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Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito Announce City Employees Can Set Aside Portion of Paychecks to Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

September 1, 2017

NEW YORK— In response to the on-going devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that, starting today, employees of the City of New York will be able to directly donate a portion of their paychecks to hurricane relief efforts. The funds will be distributed to reputable relief organizations already working to support the 6.6 million people who have been impacted in Houston and the surrounding areas. One hundred percent of all donations will be dispersed to support relief efforts and organizations.

"New York City knows all too well the devastation a hurricane can bring. As the extent of damage continues to be assessed, we knew many New Yorkers would be anxious to offer help and we wanted to provide city employees with the easiest possible option for doing so. Whether you’re able to offer time and energy, monetary donations, or simply your thoughts and prayers, there is no question New York City stands with Texas," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Over the past few days, Hurricane Harvey has devastated much of the Houston area, destroying houses and leaving thousands of Texans stranded. Rescue efforts are still underway, and Texans need all the help they can get. That is why I encourage everyone to contribute to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund or by donating a portion of their paychecks through the NYC Mayor’s Relief Fund – the proceeds of which will directly go towards disaster relief in affected areas,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “New York City stands with Houston, and I encourage all New Yorkers to offer assistance however they can. I thank Council Member Treyger and Council Member Richards for their hard work in calling attention to what is happening in Houston, and their partnership with elected officials and disaster relief organizations to help out during this difficult time.”

"One of the most admirable qualities of New Yorkers is a strong spirit of giving, especially during a time of crisis. As we empathize with the suffering of our sisters and brothers in Texas, we must come together to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs of those in ruin and distress from the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

On Thursday, City employees will receive an email informing them of the option to donate directly from their paychecks to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. ‎The funds will be directed via the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC, and distributed to organizations working on the ground – such as National Volunteering Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army – to provide critical relief to individuals, families, and communities that have faced the brunt of this terrible storm. The Mayor’s Fund is also accepting donations from all New Yorkers via its website. One hundred percent of proceeds raised will be directed to Harvey relief efforts.

Early Sunday morning in the direct aftermath of the hurricane Mayor de Blasio deployed emergency workers from the NYPD, FDNY and EMS to support relief efforts, noting the amazing support New York received from states across the country following superstorm Sandy.  And noting the tens of thousands who donated to assist Sandy recovery efforts, we are now asking New Yorkers to help those struck by this most recent and historic natural disaster.

"New Yorkers have a history of coming together when others are suffering, and today is no exception," said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships. "We are proud to do our part by channeling the good will of the City's employees and residents during the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and we will continue to seek ways to ensure they recover in the long-term.”

"The Mayor's Fund is a critical tool for channeling the support of New Yorkers during disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Time and again we are humbled by the generosity of New Yorkers, and are proud to help direct relief funds to those who need it most during these dramatic times of need," said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

“New Yorkers know first hand the long and expensive struggles in the aftermath of a catastrophic storm,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “When we were hit by Superstorm Sandy, the entire country stood behind us, and now it is our turn to help those in Houston and beyond who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. I strongly urge those who have the resources to support families who are suffering."

Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said, “What makes New York and America special is that we always deliver during a crisis, and we're always there for our neighbors in times of need. The images out of Houston have been startling and tragic — one of America's largest cities has seen devastation. We all have a role to play in the recovery effort, and with this new step, New York City is simplifying how our employees can help Texas rebuild. It’s the right thing to do.”

“New York City has a long history of benevolence during crises,” remarked Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “The victims of Hurricane Harvey will need our love, support and prayers for weeks and months to come. Any effort that our City undertakes to allow New Yorkers to help others in need is absolutely appropriate and appreciated. I encourage all public servants to donate today.”

"Just as Texans were here for us during Hurricane Sandy, it is imperative that we stand with them during these difficult times," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "Donating a portion of your paycheck to the mayor's fund will go a long way in bringing immediate relief to those in need. I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for their strong commitment to the people of Texas.”

“As New Yorkers, we are all too familiar with the kind of damage and destruction that Mother Nature can cause,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “Yet we also know the capacity for kindness and generosity that our fellow Americans showed our city in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. That is why we must support the victims of Hurricane Harvey and do whatever we can to offer them help in their time of need. Many New Yorkers have already done that, and I have no doubt more will follow that example in the days ahead."

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