Speaker Quinn, UFT President Mulgrew Launch Major Effort to Help Thirty Thousand Displaced NYC Students

13 November 2012

Officials announce $1.5 million fund to provide backpacks with school supplies and books

Bensonhurst, NY – Today, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew launched a fundraising drive, with a goal of $1.5 million, which is being used to provide 30,000 displaced New York City students with backpacks filled with school supplies and books. The announcement was made at I.S. 281 Joseph B Cavallaro in Gerristen Beach, Brooklyn where Speaker Quinn and President Mulgrew were joined by Council Committee on Education Chair Robert Jackson, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., UFT members and volunteers to begin the distribution and delivery of the backpacks full of supplies to students in need as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I.S. 281 is currently housing children in grades 1 to 5 displaced from PS 188 in Coney Island.

The donors include Resorts World New York, Morgan Stanley, Ronald O. Perelman, JPMorgan Chase, Pearson Foundation, SL Green Realty Corp., The Durst Organization, The Related Companies, The Howard Hughes Corporation, Lend Lease, McDonald’s USA, Barry F. Schwartz, and Verizon Foundation. To date, the fund has raised more than $675,000.

“Thousands of New Yorkers and people across the country are helping to get New York City back on its feet, and today’s announcement is an extension of this effort,” said Speaker Quinn. “As the city continues to recover, it is important that we create a sense of normalcy and security for children who were affected by the storm – especially those whose homes and schools were damaged. Thanks to corporate donors stepping up to the plate and the efforts of the UFT and AFT, we can hopefully make this difficult time a little bit easier for these children. New Yorkers will come out of this disaster renewed and stronger for having helped each other and the city we love.”

“Children need school supplies to succeed academically,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Many New York City students’ houses were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and we need to ensure that these children have backpacks, books and other schools supplies they need to thrive. I can’t thank the City Council, all the school staff – teachers, custodians, and principals, aides – enough for all the work they have done to help get our schools back on track and the many donors for their generosity.”

“Many of the children of Rockaway, Broad Channel and areas all around New York City lost everything due to Hurricane Sandy, and we at Resorts World want to help in any way we can,” said Christian Goode, Senior Vice President of Development at Genting Americas. “Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Quinn and the United Federation of Teachers, many of those children will now have backpacks and supplies to make their return to school a lot easier.”

“Hurricane Sandy shattered the lives of thousands of students by taking their homes, their possessions and their sense of safety,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “For those children and their families, returning to school is the first step in putting their lives back together in what will be a long road of recovery. We are so grateful for this generous donation and the recognition by the UFT and AFT of the hardship facing our kids and our schools. Efforts like these demonstrate that New Yorkers from all over the city are committed to working together to recover and rebuild our neighborhoods as quickly and effectively as possible.”

“In the aftermath of Sandy, thousands of New Yorkers whose lives have been ripped apart are struggling to put together the broken pieces,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, Chair of Education Committee. “Just as individuals have stepped in to lend a helping hand, it is equally as important for local government and corporations to continue to lead the way in lifting families up from the remnants of the storm. In the wake of such devastation, no donation or gesture is too small. I am proud to stand by my colleagues to launch the fundraising for donations to provide students displaced by the hurricane with book-bags full of supplies. These donations will help students focus on their main vocation – their education. Let’s continue to come together to give affected students the tools to get back into a stable routine – like sitting in a classroom ready to learn. The more we help, the sooner they will begin to feel whole again.”