Catholic Charities Receives Half Million Dollar Donation from Empire City Casino to Provide Assistance to New Yorkers Devastated by Storm

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Urges Participation in Casino’s Annual Toy & Coat Drive to Benefit Families in Need

December 5, 2012, New York – Catholic Charities received an early Christmas gift that will help them continue to provide vital services to New York families devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  Timothy J. Rooney, President and CEO of Empire City Casino, contacted Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, to commend the organization for all they are doing and offer a donation of $500,000 to the Catholic Charities Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Fund to ensure that more families receive the help they need.  The funds will be directed to New Yorkers recovering in all five boroughs, as well as Westchester.

“We are grateful for Empire City Casino's generosity,” stated Monsignor Kevin Sullivan.  “This donation has enabled Catholic Charities to respond early, but will also help our commitment to assist in meeting long-term needs.”

Since Sandy hit, Catholic Charities has been responding to the needs of those impacted by the hurricane's devastation.  In hard-hit neighborhoods, mobile food pantries were deployed, crucial supplies needed by survivors were delivered, and hundreds of volunteers were coordinated to help with clean-up efforts.  Working with FEMA, state and city governments, and many other organizations, Catholic Charities’ professional and compassionate staff is ensuring that families in need receive access to multiple services, including counseling, housing assistance and rapid repairs.

Rooney said that Empire City also provided direct assistance to residents after the storm.  The Casino served as a hub for Con Edison to distribute dry ice and blankets to residents in need, dispatched their culinary team to hard hit coastal areas to feed hot meals to thousands of first responders and residents, and prepared and delivered trays of hot food to area shelters.

Additionally, in an effort to encourage donations to the Empire State Relief Fund (“ESRF”) recently announced by Governor Cuomo, Empire City has established a matching program that will match up to $100,000 of contributions made to ESRF by employees and customers.

“There are no greater deeds than charity and service,” said Rooney. “The devastation New Yorkers suffered from this storm is unspeakable and they need our help,” Rooney continued.  “Whether you donate $2 or $2,000, it will make a difference.  No act of kindness or generosity is ever too small.”

Empire City Casino has a long history of working with Catholic Charities to help New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.  Each year Empire City hosts its Annual “Christmas Spirit” Toy and Coat Drive, an event that holds even greater importance this year in the face of the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy.  

So many families were impacted by the hurricane and monies that would typically be spent on gifts are now needed to restore and repair homes and replace essential belongings that were destroyed in the storm. More adults and children than ever are in need of a warm coat to protect them from the cold, and so many families will simply not be able to afford a Christmas gift for their children this year. 

Donations of gently used coats and new, unwrapped toys are being collected at Empire City Casino’s main promotions booth through December 9th.  Contributions such as these help Catholic Charities with its mission to rebuild lives and touch almost every human need promptly, locally, day in and day out, always with compassion and dignity.


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