Hurricane Sandy has had a tremendous social, economic, and infrastructural impact on the Northeast region. In New York City, many residents continue to struggle after the storm, which damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.
In addition to Deutsche Bank’s $1mm philanthropic commitment to hurricane relief, Jacques Brand, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank North America and Member of the Group Executive Committee, organized a Bank-wide volunteer day to assist with recovery efforts in New York City.
On Saturday, November 17, 140 Deutsche Bank employees gathered to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Brand opened the day by welcoming and thanking the volunteers for sharing their time and service. Volunteers were then deployed to four of the hardest-hit areas in New York City: Red Hook, the Lower East Side, Staten Island and the Rockaways.
In the Rockaways, Queens, volunteers helped to clear a playground piled high with sand that needed to be removed to be usable once again with NYC Service, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s volunteer initiative. Brand assisted at this worksite along with 50 other Deutsche Bank colleagues, to help dig and haul away the considerable amount of sand and debris that had been swept onto the playground from the ocean during Hurricane Sandy.
On Staten Island, Deutsche Bank employees served with New York Cares at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which is providing assistance to residents affected by the hurricane. Volunteers answered and fulfilled requests for supplies, unloaded and sorted donations at a warehouse distribution center, and delivered items to homes. Additionally, volunteers assisted with cleanup at individual houses, helping several homeowners clean and clear their damaged properties.
Volunteers in Red Hook, Brooklyn helped nonprofit Added Value to restore the Red Hook Community Farm, which provides youth empowerment and education programs, while supplying healthy, affordable food to local residents. One of the city's first urban farms, the space was completely submerged by flood waters during Sandy. Volunteers completed various tasks including turning soil, making compost and cleaning up the farm in order to make a suitable environment for replanting.
In the Lower East Side, Deutsche Bank employees gathered at the Grand Street Settlement to help out at a “Free Arts Day” with Free Arts NYC. Volunteers participated in a day of art-making and informal mentoring with low-income children from the Grand Street Settlement Beacon Center and the Department of Homeless Services, many of which were affected by the hurricane.
“Hurricane Sandy has been incredibly devastating for so many of our communities. More than ever, it is vital for us to come together and help these neighborhoods,” Brand said. “I am so proud to see the teamwork and spirit that came out of today and how incredibly committed Deutsche Bank employees were to making a positive impact in at every one of these projects. This is a great first step to the many other initiatives that our franchise and our employees can get involved with in supporting these very deserving communities.”