Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched a statewide holiday giving drive to benefit families in flood affected communities. The giving drive is part of the Governor's "NYGives" campaign, a statewide effort to encourage charitable giving and generosity throughout the holiday season. "NYGives" connects businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and those seeking to give with organizations that directly serve New Yorkers most in need. The campaign will continue through the end of 2011.
The Governor invites businesses and individuals to donate toys and other supplies to be distributed among families in communities hard hit by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Toy Industry Association has already pledged to donate 250 toys.
"This giving drive will bring some holiday cheer and household supplies to families and children in areas devastated by the late summer storms," Governor Cuomo said. "This is what New Yorkers have always done best: stand together and look out for our neighbors. I invite all New Yorkers to support those in need this holiday season."
Carter Keithley, President of the Toy Industry Association, said, "The Toy Industry Association and its members are pleased to participate in Governor Cuomo's initiative. The toy industry is deeply committed to bringing joy and play to children in need, especially during the holiday season."
Here are some ways New Yorkers can help:
- Bringing in unwrapped toys or supplies to Office of General Services (OGS) offices across the state, or mailing to OGS Mail Room, Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza P1, Dock J, Albany, New York 12242. OGS will arrange for these items to be distributed through charitable organizations.
- Donating to the United Way of New York State or other charitable organizations that benefit the flood regions.
- Volunteering or bringing supplies to local food pantries (a list can be found at: http://www.foodbankassocnys.org/find-food-bank.cfm)
The drive will also include a series of regional events hosted by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and members of the Governor's Upstate Storm and Recovery Task Force. Next week, the Governor will visit communities in flood regions to deliver toys and other donated supplies.
For New Yorkers wishing to make a financial contribution to affected communities, donation of funds can be directed to charitable organizations that support flood relief efforts, such as the United Way of New York. Contributions may be made by sending a check to the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund c/o United Way of New York State, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York 12110-2424 or by visiting www.uwnys.org and clicking on the link on the home page to make a secure donation via credit card. All contributions to the United Way of New York will receive an acknowledgement. 100% of all donations go directly to flood victims, and no administrative costs are taken out.
Susan Hager, President of United Way of New York State, said, "The need remains great in communities hit hard by the flooding. We appreciate all donations, no matter the size, which we are using to help fund continued long term recovery efforts. We applaud Governor Cuomo's leadership and hard work to make sure those affected by these storms have all they need to rebuild. United Way thanks all New Yorkers who have contributed to the Fund for their generosity. We will continue to distribute proceeds to those in need for as long as that help is needed."