Business

AG: Charities To Release $10 Million In Unspent Donations To Sandy Recovery Effort

Red Cross Pledging Additional $6 Million To Sandy Victims
FILE -- Man working on Pennsylvania Avenue in Long Beach, L.I. on Oct. 24, 2013. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

FILE — Man working on Pennsylvania Avenue in Long Beach, L.I. on Oct. 24, 2013. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Superstorm Sandy

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP)Four charities that raised money for superstorm Sandy relief efforts have agreed to either accelerate spending or kick in more cash as a result of negotiations with New York State.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday from hard-hit Long Beach on Long Island that the American Red Cross has pledged an additional $6 million to storm victims.

That’s on top of the $308 million it raised previously for Sandy relief.

“It really was a collegial effort. We would help them improve their transparency, improve their disclosure. We now all understand exactly what the money is going for. They are working to correct some problems and go back and review cases where people might have been denied relief that maybe should have gotten it,” Schneiderman said.

“The needs of Sandy survivors remain significant, and the Red Cross has agreed to step up and commit additional funds to address these unmet needs,” Red Cross president and CEO Gail McGovern said in a statement.

Three other charities have agreed to a timetable for spending money still sitting in the bank as the storm’s anniversary approaches.

PHOTOS: SANDY ONE YEAR LATER

They are the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; Kids in Distressed Situations; and the Brees Dream Foundation, which was established by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

The charities will hand out nearly $10 million combined to help those affected by Sandy.

“In the case of some of the smaller ones, some of them just popped up and they lacked experience, they weren’t sure where to spend the money or how to spend the money,” Schneiderman said. “Some of them were holding money back because they wanted to use some of it for overhead.”

LINK: Read AG Schneiderman’s Full Sandy One Year Later Report (pdf)

In all, charities pulled in a reported $575 million for the Sandy relief effort, Schneiderman’s office said. Earlier this year, the AG’s office issued a report detailing how much of that funding had been put to use.

Schneiderman has been pressing charities not to sit on large sums of relief aid for extended periods of time.

However, the Red Cross and others said they often retain some funds for longer term needs following disasters like Sandy.

Also Thursday, Schneiderman’s office released a report detailing its work over the past year since Sandy hit on Oct. 29, 2012.

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