In the six months since the US’ second-costliest storm swept out of the tri-state area, the Robin Hood Foundation has been knee-deep in the Sandy response effort. MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman spoke to Robin Hood’s Executive Director David Saltzman, who explained, “Robin Hood’s mission is simple: we fight poverty in New York City. But when Sandy hit, we knew we had to help our neighbors in need.”
Within weeks after the storm hit, Robin Hood board members recruited a star-studded line-up to headline the 12-12-12 Concert, which benefited the foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The concert raised over $35 million in ticket sales alone reported USA TODAY, while the Nielsen Company found the event the “most widely distributed live musical event in history, accessible to nearly two billion people worldwide on television, radio and the Internet.”
To date, the Robin Hood Foundation has raised more than $70 million to aid Superstorm Sandy victims. “[E]very single penny of that has been allocated,” says Saltzman. “Our donors wanted to make sure people like Mary had roofs over their heads, they wanted to make sure that people were fed, that people had their medicine.”
Among Robin Hood’s grantees are Team Rubicon, a group of returned military veterans who utilize their skills to serve relief efforts and the Henry Street Settlement, which provides emergency food and supplies to people in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After over 20 years of partnering with poverty-fighting organizations in New York City, the non-profit has also widened its reach to distribute relief funds to affected areas in New Jersey and Connecticut.
And as for Robin Hood’s impact beyond the United States? Saltzman reports that after the 12-12-12 concert, “[T]here was an international community of caring. 260,000 people from all 50 states and 90 countries around the world donated to our Sandy relief effort.”