Local officials blast Red Cross over Hurricane Sandy aid

The effects of hurricane Sandy remained dramatic two weeks after the storm began. Credit: Getty Images
The effects of hurricane Sandy remained dramatic two weeks after the storm began. Credit: Getty Images

Seven months after Sandy, the Red Cross has not spent more than $100 million donated after Hurricane Sandy, local officials said Wednesday.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called the unspent money “an insult” to victims and donors.

Quinn and other Council members sent a letter to American Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood, demanding they immediately allocate the cash.

They said the organization has not spent $110 million of nearly three times that much collected.

“We are deeply disturbed by reports that the Red Cross has not spent $110 million of $303 million in Sandy relief funds,” the local officials wrote in the letter.

They continue, “Sitting on this unspent money is an insult to both the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the generous donors to the American Red Cross.”

They suggest the funds be spent on generators and local nonprofits.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross announced a $1.25 million grant for Sandy recovery in Brooklyn.

In a statement today, the Red Cross said it “is cutting checks every day for urgent needs for survivors in New York and New Jersey.”

In the statement, from communications director Alicia Maxey Greene, the group said it takes time to meet with individuals and help them with paperwork and assessing needs.

“We carefully vet each grant request to determine impact and whether the impact is measurable, and we also look for organizations that keep their overhead to a minimum like we do,” the group stated. “That way we ensure that we’re being good stewards of our donors’ dollars.”


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