The Village Foundation of East Rockaway (VFER), a non-profit independent charity, was also recognized at the Jan. 14 meeting. The Foundation’s members have been working since the hurricane struck the East Rockaway community to provide relief, aid and assistance to homeowners and residents seeking to restore normalcy to their homes and lives.
“The Foundation’s Board and I were very glad to see the charitable contributions coming in were distributed to those who could use them the most,” said Foundation President Theresa Gaffney, whose own home was flooded with over six feet of water during the storm. “VFER provided immediate relief to members of our community adversely affected by the superstorm, just days after disaster struck, by distributing donations accepted by the charity.”
More than 170 households received assistance in the form of gift cards and certificates through St. Raymond’s SCRIP Card program. Along with directly helping families that applied for the gift cards, the money will further help St. Raymond’s School and families that were effected from there as well. Families who received these gift cards from the Village Foundation are eligible to pick them up at the Charles H. Formont Senior Center behind Village Hall on January 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. or on January 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact the Village Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to make other accommodations.
The families that filled out the application got to choose from stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, K-Mart, Kohl’s, JC Penny or Home Goods.
“It’s truly remarkable that in less than a month and a half — and thanks to Theresa Gaffney and VFER’s Board of Directors — that over $28,000 has been raised for distribution to our neighbors,” said Mayor Francis T. Lenahan. “These are the people who needed it most so they can start rebuilding and returning their lives to normal.”
According to the Foundation, while many individuals and those connected with the East Rockaway community donated, some of the major contributions came from Crown Ford of Lynbrook; West Hills Production in Huntington; Legislator Howard J. and Esther Kopel, Lynbrook Restorative Care, the East Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Spiritual Living in Morristown, NJ; the Lynbrook-East Rockaway Rotary Club, and the Thomson Reuters Corporation, an international media and financial-data firm headquartered in Manhattan that continues to match its employee’s personal donations. Thomson Reuters has so far given $1,672.35 and it continues to grow.