore childhood. From the tip of Sandy Hook to the Fun Town Pier in Seaside, South to Ortley and LBI and beyond, what isn’t already gone has been re-shaped forever,” said Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News and Rock Center. “As a Monmouth County native and an Ocean County homeowner: sand is my native turf. I could ride a wave before I could ride a bike, and the Jersey Shore is in my veins. As a former first responder in Middletown, I have strong feelings for those who have dropped everything to help others. ‘Jersey Strong’ isn’t just a phrase; it’s a way of life. It’s a redundancy, actually. The rest of the country will see how strong we are, starting now. We will re-build. We will see you on the boardwalk in time for the first waves of summer.”

Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and surrounding areas on October 29th. Four days later, Governor Chris Christie tasked First Lady Mary Pat Christie with launching the non-profit relief fund.  After consultations with disaster relief experts associated with similar recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and September 11th, the Fund focused on becoming a sustainable resource for the long-term recovery effort in the months and years ahead.

“We are thrilled that Bono and Brian have lent their names to assist New Jersey families in rebuilding their lives and overcoming the most destructive storm in our state’s history,” said Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Fund. “So many people from the Meadowlands to the Bayshore and the Barrier Islands have simply lost everything. The dollars we have raised will support organizations on the front lines of the recovery effort and address the unmet needs of New Jersey communities. In this effort, we are all New Jerseyans, and we are tremendously grateful for the 22,000 donors worldwide who have answered the call in support of our neighbors.”

In December, the Fund’s Board allocated $1 million to Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRC) operating in New Jersey, which serve as volunteer-led central clearing houses in each county made up of local non-profits and community organizations active in the recovery. Currently, eight LTRCs are operational in the state, proposals submitted to the Fund are under review, and grants will soon be disbursed based in large part on geographical need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strongly encourages the creation of LTRCs in the wake of a disaster to ensure there are established organizations in place able to continue the recovery effort long after they and other immediate relief organizations like the Red Cross move on from the area.

The Fund also recently hired its grants manager, and by mid-February will be launching an online grant application process allowing any non-profit organization active in the New Jersey recovery effort to apply for financial aid.  Many non-profit organizations are already on the ground providing tremendous services for victims but lack the financial resources to meet the overall need in their area. The Fund’s competitive and transparent grant process will track all distributed dollars from start to finish, ensuring applicants are delivering the promised assistance to families and communities according to their approved proposals.

DONATION INFORMATION

Donors interested in making a contribution can visit the Fund online at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org, or by mailing a check made payable to the “Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund”: 

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

PO Box 6200

Merrifield, VA 22116-6200

General correspondence to the Fund can be sent via US mail to PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945-0095. Donors can also make an immediate, one-time $10 donation directly to their phone bill by texting “SANDY” to 20222. Message and data rates may apply.