The New York Islanders, through a long-standing partnership with the American Red Cross, remain committed to assisting Long Islanders affected by Superstorm Sandy. After the storm devastated much of the tri-state area, the Islanders put all their resources into fundraising efforts for the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to help victims and their local environment.
Superstorm Sandy plowed through the United States at the end of October, forcing families to live without basic necessities and leaving many unsure of what their lives would be like in the near future. In addition, lands throughout New York, New Jersey and the surrounding areas experienced significant damage.
According to environmental advocacy group Riverkeeper, the damage caused by Sandy was "unprecedented." Toxic chemicals spilled into New York's Harbor due to the storm surge, as did contaminants from subways and commercial structures. Because the pollution came from multiple sources, the clean-up has been challenging.
Many residents continue to struggle with restoration efforts of their homes, businesses and communities, especially due to environmental health and safety concerns.
In November, the Islanders held an open-skate fundraiser called “Hockey with a Heart” to support their community in rebuilding. The Islanders and SMG (the arena management company) opened Nassau Coliseum’s doors and invited all area residents to join them for a day on the ice, free of charge. Over 2,000 people attended and many brought monetary donations, in addition to non-perishable food donations. All concession proceeds went directly to those in need.
Through the efforts of fans and members of the community, along with employees of the New York Islanders, SMG and the Coliseum’s concessionaire SAVOR, the Club collected over 5,200 pounds of food, $5,754 dollars and an overwhelming amount of clothing, weighing over 13,000 pounds, filling two 24-foot box trucks.
After the open skate fundraiser, the Islanders organized a unique online auction, where people from around the world came together to bid on special sports memorabilia and entertainment experiences. The “Hockey with a Heart” auction featured items donated by metropolitan area sports teams, organizations and individuals and raised $22,317 in total for storm victims.
Combined, these two major fundraisers collected $28,071 that went directly to the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to assist those affected by the storm.
To donate to the American Red Cross, visit Redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Click here to watch the Red Cross PSA.