On August 29, 2013 we will mark the eight anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall along the Gulf of Mexico. It still stands as the largest natural disaster in the history of our country. This tragic event kicked off a rebuilding process that will take a minimum of ten years. When you combine Katrina with the oil spill of April,2010 along with the economic recession you have a formula for tough times. We now must add Hurricane Isaac as the latest act of nature that has impacted the Gulf region.
This year Hurricane Sandy hit the Tri-State area and caused significant damage to NY & NJ.This area is the most populated region of the United States and advesely affected a record number of people.In New York alone 305,000 houses and apartments were either damaged or desroyed along with 265,000 businesses. Our toy drive crew took on the task of running a satilite relief ceter in Long Beach on Long Island to aid those in need.We operated 7 days a week for two months and also ran a toy distribution in Long Beach as well as a return to the Gulf.
The Stephen Siller Foundation was formed in New York after 9/11/01. Stephen was one of the 343 members of the FDNY that made the supreme sacrifice on that day. His family wanted to honor his memory along with the memory of everyone lost on that tragic day which is why they formed this charity. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Siller Foundation saw the need to assist the people dealing with the aftermath of this disaster. They started to send tractor trailer loads of supplies to the Gulf with much needed supplies. In an attempt to increase the amount of aid they joined forces with a group of active and retired members of the New York City Fire Department and some key contacts in the Gulf. Our combined effort has been very successful . It has evolved from a mission of delivering vital supplies of food, water, tools and cleaning materials to the annual toy drive which takes place each December
To date we have delivered 68 truckloads of supplies to the region. Together with the assistance of the Stephen Siller Foundation, Penske Truck Leasing, The Bethesda Outreach Mission and a number of extremely generous supporters we have been able to continue the tradition of providing toys, books, food and supplies each holiday season since 2005. This year will be our eleventh trip since 2005 and our nineth toy drive. We deliver toys to five locations, one in Alabama and four in Mississippi. We have witnessed first hand the hardships and poverty along with the need for our mission. Our group not only delivers the items, we unload the trucks, visit children through the Head Start Programs at numerous locations, and we assist the distributions at the five distribution points while providing a Santa at each stop. It is estimated that we have delivered toys to over 60,000 children and delivered over two million dollars worth of supplies.
The two charities that we are associated with are the Stephen Siller Foundation in New York and the Gulf Coast Childrens Foundation which is based in Mississippi. Our most pressing needs are toys and monetary donations to offset the expenses we incur. They include fuel for the eight trucks, insurance, airfare, lodging, van rentals and purchasing toys. Our operation has no overhead such as an office and staff and every dollar raised is used solely toward the toy drive and the expenses involved. Our hope is to generate support in the Gulf to go along with our fund raising in New York. The reasons for the attempt at local support are basically two fold. The first being that we would purchase the toys and supplies in the areas that we serve and thus be able to put the money back into the local economies where it is needed. Secondly we can cut down on the number of trucks needed from NY and save money by eliminating the skyrocketing cost of diesel for as many trucks.
For additional information on our charities go to:
1-stephen siller foundation Tax ID # 02-0554654
2-gulfcoastchildrensfoundation.org Tax ID # 27-0350243
If you wish to make a tax deductible donation:
In New York- (make checks out to) -
Stephen Siller Foundation / Katrina Fund Tax ID #02-05554654
2361 Hylan Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10306
In Mississippi, Alabama or Florida-
Hancock Bank Mississippi Santa Tax ID # 27-0350243
1 Hancock Center
Gulfport, Mississippi 39501
**** Any branch of Hancock bank in these 3 states. Must be marked:Mississippi Santa Foundation Account
It is our goal this year to surpass our accomplishments from last December where we delivered toys & books to over 12,000 children at the five distribution sites and our visits to the numerous Head Start Programs in the region. We are continuing to supply five location with toys and we will need more help to achieve this enormous goal.
Please help us to make a difference in the life of a child.