After experiencing tremendous hardship in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach elementary school families received some good news last week: the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, through the support of Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate, BGC Partners, would be providing them each with $1,000 to aid in their efforts to rebuild their lives following the devastation caused by the storm Sandy.
Every family of a student enrolled as of Oct. 29 at Blackheath Pre-K, East, Lido, Lindell and West schools was invited to gather at the Long Beach Middle School gymnasium on March 1 to receive a $1,000, prepaid debit card. Fifty volunteers from the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund worked throughout the morning to make sure that the check-in process and distribution of gift cards went smoothly for each and every family.
The five Long Beach schools are among 19 schools in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey that were selected by Cantor Fitzgerald in the wake of Sandy. In total, $10 million has been pledged to help families with young children in these 19 schools. Long Beach Public Schools, with approximately 1,350 eligible families, has been the largest distribution to date at $1.35 million.
Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 of the company’s 960 New York employees in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The mission of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which was formed in the wake of the attacks, is to provide direct aid and support to victims of natural or civil disasters or emergency hardships and to support the efforts or relief workers and relief organizations that provide aid to victims.
“The commitment on the part of the leadership and employees of Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners allows the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund to be philanthropic in the face of tragedy,” said Edie Lutnick, co-founder and executive director of The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. “We have taken the knowledge gleaned from assisting our 9/11 community and applied it to families impacted by Superstorm Sandy providing them with direct financial assistance. We are grateful for the opportunity to assist these families and to help communities such as Long Beach to heal.”