Albany, N.Y. Oct. 28, 2008 - New York State United Teachers today announced that the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund has given away more than $600,000 to charitable organizations assisting disaster victims and to individuals in need.
"Nationally, this fund has aided victims of hurricanes Ike, Gustav, Katrina and Rita," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Regionally, it has helped members who were affected by the devastation of the Southern Tier floods, the Buffalo snowstorm and similar unfortunate events."
The NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund was established in October 2005, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to promote and enhance the welfare of union members and other New Yorkers who needed assistance because of a natural or manmade disaster. It is worth noting that NYSUT and its members donated more than $800,000 toward the Katrina Relief efforts through the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund and the American Federation of Teachers Relief Fund. NYSUT's commitment to aiding members who have been victims of disasters dates back to the North Country ice storm of 1998.
"I am proud that so many NYSUT members and staff have willingly contributed to this fund to benefit those in need both within New York state and throughout the country," said Iannuzzi. "That their generosity continues now - during this period of economic uncertainty and turmoil - is a shining example of the selfless spirit of this union's members."
Iannuzzi said the union's School-Related Professionals recently raised more than $2,400 at a leadership conference in Albany. He said this generosity is particularly poignant since it occurs as SRPs across the state embark on a "Living Wage" campaign, fighting for higher wages and better health care.
NYSUT members and staff can contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund online by visiting the NYSUT Web site, nysut.org. The NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund is an Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions to the fund are tax deductible to the same extent as contributions to other IRS-approved charities.NYSUT represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.