Long Beach school families to get $1,000 debit cards

Students return to Long Beach Middle School for

Students return to Long Beach Middle School for the first time since superstorm Sandy severely damaged the electrical and heating systems at the school. (Dec. 3, 2012) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Families with a child attending one of five Long Beach district schools will receive $1,000 debit cards Friday to help with superstorm Sandy recovery.

The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund will distribute the cards at Long Beach Middle School to more than 1,350 families.

The five schools are Blackheath Road Pre-K Center, and the Lido, Lindell, East and West elementary schools.

The schools serve many families hit hard by Sandy, and the aid will be critical for rebuilding, said district Superintendent David Weiss, who thanked Cantor Fitzgerald for "acknowledging that families with young children were affected" by Sandy.

"This will help some of the families with the financial strain that they are currently under," Weiss said.

Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial services firm, is distributing the money as part of its $10 million relief fund, which is donating money to Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey. More than $3 million has been given to more than 3,000 families in Far Rockaway, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Union Beach, N.J., and Keansburg, N.J., so far, said spokeswoman Sheryl Lee.

Cantor Fitzgerald representatives will be at Long Beach Middle School at 9 a.m. Friday to "speak to why it was so important to help families with young children after a tragedy," Lee said. The fund was created to help families of the hundreds of Cantor employees who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Cantor currently has seven employees from Long Beach. "Not only were we aiming to help communities that were among the hardest hit by Sandy, but also communities many Cantor . . . employees care deeply about, and some call home," Lee said in an email.The aid arrives as Long Beach's school district continues its struggle to rebuild from Sandy. The district administration building, West School, Blackheath Center, a wing of Long Beach Middle School and two school gyms are closed.

"We have a tremendous amount of coming back left to do," Weiss said.

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