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After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern seaboard, many New Yorkers were without electricity and accessible transportation. With sources of information such as the internet and centers around the city were difficult to access, our constituents in the hardest hit areas had difficulty receiving services and benefits. A week after the storm, Robin Hood took steps to ameliorate that lack of connection in areas negatively impacted by the storm including Red Hook, the Rockaways, and Staten Island.
With the help of Robin Hood’s IT and management assistance team, 45 tablet computers were distributed amongst the Legal Aid Society, New York Legal Assistance Group, and the Urban Justice Center, so that their teams could be mobile. These tablets, each configured with a prepaid data plan, were setup to allow our grantees to hit the streets immediately - helping ease the hardship of finding appropriate help, whether applying for FEMA disaster relief, unemployment insurance, or finding out where to send a child to school. This simple act of providing tablets enabled skilled professionals to bring their services to where the need is. Through these services, individuals in desperate need of help were able to discover new ways to find help to rebuild their lives and their communities.
Robin Hood has taken steps not only to break down these barriers to communication for individuals, but also to better connect our grantee organizations with one another. To prevent duplication of work, our grantees are increasing communication thanks to the adaptability of the tablet computers, the portability of internet access, and the sheer determination to efficiently help those in need.
With renewed access to benefits and expanded opportunities for additional aid, the tablet computers Robin Hood sent into the field have helped to speed up the recovery process, and help New Yorkers regain footing after disaster.