This is an email from Forest Wolfe a friend of @SandyFundSI. Forest's son Dainan, 5 years old, asked his dad to send this Christmas letter to all of the members of his family this year. Thank you for being so kind Dainan and we hope you have a very Merry Xmas!!

The New York Post was there to cover it all as Ian, Carolyn and Lee from SI Sandy Relief Fund helped Keri, a Hurricane Sandy victim who is due in early January, her 2-year-old daughter Serafina, and her husband Anthony settle into their new apartment just in time for the holidays. See the video below courtesy of the New York Post. 12/18/2012.

Ian Neckin (our president) along with our charity and the McKeon family were the focal point of a piece on the Channel 11 news last night.

Our organization has sponsored the McKeon family, who lost their home and possessions in the storm.  You can find out more about their family and how you can help them at our website http://www.sandyfundsi.org/the-mckeons.html

Many thanks to Erik Maschler and the Battleground Country Club for donating a pick-up truck to Mr. McKeon so that he can back to work and provide for his family.  Many thanks to everyone who has made a contribution to help our families. 

Date: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Subject: thank you
To: ian@sandyfundsi.org

Words cannot express how grateful we are for everything you have done for us. Without you in our life, I don't know how we would have survived. Thank you for giving us a second chance at life and for helping us to rebuild our lives.To be able to bring the kids back to Staten Island and give them back some sort of normalcy and structure. The boys are back in school, adjusting and smiling again and that is the greatest gift of all, and it wouldn't have happened without your generosity. We have hope now and are forever grateful. After seeing the devastation and listening to people telling us what they are going through we did not know how to begin again, you gave us that chance and we are truly blessed, 

Thank you
Alice, Ed, Eddie and Michael Warmbier
Ian Neckin, president of the SI Sandy Relief Fund, was one of the first to contact The Post.

A rep from his family-run nonprofit met with Christian, drove the carless mom over to the hotel and began to search for a new apartment for her family.
We have been overwhelmed by the positive response that we have received and the overall sense of charity people have exhibited.  I really want to refrain from naming people specifically (there are simply to many people who have contributed to name them all), but simply wanted to extend special thanks to all of our friends, business partners, families, clients, co-workers and colleagues that have so generously opened their pocketbooks and wallets in the spirit of charity and selflessness.   I also want to specifically acknowledge the efforts of all of the volunteers that comprise our team: Ian, Alishia, Suzanne, Nick, Russ, Lee and of course Carolyn for everything they have done and continue to do to help our families get their lives back in order.


I wanted to give everyone a sense of where things stand with the organization – we have been at this for a little over 3 weeks now so – we have had our highs and lows as all organizations do as they get going, but I thought I would share a few really great stories and a few successes with the group (of course you can follow most of this on our website and facebook page as well)

December 8 we will be having a fundraiser at George Keeley’s – a bar located in NYC at 485 Amsterdam – from 2:00 – 8:00pm – the owner has committed that all proceeds from the door will go toward our relief efforts (sponsored by Ommegang Brewery and Bluepoint Brewing Co).  Stop by for a beer – our team will be there. You can RSVP and find directions to the event here: http://on.fb.me/Xf0KBJ

Family Updates
  • The Warmbier Family – Our best success story yet – The family, initially displaced off of Staten Island, is now all together living in a new rental in Staten Island.  With the tireless support of the Reinmann family they were able to replace their lost car, help settle into a new apartment, replace most of the necessities that they lost and get back on their feet again.  This is exactly why we started this organization. 
  • The Owens Family – While still living in a shelter (believe me we are working on it – proven harder than we ever thought) we were able to get Ann Owens into a car so she and her daughter could have a little piece of their life back.  We are working on getting the rest of their life back. 
  • Sarwat -  Sarwat and her family should be moved into their new apartment this week – ending 4 weeks of living with family in New Jersey and commuting 45-60 minutes each way to school.  The Guenthers have been extraordinary in their support of Sarwat during their ordeal.  Our organization is ready to get them settled in. 
  • New Families – As word of our organization spreads we get more and more requests for help from families that were affected by the storm.  We have identified two more families that we will be helping and the website will be updated in the next few days with their bios. 
Fundraising highlights 
  • We have raised over $80,000 so far.  We are more than half way to our stated goal of $150,000. 
  •  One young girl, absent any provocation, announced that she would donate half the gifts she received at her bat mitzvah to one of our families.  Remarkable for such a young girl to embrace that spirit of giving
  • One family has asked that people forgo gifts for their one year old and make contributions to our organization instead.
  • We have received contributions from people in Australia, Europe and South America
  • We have gotten contributions from over 200 different people and sources

Check us out below – have a wonderful holiday season – please keep giving.  We will keep working to make sure your charity is put to good use.

The website is http://www.sandyfundsi.org
FB = http://www.facebook.com/pages/SI-Sandy-Relief-Fund/461706437203976
Twitter = @SandyFundSI 

As a reminder you can make a donation to one of our families directly on our website OR you can make a cash contribution by sending a check made payable to “SI Sandy Relief Fund”.  All checks should be mailed to

SI Sandy Relief Fund
c/o Nadine Vaiana
215 Deepbrook Rd.
Wyckoff NJ 07481

Thanks as always for your consideration. 


Our website is now live (Russell Falcon – a very big thank you).  As our organization identifies additional families their information and profiles will be updated to the website.  We have identified four families to date, three of which are profiled on the site this morning.  The other profiles will be added throughout the week. 

The website is http://www.sandyfundsi.org
Come visit our site and meet some of the families that we are helping.  Pass the site on to all of your friends, co-workers and family members that are interested in helping the people in Staten Island that were directly affected by SuperStorm Sandy. 

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.  The Facebook and twitter sites will be updated regularly with current news on the families as they get back to their normal lives. 

FB = http://www.facebook.com/pages/SI-Sandy-Relief-Fund/461706437203976
Twitter = @SandyFundSI 

As a reminder you can make a donation to one of our families directly on our website OR you can make a cash contribution by sending a check made payable to “SI Sandy Relief Fund”.  All checks should be mailed to:

SI Sandy Relief Fund
c/o Nadine Vaiana
215 Deepbrook Rd.
Wyckoff NJ 07481

It is with great pleasure that I inform all of you that our Organization has been formerly established.  It is called SI Sandy Relief Fund.  It now officially has a bank account thanks to a big assist from our friends at Citibank and we are ready to start accepting donations (see bolded section below for how to make an immediate cash contribution to the organization – the sooner you contribute the faster we can help these people!).  We have completed our application for 501c3 status and it will be filed with the IRS tomorrow.  We have every reason to believe that certification will ultimately be granted by the IRS.  A lot of people (you know who you are) have worked incredibly hard this week to get the organization up and running and we are extremely grateful for the efforts of all of those who have contributed in that regard. 

As there are lots of new people on this distribution list (which is great by the way) I will recap a little bit as to what the SI Sandy Relief Fund is and who we are. 

Last Sunday a few of us who grew up together in Staten Island decided to volunteer in some of the areas of Staten Island that were hit hardest by the storm.  We took our kids with us and headed down to the New Dorp/Great Kills area not really knowing what to expect nor exactly how we could help.  We just assumed we would figure out when we got there how we could lend a hand.  We were shocked by what we found.  The neighborhood was destroyed.  Houses were crushed and completely blown out.  The streets were covered in mud and piled high with all sorts of trash and garbage littering the streets.  There was no national guard – no red cross – no FEMA personnel –literally no one helping in this community other than volunteers like us going house to house helping people empty their houses of everything they had owned so that FEMA could come in and condemn their homes.  It was really inspiring to see the local community out in full force helping one another but infuriating that they were doing so without the help of NYC/NYS or the US Government.  I have attached few pictures we took while down there – there will be more photos on our facebook page when it is ready to be rolled out in the next few days. 

Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes.  Some of these people lost everything in the storm – their cars, clothes and all of their personal possessions.  They are finding it very difficult to obtain any sort of immediate or meaningful relief from FEMA or other organizations and have been left in dire financial circumstances.    

Our mission statement is to help identify families in Staten Island that have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy and provide them with immediate relief – shelter, food, clothing, transportation  - the basic necessities.  Through a variety of means we are working to get these families into apartments in Staten Island so that their children can get back into schools and the parents can get back to their jobs.  Our objective is to get these people back on their feet so they can get back to life again.  We are not trying to give them a better life – just the life they had before Sandy.  Staten Islanders are a tough bunch – hard working people not used to taking a hand-out but we believe under the circumstances these people could really use a hand. 

Thus far we have identified 5 families that our organization will provide assistance to (an example of one family are the Ostows – their bio is attached above).  It is important to note that our Organization will not give money/cash to families in need.  We will help the families obtain necessities; we will pay rent direct to landlords to get them started; we will buy a car to replace one that was lost – but we will not give cash to families.  We perform due diligence on each family in need to ensure to the best of our abilities that they are truly in need of financial assistance.  We have limitations on how much assistance can be provided to any one family and no family sponsored by our organization has any relationship with our board or executive officers.  Our facebook page will lay out the specific criteria we consider when deciding whether to help a family and all criteria is consistent with the IRS mandated 501c3 guidelines.    

Oh – one more things – none of us are being paid (in case anyone was wondering) – we are all doing this because we feel like we have the means to give something back to some families, have deep rooted connections to the Staten Island community and hope that someone would do the same for us if we were in their unfortunate position. 

Many people have asked how they can contribute to our Organization and to what end any cash contributions will be used.  There are a few ways that you can contribute:

1.      Sponsor a family.  We can introduce you to a family that we have identified and you can help them directly.  You can identify their specific needs and our organization can help you to facilitate getting them back up on their feet.  For instance, The Reinmann’s have very graciously sponsored the Warmbier family.  The family lived in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island  for the last 11 years until last Monday when they lost their home and all of their belongings to Hurricane Sandy).  If you are interested in making a donation to help support the Warmbier’s please read the email below and reach out directly to Jessica Reinmann at jreinmann@velaw.com or 917-612-6375. Just let me or Ian Neckin (ianneckin@gmail.com) know you want to sponsor a family and we will connect you asap. 

2.       Cash Contribution.  You can make a cash contribution in two ways – You can send a check made payable to “SI Sandy Relief Fund”.  All checks should be mailed to

SI Sandy Relief Fund
c/o Nadine Vaiana
215 Deepbrook Rd.
Wyckoff NJ 07481

Starting next week you will be able to make cash contributions directly on our facebook site.  We expect to roll out the facebook site over the weekend or by Monday at the latest.  You will see pictures and biographical information about each family that we are sponsoring on our site. 

3.        Amazon Wish Lists.  Once the facebook site is up and running you will be able to make contributions by clicking on links set up for each family that has been identified by our organization that will take you to an amazon shopping cart.  You will be able to obtain specific items for these families in much the same manner as you would for a bridal registry (they need everything – literally everything – sheets – a bed - cups – utensils – toasters  - well you get the point).   

I will send an email to everyone on this list as soon as the facebook page is up so that you can visit the page and get to know the families we are helping.  I hope you made it this far because I recognize it is a long email but I am glad you did!

Thank you very much for your consideration.