By Sean MulliganSTAFF WRITER
One year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York metro area, the Hofstra University Community Disaster Relief Fund (HCRDF) amassed a total of $106,000 after Hofstra matched the $50,000 donation goal.
HCRDF was created weeks after Sandy struck to provide $500 to $1000 in aid to students and faculty who sustained damage to their homes, cars or property. The fund was financed through donations from alumni, staff and students.
Danielle Bowers, junior business major, applied for the funding program after receiving an email about it, and was appreciative that the fund helped her out.
“I mean, I didn’t expect anything, but I figured why not? And thankfully they did give us some money. We got the most of the grant, so we got the $1000, which was nice. We did have a considerable amount of damage,” said Bowers.
Bowers said that her home in South Shore had over three feet of water. Her family was not offered FEMA funding.
“There was just water everywhere. Obviously $1000 isn’t that much to do many renovations, but we did use it. My dad had to get a new washer and dryer, and we had to replace all of the walls. Obviously more money would have been more helpful, but you know any little bit counts,” said Bowers.
In total, 113 people were given aid, 53 of which were students. The average amount of aid given was nearly $940.
Members of the qualification committee for the fund believed that the money given was helpful for victims.
Ben Vogt, HCRDF committee member and executive director for major gifts, wanted to make sure that members of the Hofstra community were taken care of after the storm hit Long Island.
“It was something to help the students, to help the faculty members, and the administration and other full-time employees just a little bit to get back on their feet,” said Vogt.
Students and faculty applied for aid by filling out an application that asked for a detailed description of their situation, how damaged their property was and a list of other agencies that were providing aid. Applicants also had to include pictures of the damage inflicted on their property to ensure the legitimacy of their claims.
After applications were submitted, a committee comprised of Hofstra staff and faculty discussed whether an applicant should be given the amount requested on their application.
“This group that I was a part of was responsible for looking over the documentation, making sure everything was legitimate and then giving a recommendation of how much money a person should get. Most of the time, whatever they asked for under the $1000 limit, we were able to provide,” said Vogt.
The committee also included, Evelyn Suber-Miller, Elizabeth Venuti, Dolores Friedrich, Jennifer Skorzawski-Ross and Lisa Ross.
Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in United States history.