As you likely know, in late 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard, leaving a path of destruction in her wake. Many of the hardest hit areas were those inhabited by underserved populations, and the storm’s devastation was a life-altering experience for most, if not all, of its victims. In keeping with their desire to help people in need when disasters strike, Major League baseball players committed up to $500,000 from the Players Trust to help Sandy victims recover and rebuild, and in 2013 they distributed $275,000 of those funds to a variety of causes. The players understand that the needs in these communities are ongoing, so their approach is to take a longer view of the needs in the hardest hit areas. With that in mind, the Players Trust made the following contributions in 2013 and will distribute additional funds in 2014.
– $40,000 to Points of Light, supporting the efforts of the Long Island Volunteer Center to convene local community agencies active in the disaster. The Center continues to provide collaboration and coordination amongst agencies, recruits and refers volunteers to disaster services and keeps them engaged, and helps return homeowners to their homes
– $30,000 to NJ 2-1-1, enabling the call center to dedicate staff to recovery needs, connecting residents with disaster case managers, ensuring residents were registered with FEMA and taking advantage of other grant programs, and helping connect callers to local services by prescreening for eligibility
– $20,000 to Pitch in for Baseball, allowing for the purchase and distribution of new baseball and softball equipment and uniforms to 40 youth baseball/softball teams affected by Hurricane Sandy in Matawan, New Jersey and South Hackensack, New Jersey. As a result, their season was able to start on time
– $25,000 to Red Hook Initiative, assisting victims in Brooklyn through the provision of pro bono legal and medical care, meals, emergency supplies, counseling, mental health services, assistance with FEMA applications, employment opportunities and shelter referrals
– $30,000 to Catholic Charities earmarked for the Rockaway Reach Fund, assisting families in Belle Harbor and Rockaway with food, shelter, supplies, and rebuilding services
– $30,000 to Project Hospitality, Inc., supporting those affected in hard-hit Staten Island by advocating for those in need and providing a continuum of care that included food, clothing, shelter, health and mental services, as well as vocational training and services for at risk youth
– $100,000 to New York State’s Natural Heritage Trust, enabling the removal of hundreds of downed trees, the re-planting of new ones, and facilitating improvements to damaged turf on public golf courses