Bono and Brian Williams Join Sandy NJ Relief Fund Honorary Board
Staff | HSNJRF Press Release
(Mendham, NJ) - First Lady Mary Pat Christie today announced that U2 front man and global humanitarian, Bono, along with NBC Nightly News Anchor and Jersey native Brian Williams, will join the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund's Honorary Advisory Board. Bono and Williams join previously announced board members including Vice-Chair and former US Senator Bill Bradley, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Ripa, and Dr. Oz, among others. To date, the Fund has raised over $32 million from more than 22,000 donors world-wide.
"It's an honor to be asked to support the Governor and First Lady in this on-going effort," said Bono. "New Jersey is always a highlight of any U2 tour. What's inspiring about the New Jersey relief effort are not the names on the Board, which I'm humbled to serve with, but the volunteers who have rallied all over the state, in fact all over the tri-state area. This is the America to keep faith with."
"Sandy took away just about every piece of my Jersey Shore childhood. From the tip of Sandy Hook to the Fun Town Pier in Seaside, South to Ortley and LBI and beyond, what isn't already gone has been re-shaped forever," said Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News and Rock Center. "As a Monmouth County native and an Ocean County homeowner: sand is my native turf. I could ride a wave before I could ride a bike, and the Jersey Shore is in my veins. As a former first responder in Middletown, I have strong feelings for those who have dropped everything to help others. 'Jersey Strong' isn't just a phrase; it's a way of life. It's a redundancy, actually. The rest of the country will see how strong we are, starting now. We will re-build. We will see you on the boardwalk in time for the first waves of summer."
Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and surrounding areas on October 29th. Four days later, Governor Chris Christie tasked First Lady Mary Pat Christie with launching the non-profit relief fund. After consultations with disaster relief experts associated with similar recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and September 11th, the Fund focused on becoming a sustainable resource for the long-term recovery effort in the months and years ahead.
"We are thrilled that Bono and Brian have lent their names to assist New Jersey families in rebuilding their lives and overcoming the most destructive storm in our state's history," said Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Fund. "So many people from the Meadowlands to the Bayshore and the Barrier Islands have simply lost everything. The dollars we have raised will support organizations on the front lines of the recovery effort and address the unmet needs of New Jersey communities. In this effort, we are all New Jerseyans, and we are tremendously grateful for the 22,000 donors worldwide who have answered the call in support of our neighbors."
In December, the Fund's Board allocated $1 million to Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRC) operating in New Jersey, which serve as volunteer-led central clearing houses in each county made up of local non-profits and community organizations active in the recovery. Currently, eight LTRCs are operational in the state, proposals submitted to the Fund are under review, and grants will soon be disbursed based in large part on geographical need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strongly encourages the creation of LTRCs in the wake of a disaster to ensure there are established organizations in place able to continue the recovery effort long after they and other immediate relief organizations like the Red Cross move on from the area.
The Fund also recently hired its grants manager, and by mid-February will be launching an online grant application process allowing any non-profit organization active in the New Jersey recovery effort to apply for financial aid. Many non-profit organizations are already on the ground providing tremendous services for victims but lack the financial resources to meet the overall need in their area. The Fund's competitive and transparent grant process will track all distributed dollars from start to finish, ensuring applicants are delivering the promised assistance to families and communities according to their approved proposals.
Donors interested in making a contribution can visit the Fund online at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org, or by mailing a check made payable to the "Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund":
Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund
PO Box 6200
Merrifield, VA 22116-6200
General correspondence to the Fund can be sent via US mail to PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945-0095. Donors can also make an immediate, one-time $10 donation directly to their phone bill by texting "SANDY" to 20222. Message and data rates may apply.