Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City Raises $125,000 in Response to East Village Tragedy

April 10, 2015

Mayor’s Fund partners with LES Ready and local network of community organizations to provide ongoing support and administer victims assistance fund

Donors include over 350 everyday New Yorkers, Google, Live Nation, Con Edison and local grassroots groups

NEW YORK— The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City today announced that $125,000 has been raised to date to support individuals and families directly affected by the Second Avenue explosion and building collapse on March 26.

The Mayor’s Fund launched a fundraising campaign on March 27 to coordinate direct financial support for those impacted by the tragedy. So far, the Mayor’s Fund has received over 350 contributions from everyday New Yorkers, totaling more than $50,000 – the majority of which were donated by individuals contributing amounts ranging from $5 to $15,000.

The total of $125,000 in pledges also includes support from corporate partners, including Con Edison, Gramercy Theatre and Irving Plaza, and Google. In response to New York City Google employees’ interest in helping those affected, Google launched a Disaster Relief Campaign that will run through the end of April. To date, Google employees and Google’s matching funds have raised over $25,000. In addition, local concert venues Irving Plaza and Gramercy Theatre will be offering patrons the option of donating to the Mayor’s Fund when purchasing tickets during the month of April. Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of these venues, has committed to matching the donations collected up to $10,000.

“It is truly characteristic of our city to join together in the face of adversity, and to show compassion and love to our fellow New Yorkers when they need it most – and these combined efforts of everyday New Yorkers and community and corporate partners are no exception,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Whether they are giving a little or giving a lot, the people of this city clearly have each other’s backs. The donations we’ve seen in recent days prove yet again that a tragedy that affects some New Yorkers touches us all.”

“I am proud of the extraordinary efforts by New Yorkers to alleviate some of the pain and sadness of the recent tragedy. I am moved by the volume of the donations that have poured in. When we face tough times, the people of this city work hard to support one another.” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Through coordination with local partners, and generous contributions from individuals and the private sector, New Yorkers have once again shown their boundless capacity for empathy.”

“The immediate outpouring of support from the private sector, community partners, and everyday New Yorkers has been tremendous and truly invaluable to our work in the East Village,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Time and again, we have seen New Yorkers step up to support their neighbors as they recover and rebuild, and our city is fortunate to have the support of so many civic-minded community members.”

Over the past two weeks, the Mayor’s Fund has been working closely with local elected officials, the Red Cross, Community Board 3, and other community partners to identify needs and services to best support those impacted by the tragedy in the East Village.

Beginning Monday, April 13, as emergency response services begin to phase out, the Mayor’s Fund will collaborate with Lower East Side Ready (“LES Ready”) to administer long-term case management and direct financial assistance for individuals and families who resided in the five buildings impacted by the blast. Those buildings include 123 Second Avenue, 121 Second Avenue, and 119 Second Avenue (a.k.a. 45 E. 7th Street) – all of which were completely destroyed – and 125 Second Avenue and 41 E. 7th Street, which were both severely damaged. These five buildings include 63 residential units, 15 of which were destroyed and 48 of which were damaged.

In addition to the assistance and support that LES Ready and their network of providers are prepared to extend, the organization will be working with the Mayor’s Fund to deploy financial grants to those directly affected.

These financial grants will include assistance for:

  • Housing support for transitioning to new permanent housing, which includes security and last month’s rent
  • Replacement of damaged home wares, such as furniture, clothing, and other essential items
  • Additional special support as needed to help families and individuals begin to rebuild their lives

Support services through LES Ready will commence on Monday, April 13, and those affected and wishing to seek assistance and support can contact LES Ready at 212-533-2541 to learn more. New Yorkers who wish to contribute to the effort should call 311 or visit the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City website: www.nyc.gov/fund

“Within hours of this tragic event, and in the days following, LES Ready and our network of over 40 community organizations were on the scene as part of the immediate response efforts. As community needs transition toward more ongoing recovery and relief we are proud to join with the Mayor’s Fund and city agency partners to provide ongoing support and assistance for our neighbors directly impacted by this event,” said Damaris Reyes, Chair of LES Ready and Executive Director of GOLES.

“We are pleased to support the Mayor’s efforts to help the neighborhood recover from this tragedy. Residents and businesses of the East Village need everyone’s support and assistance at this time,” said John McAvoy, Chairman and CEO of Con Edison.

“The East Village is a neighbor to Irving Plaza and a community known as a cultural hub of NYC, fostering the growth and success of countless musicians, artists and authors. Without the East Village, Irving Plaza could not have thrived as a music venue for over 30 years. Our goal is to raise awareness among our patrons and offer them an easy way to make a donation. It’s wonderful to have the support of Live Nation behind us, recognizing the importance of offering relief to our neighbors and supporting a community that means so much to the city of New York,” said Melissa Mennillo, Marketing Manager for Live Nation NY Clubs & Theatres.

“New Yorkers across the five boroughs have shown the true character of our city by coming together to help their neighbors in this time of great need,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In the face of horrific tragedy, New York City has shown remarkable compassion for those who have been directly impacted by the East Village Explosion. I thank all who contributed and look forward to helping those affected rebuild their lives as members of our community.”

“New Yorkers’ generosity and compassion for our neighbors is part of why our great city, despite its size, is a community,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I applaud the Mayor and First Lady for taking such an active role in the aftermath of this explosion, and my office stands ready to assist them and the residents of the East Village in any way we can.”

“I'm grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for deploying the Mayor’s Fund to help those who’ve been affected by the devastating gas explosion in the East Village. Some of my constituents have lost virtually all of their possessions and are homeless as a result of this tragedy, but thanks to the Mayor’s Fund, private sector generosity and the commendable efforts of local community partners, fellow elected officials and volunteers, they’ll have an infusion of resources with which to begin to rebuild their lives and small businesses,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said, “We are all grateful for the generous response from the community to assist our neighbors affected by the tragic East Village explosion. It is heartening that so many individuals and companies have responded to the plight of those who have lost all of their belongings, including their homes or businesses, and resources from the Mayor’s Fund will help in their recovery.”

“When our city experiences a disaster such as the 2nd Avenue explosion in my district, we see New Yorkers at their best. On the day of the tragedy, New Yorkers displayed their courage as they pulled victims from the rubble and assisted individuals off the fire escape. In the days that followed, New Yorkers displayed their generosity as many called my office in large numbers to volunteer and/or donate money to those who lost everything. I am thankful to all who have donated to the Mayor’s Fund and very proud of the fact that so many donations came from everyday New Yorkers who donated what they could afford,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez.

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