New York Says Thank You Foundation announced today it has committed to help rebuild 200 homes of under-insured, active duty New York City First Responders impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Through the Foundation’s newly formed Hurricane Sandy First Responder Rebuilding Fund, local First Responders can apply for volunteer labor assistance, in-kind donations of building materials and services, appliances, home furnishings, and direct cash assistance for the rebuilding effort. Active members of the FDNY, FDNY/EMT, NYPD, DSNY, and volunteer firefighters in the five boroughs impacted by Hurricane Sandy can register online for assistance at www.NewYorkSaysThankYou.org/Sandy
It is estimated that over 2,000 New York City firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and their families have been directly impacted or displaced by Hurricane Sandy and the numbers of homes that are total losses or in need of major repairs are in the hundreds. As in all major disasters, a significant number of these homeowners will be under-insured.
“For the last nine years, FDNY and NYPD first responders have volunteered with New York Says Thank You Foundation helping to rebuild other communities around the United States impacted by disaster. Now it’s our time to give back to them,” stated Jeff Parness, Founder & Chairman of New York Says Thank You Foundation. “Our value proposition is very simple – if we take care of our First Responders, and help get them back into their homes, the whole City will benefit in the long term recovery from Sandy as they are the ones who take care of us.”
Within hours of Hurricane Sandy making landfall, New York Says Thank You Foundation supporters and volunteers organized to help clean up, rebuild, and provide needed supplies to over 60 New York area families. New York Says Thank You Foundation currently has over 70 NYC First Responders in its queue for rebuilding assistance. The Foundation expects that number to grow quickly with the launch of its online registration system.
A Growing List of Local and National Supporters & Partners
Some of New York City’s most prominent philanthropists and corporations have joined together to support New York Says Thank You Foundation’s First Responder Rebuilding Fund including the families of Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, The Rudin Family, Association for a Better New York Foundation, KPMG LLP, Jeff Gural, The McNulty Foundation, Goldfarb & Fleece, and TM Construction among others.
“KPMG LLP is proud to dedicate our people to assist New York Says Thank You in the case management process necessary to help rebuild these First Responder homes,” stated Bob Garrett, Managing Partner of KPMG’s New York City office. “Our firm and employees have a long history volunteering alongside New York Says Thank You and we are honored to play a role in helping to rebuild the homes of those who serve our community.”
In addition, New York Says Thank You has partnered with leading disaster relief organizations around the country who have provided the Foundation with technical assistance and guidance for the rebuilding effort. Partners include St. Bernard Project, Architecture for Humanity, and Greensburg Greentown.
BASF Corporation and Air Seal providing Spray Foam Insulation
Among the growing list of supporters to this effort are BASF Corporation and their local partner Air Seal Insulation Systems. BASF Corporation has committed to donate 40,000 pounds of spray foam insulation materials to New York Says Thank You Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy First Responder Rebuilding Fund and Air Seal Insulation Systems will be the spray foam contractors installing the products. This donation could re-insulate up to 100 homes, and possibly be used to help totally insulate homes that were total losses in need of complete rebuilding. The closed-cell spray foam being donated has long term, superior thermal performance, and also provides added strength and moisture resistance to walls, floors, and roofs. BASF Corporation is an official partner of FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc., which is one of the most respected disaster preparedness organizations in the nation. Through their educational program, Blueprint for Safety, the FLASH organization will also provide insight for the builders, remodelers and homeowners working in this region, as to how to apply best practices in preparing for all forms of disaster.
“We are proud to partner with a local non-profit like New York Says Thank You to help provide energy efficient durable solutions to the First Responder families and other New York and New Jersey families rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy,” stated Michael Sievers, Business Manager of BASF Corporation.
“Air Seal Insulation Systems has been spraying foam insulation in the New York Tri-State area for the past ten years. The First Responders are our friends and neighbors. It is important to take care of them because they are willing to sacrifice everything for our community. We consider it an honor to spray energy-efficient insulation in each home,” stated Ari Guttman, Chief Operating Officer of Air Seal.
NYPD Detective Joe Lane and family return home for the Holidays
Within 60 days of Hurricane Sandy devastating the region, New York Says Thank You Foundation had fully rebuilt the Broad Channel Queens home of NYPD Homicide Detective Joe Lane and his family. A 17-year NYPD veteran, Joe Lane and his wife Jennifer bought their waterfront home less than one year ago and Sandy destroyed everything. In a matter of weeks, 60 volunteers with New York Says Thank You rebuilt the Lane’s 100-foot elevated walkway, removed moldy insulation, tore down and replaced the walls and flooring, re-wired the electrical systems, and painted. Air Seal Insulation Systems also stepped up on Christmas Eve to help insulate the home against the elements with closed-cell spray polyurethane foam. With an estimated $60,000 in damages and less than $10,000 in insurance proceeds, New York Says Thank You was able to bridge the financial gap for the Lane family through volunteer labor, material donations, and cash assistance. The family was able to wake up Christmas morning in their newly rebuilt home with their twin one-year-old daughters Jenna and Jolie. Joe Lane summed it up in simple terms, “We might have been homeless if it wasn’t for these volunteers.”
How to Help
Individuals and corporations wishing to donate or volunteer their services to New York Says Thank You Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy First Responder Rebuilding Fund are encouraged to go to www.NewYorkSaysThankYou.org/Sandy. Corporations interested in sponsoring the rebuilding of a First Responder home and engaging their employees in the volunteer effort should contact Kathleen McCarthy at Kathleen@NewYorkSaysThankYou.org or via 516-790-2195.