Carnegie Corporation of New York Donates $1.5 Million for Disaster Relief

Philanthropic support will focus on disaster recovery, legal aid, and needs of students in Puerto Rico, Miami, and Houston

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Alana Rivera, age 10, does her homework on her apartment balcony with the light of a cell phone, November 6, 2017. Her school reopened without electricity 46 days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. (Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images)

Months after a series of three catastrophic hurricanes hit Houston, Miami, and Puerto Rico, the regions are still coping with the destruction that closed schools and universities and displaced students and their families. In response to the ongoing recovery efforts, Carnegie Corporation of New York is joining other U.S. foundations in providing relief funding and will donate $1.5 million to help communities affected by the disasters.

In partnership with the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Corporation has allocated $500,000 for Miami-area universities to support displaced Puerto Rican students in South Florida in continuing their studies:

  • $200,000 to Florida International University
  • $150,000 to St. Thomas University
  • $150,000 to Miami Dade College

In Puerto Rico, Carnegie Corporation of New York is donating:

  • $150,000 to Unidos por Puerto Rico, an emergency response initiative established by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló
  • $150,000 to the Puerto Rico Community Foundation
  • $150,000 to the American University of Puerto Rico

In addition, the Corporation has allocated $250,000 for Equal Justice Works to deploy a corps of attorneys, called Disaster Recovery Fellows, to aid those impacted by the hurricanes in Texas and South Florida. The Corporation has also earmarked $300,000 for DonorsChoose.org to assist Houston-area schools. DonorsChoose.org is a crowdfunding platform that engages the public in funding classroom projects, particularly in low-income areas. 

“Carnegie Corporation of New York has a history of responding to disasters at home and abroad, including the September 11th attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of the Corporation. “We are now proud to partner with the Knight Foundation and its President, Alberto Ibargüen, and to join many of our sister foundations in responding to the aftermath of the hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last fall. Given the Corporation’s focus on the advancement of education, much of our support aims to assist schools and universities in responding to and recovering from the damage wrought by these disasters.”

The Knight Foundation has committed $2.5 million in disaster relief. The damage and lost productivity from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have stamped 2017 as the most expensive hurricane season in U.S. history, totaling more than $200 billion in losses according to a report by Bloomberg News.