After Hurricane Sandy ravaged his home state of New Jersey last week, rock star Jon Bon Jovi cut short a London press tour and flew to New York, where he performed in a live telethon to support the storm’s victims.
Rock and pop royalty quickly signed up to participate in the NBC television benefit “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” including Briton Sting; Staten Island-born Christina Aguilera; Bruce Springsteen, another New Jersey native; and Long Islander Billy Joel.
The show last Friday raised $23 million for the American Red Cross, adding to about $35 million in donations the organization has already received, said spokeswoman Karen Stecher.
Artists, entertainers, corporations and the financial- services industry have contributed or pledged talent, work and money to recovery efforts for Sandy victims, as the death toll has risen to at least 177, and property damage totals about $50 billion, according to Moody Analytics Inc.
“I’ve never seen a time like this,” said Kathleen DiChiara, president and founder of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey which she launched from the trunk of her car in 1975. “When I was handing out sandwiches on Sunday, a woman told me that she and her sister take turns letting their cats sit on their laps to keep to them warm because they have no electricity. The food need is huge.”
Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF:US), the New York-based investment-banking firm, said it would donate $1 million and all net trading commissions earned tomorrow to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Its more than 3,800 employees can also donate their salary for the day to charity.
Citigroup Inc. (C:US)’s Citi Foundation donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Morgan Stanley (MS:US) and its employees will contribute $1 million to $2.5 million (depending on employee contributions) to the recovery effort, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.
The Robin Hood Foundation, the New York-based poverty- fighting charity supported largely by Wall Street donors, said it will hand out about $3 million by today for the purchase of food and blankets and for emergency cash grants. The nonprofit has raised more than $9 million since last Friday for its relief fund.
“Our experience after 9/11 has shown that small cash disbursements -- as little as $100 or $200 -- can be critical to needy families in the days following a catastrophic event,” Lee Ainslie III, Robin Hood’s board chairman and fund manager at Maverick Capital Management LP, said in an e-mail to donors last week.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) offered $5 billion in capital for lending to small and midsize businesses affected by the storm. The company’s foundation will also give $5 million to the relief effort. That figure includes $2 million to the Red Cross emergency response, $1 million in matching funds for employee donations to the Red Cross, United Way and World Vision, and as much as $2 million to local agencies for recovery efforts.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) said it would match $5 million in funding for small business pledged by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide loans. (Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.)
“Many small businesses in our communities have been devastated by this disaster, and fast access to capital will help them get back on their feet more quickly,” Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, said in a release.
The investment bank and its Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor- advised fund to which the company’s partners contribute, also will donate as much as $5 million to Sandy’s clean-up and recovery effort.
The Red Cross has provided shelter to about 9,000 people at 113 facilities in nine states, Stecher said. It’s also deployed more than 4,000 disaster workers in the region and 240 response vehicles, or more than two-thirds of its U.S. fleet, she said.
The United Way of New York City has received about $2 million from corporations including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp (BAC:US)., Deloitte LLP, Federal Express Corp. and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX:US) More donations will be required to help the needy over the coming months, said Sheena Wright, United Way’s chief executive officer.
“There is certainly a huge need for immediate support,” said Stacey D. Stewart, president of United Way U.S.A., based in Alexandria, Virginia. “What we experience time and time again is that it takes quite a while to recover, and it’s the United Way that will be there for the long haul.”
The Union, New Jersey-based Salvation Army chapter has spent more than $50,000 to help those without shelter, food or electricity and needs more donations.
“When the sun came out and the water went away after Hurricane Irene last year, a lot of people who weren’t impacted went about their daily lives, and you can’t blame them,” Brenda Beavers, the state director of human services for the Salvation Army New Jersey, said by phone. “But we still have people in New Jersey who have yet to recover from that storm.”
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